Many organizations are choosing to use managed IT security services to alleviate the workload put on internal teams while still protecting their business assets via security experts. Especially as businesses rely more and more on digital and online resources, there is a significant demand for full security solutions—which are often best utilized through a third party. Learn more about why and how organizations use managed services for their IT security.
What Are Managed IT Security Services?
Managed IT Security Services, also called MSSs, are third-party services that manage the security technologies used by other organizations and their business outcomes. Their main responsibilities and resources include security monitoring, detection and response, exposure assessment, and different consulting services to help with security applications. Whether working through consulting-based models or technology and data management, security services can be used on-premise or with a cloud infrastructure.
MSS isn’t the only type of service that is important to understand—other common terms include MSSPs, MSP, and MSR. MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider, which is the third-party company that security responsibilities are outsourced to. If a company is only an MSP or Managed Service Provider, it mainly focuses on the operations of the IT systems of a business as a service, whereas an MSSP is concerned with security at every point of operations.
MDR, or managed detection and response, focuses on protecting assets by detecting threats and then responding to breaches in security using threat intelligence and proactive threat hunting. An MDR is a specific type of security management, so an MSSP may even provide MDR, though the terms aren’t interchangeable. The main difference between these two security elements is monitoring versus troubleshooting. MSSPs focus on management and monitoring and have the primary role of alerting a business of the breach, while MDR is designed for response. An MSSP contract may stipulate a response service, too—but this often needs to be specified in the agreement.
Components of Managed IT Security Services
Businesses are going paperless and utilizing both digital and online resources to offer better services and customer experiences, but these resources are often targeted by cybercriminals and hackers that want to steal data and information. Information security involves your network, different endpoints, and other security operations that need to be monitored and analyzed 24x7x365. Here are some of the core components of MSS protection.
First, it’s essential to manage the different devices, data, and other operational administrative tools it requires to track and protect data. This is accomplished using cyber threat intelligence and the experience and knowledge of security experts who have the time, resources, and support to protect business investments.
Then there is monitoring, or more specifically, real-time monitoring that is active 24x7x365. Cyberthreats occur most often during non-working hours, like evenings, weekends, and holidays, so management security services need to have eyes on all devices, networks, and assets at all times. It’s essential to monitor these events in real-time, too, so that false positives don’t get in the way of valid threats that need to be promptly dealt with.
Finally, an MSS also gathers intelligence to perfect the threat mitigation process and predict potentially unknown weaknesses in your assets. Vulnerabilities in networks, servers, web applications, devices, and databases are much less threatening when technology and experts are analyzing those vulnerabilities.
Benefits of Managed IT Security Services
So, why would a company decide to use an MSS instead of keeping all security efforts internal? These are the biggest advantages of outsourcing your security services.
- Stronger workforce. Instead of piling more work onto your IT team, organizations can rely on additional staffing with exceptional IT knowledge to manage security processes from offsite locations.
- Streamlined reporting and business outcomes. Organizations get seamless security reporting from offsite locations so that their internal teams can conduct business with minimal intrusion caused by security initiatives.
- Improved time to value security investments. An MSSP can provide faster deployment times so that the time spent on security measures and management is more valuable.
- Full outsourcing. Third-party security providers run security programs or services that focus on specific components such as threat monitoring, data protection, management of network security tools, and regulatory compliance incident response and forensics.
Why Managed IT Security Services are Important
Even though there are many companies with competent in-house IT teams, these teams are overworked and stretched thin with many different tasks. There are many benefits to outsourcing the security of your organization, but it’s also becoming an essential part of business models.
The rapidly changing security landscape is far more demanding than it was a decade ago. Threats are more advanced and complex, and as the cloud and fleets of devices take more precedence in the workplace, it’s a difficult task to manage security at scale.
You also need a competitive advantage in the modern market when it comes to security, no matter the industry. To keep up, organizations trying to scale and compete often don’t have the time, money, or manpower to allocate to security efforts—at least not to the degree that is realistically needed. An MSS not only helps with immediate and potential threats, but it also performs scans and tests to detect vulnerabilities and prevent unknown threats from attacking your company.
With rampant cyber threats that pose risks to assets and data, modern businesses can’t afford to neglect IT security. When cyberattacks happen, they happen quickly and can have devastating results, but an MSS helps with early monitoring, prevention, and recovery from incidents before they snowball into more significant issues. That is why many organizations turn to a professionally managed IT security service to stay protected, compliant, and competitive.
Choosing a Managed Security Service Provider
As you look for a provider that can provide all of the services you need to keep your business secure, it can be difficult to know what to expect and prioritize as you research. Some of the best practices you can employ when finding the right managed security service provider include the following points.
- Consider core functions. Organizations should plan out which functions should be outsourced and what can be handled internally. Where are certain functions falling through the cracks? What would you ideally need and want from a third party? Full services? Consultations? 24×7 monitoring?
- Identify overworked roles. Coordinate with the IT department to fully understand where employees are struggling to keep up. Which IT positions are stretched too thin? Are there other tasks that need more attention that are overlooked because security demands too much time?
- Discuss budget. Determine the budget and processes required for a partnership. When it comes to business, these kinds of resources usually come down to the price point. You don’t want to go too cheap and get an ineffective provider that doesn’t meet the needs of your security landscape, but you also don’t want to compromise on quality.
Find an affordable but thorough MSSP that will work with your budget and your business needs so that you have a reliable partner when it comes to managing your business’ security efforts. This usually requires creating a list of potential vendors and evaluating them using meetings, online reviews, and customer ratings.
Ready to get started? Ontinue makes your organization its priority so that you and your teams can focus on your business and expertise. Meanwhile, we simplify security complexity and focus on mitigating risk with automation to better protect your business. And, when breaches or intrusions do occur, we provide localized support so that action can be taken quickly and accurately. Get the best IT security services and learn more about our MDR solutions. Request a demo today!