Managed Security Services: Five Reasons to Use a Managed Security Services Partner
By George Louris, Vice President of Technology, Marcum Technology
Investments in preventive cybersecurity technologies such as antivirus, anti-malware and firewalls have increased, but security incidents large and small still happen daily, and security breaches continue to be on the rise. These basic technologies are no longer enough, not by a long shot. In today’s threat landscape, a more holistic, defense-in-depth approach that includes rapid detection and response is not only recommended but should be considered a requirement.
The Federal Trade Commission, Department of Commerce, ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) and other authorities warn of increased attacks from hackers, cybercriminals, and other bad actors. With more and more corporate devices accessing the corporate network remotely, organizations must assume malicious parties will gain control of corporate devices and attempt to recover sensitive data or leverage the devices to gain access to the enterprise network.
Combating those risks requires technology and additional resources with a unique set of skills to ensure potential threats are detected and immediately addressed. Without the necessary safeguards in place, these quickly evolving threats can cause catastrophic damage to a company’s reputation and financial stability. Utilizing a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) is a valuable strategy that helps shift the burden of having sufficient technical resources with the required security expertise on staff — to monitor, detect, and respond to security incidents as they occur — to an outside expert service provider. It also allows organizations to help minimize the possibility of negative events like breaches, data loss and other incidents.
1. Around-the-Clock Monitoring and Support
The better MSSP providers will provide threat monitoring and support for any detected threats or incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year across any and all geographies. Since a cyber-attack can occur at any time, around-the-clock monitoring and support by a team of security analysts is critical. Trying to replicate this level of investment in technology and manpower is just not practical for most organizations.
2. Cost Savings
Much like outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider (MSP), an MSSP can help provide significant cost savings. By outsourcing its cybersecurity, an organization can reduce costs by taking advantage of the economies of scale an MSSP can offer. This includes not only the cost of the tools required to provide the service but the cost of hiring and keeping cybersecurity specialists on staff, including the often-uncalculated costs of recruiting, marketing, interviewing, testing, screening, hiring, onboarding, managing, training and retaining those employees. For most organizations it is much more cost-effective to contract the security expertise of an MSSP than to invest in hiring specialized cybersecurity staff to provide around-the-clock support.
However, the most significant cost savings an MSSP potentially offers is helping to minimize the risk of a potential cyberattack. Outsourcing your cybersecurity can be a significant step towards protecting your organization against potentially business-crippling attacks.
3. Vulnerability Management
One of the most significant values an MSSP provides is helping to manage an organization’s vulnerabilities. Vulnerability management involves proactively finding and addressing potential weaknesses in an organization’s network security. Key components of vulnerability management include assessing risk, patching and vulnerability scanning.
- Assessing Risk: The importance of having the expertise on staff to evaluate the most significant cybersecurity risks facing your organization and how to address them cannot be overstated. How are risks identified and prioritized, how are those decisions made and who is implementing those fixes? These are all areas the right MSSP can handle for your organization.
- Patching: Having a consistent methodology around device, system, software and application patching is one of the key benefits of working with an MSSP. Ensuring that critical patches are applied in a timely manner is essential to ensuring that vulnerabilities are patched when announced by a manufacturer.
- Vulnerability Scanning: An MSSP will incorporate vulnerability scans using scanning tools during set intervals throughout the year. This will allow them to detect weaknesses and recommend remediation steps towards fixing these vulnerabilities.
4. Correlation and Forensic Investigation
A key benefit of outsourcing to an MSSP is the ability to combine the right tools with the expertise of a team of experienced cybersecurity analysts. This is especially true when it comes to integrating various data sources and interpreting them to assist in providing more data during an investigation. This includes gathering and interpreting end point, network, cloud and vulnerability data.
5. Tapping into a Pool of Talent
Companies are finding it incredibly difficult to recruit and retain skilled security engineers. With limited budgets, it’s even more difficult. An MSSP can offer access to a breadth and depth of talent that would be impossible to replicate for all but the largest organizations.
Although no cybersecurity solution can provide a 100% guarantee against cyberattacks, finding a strong MSSP that can provide a holistic security solution, based on what is happening in your specific environment, can greatly help mitigate risk by combining the necessary expertise, tools, and services without the burden of hiring a team of cybersecurity analysts and the cost to provide a defense-in-depth approach.