The Benefits of Using an MSSP to Monitor and Manage Your Firewall

October 17, 2019 Eric Dosal Eric Dosal

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) help businesses of all sizes to improve their cybersecurity by taking over critical security processes and tools. MSSPs have a depth of experience in leveraging security tools that allows them to maximize security while minimizing impacts on network performance.

Take, for example, firewalls. These critical cybersecurity tools help businesses all over the world filter out bad network traffic—protecting the business’ network assets from countless threats. However, managing firewall configurations can be a challenge for any organization as rules become more complicated over time.

Using a managed security service provider, particularly an experienced MSSP, to monitor and manage your firewall can provide numerous benefits, including:

Saving You Time and Money on Firewall Management

According to data from PayScale, as of October 2019, the average yearly salary for a cybersecurity engineer was around $94,869—and the maximum yearly salary (after benefits) was around $141,000 for experienced engineers filling high-level positions. This is an enormous amount of money for a single person.

Odds are that you would need to pay high to attract a qualified cybersecurity engineer to your team because competition for these professionals is high. Every business needs protection from cyber threats—and experienced cybersecurity engineers know this. They know that there are plenty of other employers out there who are willing to pay through the nose for top-tier cybersecurity staff. So, they aren’t going to settle for a low-ball figure when it comes to salary and benefits.

Using an MSSP to provide firewall management and monitoring services helps you curtail the expense of building a large and expensive IT security team internally. In fact, you may notice that with a managed security service, you actually get more cybersecurity protection for less money spent.

Freeing up Your IT Team to Focus on Your Business Initiatives

In many organizations, the IT team that is meant to ensure system stability and provide tech support to the rest of the company is also tasked with managing all of that company’s cybersecurity services. This tends to lead to employee burnout and service shortages as the team struggles to keep up with the near-constant demands of both cybersecurity and technical support.

One of the best things about getting a managed security services provider to help you with your firewall (and other cybersecurity issues) is that it frees up your internal IT team to focus on the business initiatives that will actually help you move the needle for your company.

Instead of trying to manage the security updates and configurations of your firewalls, they can focus on making sure your proprietary apps are working like they should be and attend to other IT services that enhance user experience and performance. This helps to alleviate burnout while improving the IT team’s productivity.

Getting Access to a Wealth of Information from a Team of Experts

Another benefit of using an MSSP is that instead of adding a single person who may be an expert in one or two areas of cybersecurity, you get a whole team of experts with a broad range of knowledge and experience. This helps you by increasing the overall flexibility of your cybersecurity team.

Also, by drawing on a deeper pool of knowledge, you can better optimize your cybersecurity posture to prevent data breaches and other security problems. Having a team with broader cybersecurity knowledge may even be helpful when you need advice for meeting key regulatory standards.

Applying Lessons Learned from Other Clients to Your Firewall

One of the most common concerns that many organizations have when they hire a team from an MSSP for firewall monitoring and other cybersecurity services is that the team is also working for other organizations at the same time—dividing their attention and their service.

However, this is actually a good thing. Why?

Because, not only does this help you save money by splitting the costs of hiring a large team of cybersecurity experts (who can cost up to $141k per person per year), it allows that team to apply any lessons they’ve learned from working with other companies in other industries to your own cybersecurity architecture. This means that you can benefit from the experiences of others rather than have to go through “learning the hard way.”

For example, say one of the MSSP’s other clients is hit with a zero-day exploit (a previously unknown weakness or bug that an attacker can use) against their firewall—and your company uses the same firewall. When they investigate the incident, the MSSP will be able to identify the exploit and how it was used and create countermeasures that they can then apply to your firewall to keep other attackers from using that same exploit.

Getting 24/7 Firewall Monitoring and Management Service

One obvious benefit of having access to a whole team of people versus simply hiring a single person internally is that it gives you access to 24/7 service that no single expert could hope to match. With a team of cybersecurity experts at your beck and call, if someone has to take a vacation or a sick day, there are others there who can seamlessly take over.

With a single internal employee, if they catch the flu or go on honeymoon to the Bahamas for a week (or a month), who’s going to monitor your firewall and make sure you have the latest protections?

Eliminating the Hassle from Security Updates

If you’re relying on an internal IT team to provide regular tech support while managing and monitoring your firewalls (on top of all your other cybersecurity needs), you’re running an increased risk of missing a critical security update for your company’s firewall programs. Having your IT team pull double duty for both regular tech support and security issues makes their internal processes more complicated, and makes it easier to miss important tasks—such as applying software updates meant to close critical security vulnerabilities.

With a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts from an MSSP working for you, cybersecurity is all that they do. So, they are much less likely to miss important security updates.

Gaining Access to Additional Cybersecurity Services

MSSPs can frequently provide other cybersecurity services to increase your overall protection level—even from threats that may bypass your external firewalls. For example, a dedicated MSSP can provide:

  • Threat Intelligence Services. Many MSSPs can provide threat intelligence services to help proactively manage new and emerging cyber threats. This helps you avoid security breaches by alerting you to threats before they strike.

  • Vulnerability Management & Penetration Testing. An MSSP can actively run penetration tests on your network to identify potential security flaws. Then, they can help you address these gaps—hopefully before an attacker can take advantage of them.

  • Threat Management and Incident Response. Even with the best cybersecurity in the world, there will eventually be someone skilled, lucky, or just plain persistent enough to breach it. MSSPs can help you create and enact incident response plans to minimize the damage that these security breaches cause.

  • Co-Managed SIEM Services. Security incident and event management (SIEM) software can be the lynchpin of any incident response plan. However, these solutions tend to produce a lot of excessive and unnecessary data (or “noise”) that IT teams have to filter. MSSPs can help you sort through the noise with co-managed SIEM services so you can get only the data you most need.

These are just a few of the benefits of using a managed security service provider to monitor and manage your organization’s firewall architecture. Want to learn more about the benefits of using an MSSP? Reach out to the Compuquip team today!

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