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One of the most daunting challenges facing today’s businesses is protecting the security of the data they possess. For many, enlisting the assistance of a managed security services provider (MSSP) is the most cost-effective and efficient solution. Coming to an understanding of managed IT security services can help you to determine which provider is right for your company.

What is an MSSP?

Your IT environment contains a complex web of interconnected structures. Hiring an outsourced MSSP enables you to entrust the management and monitoring of these aspects to an organization of experts in their field whose goal is to partner with you to ensure the security of your information systems via monitoring, detection, isolation, neutralization and prevention of future cybersecurity breaches. 

Your computing security landscape contains the following components, all of which can be addressed by an MSSP:

  • Secure web application firewalls;
  • Spam blocking;
  • Antivirus protection;
  • Intrusion and threat detection;
  • Virtual private network (VPN) management;
  • Access management protocols.

While it is possible for your internal team to take steps to secure your systems on your own, the MSSP security model provides customers like you with the added peace of mind that comes from knowing that your systems are under the protection of a dedicated, accountable company who will work round the clock to ensure that all of your different devices, web and cloud-based applications and data are as safe as possible from internal and outside threat. In a nutshell, that is an MSSP.

Benefits of MSSPs

Regardless of the industry in which you do business, your enterprise must juggle multiple tasks and priorities, not the least of which is providing excellent products or services to your customers. Although you may have a skilled IT team and an arsenal of tools and solutions at your disposal, there simply may not be enough time or bandwidth to allow your staff to provide top-tier, comprehensive resource protection. An MSSP can fill this gap and provide clients like you with the following benefits:

  • Security experience and expertise. Although your company has many functions and objectives, an MSSP has only one: to protect its clients’ assets from intrusion. Their staff has knowledge and insights into the constantly evolving cybersecurity milieu, with offerings that include threat detection and prevention as well as incident response.
  • Cost savings. While MSSP security requires a financial commitment, many companies realize that investing in the services of these providers can save them significantly in the long run. As many organizations learn the hard way, data breaches and other intrusion events are devastating not only to the company’s bottom line but also in terms of time lost, interruption of services and damage to brand reputation. In the long run, managed security systems are often one of the best investments a business can make.
  • Facilitates change. In order for an enterprise of any size to remain competitive, it must be agile and willing to evolve with the times. Literally every day, new technologies and hacking strategies are coming on the scene. Partnering with an MSSP can enable you to grow right along with your environment without missing a beat.
  • Tailored solutions. You may wish to handle certain tasks on your own and outsource others such as privileged access management or compliance reporting to outside experts. MSSP security providers are fully equipped to customize their security platform to meet your company’s unique requirements.
  • Assists in policy development. The prospect of coming up with a comprehensive set of cybersecurity protocols that are in full compliance with industry regulations while meeting your business’s unique needs can be overwhelming. 

However, an MSSP can provide you with expert assistance in formulating, maintaining and modifying these practices. They will also continue to monitor the landscape to ensure that staff members are following your policies.

Finding an MSSP Provider

Now that you know how to define MSSP, you may want to move to the next step and search for the best resource in this category. As you review your various MSSP options, look for businesses that can furnish the following:

  • A suite of services that meets your particular business needs. For instance, if you store, manage or transmit customer data, be sure to hire a company with expertise in PCI-DSS compliance.
  • System assessments. The company you choose should provide a complete mapping and assessment of your cyber environment in order to fully understand your assets, vulnerabilities, risks and existing security strategies.
  • Onsite network security. Your business is only as safe as the third-party providers it hires. Be sure the one you choose has onsite security and a robust system of monitoring and threat detection of its own in place.
  • Disaster avoidance and recovery. The provider you choose should locate its facilities in an area at low risk of encountering natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes or storms. Furthermore, systems should be in place to virtually eliminate the risk of loss due to fire.

If your company needs additional support in setting up, monitoring or adapting your security system, partnering with an MSSP can provide your team with the help you need. Considering that the scope of IT is widening at a dizzying rate, supplementing your in-house talent with the knowledge and focus of an outsourced MSSP can strengthen the overall infrastructure that protects your crucial information, hardware and software assets. For today’s companies, this focus on security is not a luxury; it is a necessity.