What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

The work environment has changed drastically in this decade. Companies adapted to new expectations that the pandemic thrust upon them, and remote work didn’t just become an option—it became a necessity. Even a couple of years later, most companies—about 60%—are still keeping some type of remote or hybrid work environment option in place.

Remote work didn’t just change the way some people work; it changed the face of security. Remote work just isn’t set up to be highly secure. An at-home workstation isn’t secure, and it can’t be protected by all the same in-office security measures. So what can your company do to protect your data with the reality of hybrid and remote work?

One answer is a managed security service provider. Read on to learn more about managed security and how it could help your company protect data.

Managed Security Service Provider Definition

What is a managed security service provider? What is MSSP? A managed security service provider (MSSP) is a third party that companies can outsource their monitoring and management of devices to. The MSSP is hired to provide security services. Some of the common services can include managing firewalls, vulnerability scanning, and detection of threats.

An MSSP provides a security operation center with 24/7 monitoring and security support. Utilizing these security operations centers through an MSSP can save an organization the hassle and resources of hiring enough personnel to properly monitor a network. Instead, your organization can focus on providing great services to your customers while an MSSP takes care of security.

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is an expert third party entrusted by businesses to oversee and manage their security apparatus. Beyond the fundamental offerings like managing firewalls, conducting vulnerability scans, and detecting threats, an MSSP plays a crucial role in navigating the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. They are not just a reactive measure but a proactive force, employing continuous learning mechanisms and real-time data to adapt strategies, tools, and protocols in response to new and emerging threats.

This adaptability is rooted in their sophisticated security operation centers, which offer round-the-clock monitoring and support. These centers aren’t just about surveillance; they’re innovation hubs where cybersecurity professionals engage with cutting-edge technology, emerging threat intelligence, and continuous training to anticipate and combat threats before they materialize. By leveraging an MSSP, organizations can allocate their resources and focus on their core services, confident in the knowledge that their cybersecurity measures are not only current but are also evolving in tandem with the global threat matrix, ensuring resilience and peace of mind.

Key Components of Managed Security Services

That’s a brief overview of MSSPs, but there is much more variety in what an MSSP might offer and what an organization can take advantage of. These are some of the key components of managed security services. Most MSSPs will specialize in one of these areas, and providers may offer different services and solutions.

  • Compliance monitoring. Compliance monitoring is when an MSSP takes care of ensuring that your organization is operating within regulatory standards. The MSSP might perform scans of your infrastructure. The MSSP team will also report to you any changes that could lead to issues with compliance, so your organization can always stay compliant.
  • Managed security monitoring. Managed security monitoring is what most people imagine with an MSSP. Managed security monitoring involves a team keeping watch on an organization’s networks and devices. The team monitors the log, investigates alerts, and verifies every security event.
  • On-site consulting. Not every organization needs an MSSP to take care of all security aspects. Some organizations already have an in-house team that handles most security needs. But an MSSP may provide on-site consulting where experts look over your security protocols and secure any vulnerabilities.
  • Network perimeter management. Network perimeter management is about protecting the edges of your network. With remote work, it’s gotten harder to define where the perimeter is because now the perimeter is essentially everywhere. An MSSP can help your organization secure your perimeter, even with remote work.


Both an MSP and MSSP provide third-party outsourced services to an organization, but they differ in focus. An MSP is a managed services provider, which means that the team provides a variety of IT support and services. An MSP may provide your organization with telecommunications or software-as-a-service (SaaS). MSPs also typically are more reactive without 24/7 monitoring of a network or system. Your organization will often need to contact an MSP for a specific need. That works well for SaaS needs, but it could put you behind with security.

An MSSP is a security service provider, so they only provide security services specifically. Security is their focus, and they provide a security operations center with 24/7 monitoring. The goal of an MSSP is to be proactive and find and eliminate threats before they can grow into full-blown attacks and breaches. An MSP may partner with an MSSP to provide a wider range of services.

Benefits of Using a Managed Security Service Provider

Every organization is expected to protect data and to comply with regulations, but not every company has the budget or team to make that a simple part of operations. That’s where an MSSP can provide invaluable support that benefits your organization. These are some of the main benefits of using an MSSP:

  • Access to expert security professionals. If your organization doesn’t have an in-house security team, the value of access to experts can’t be understated. Even if your organization does have a security team, having access to expert security professionals can help your organization react quickly to advanced and complex threats. Whatever your security plan looks like, it’s always beneficial to have a team of experts working alongside you.
  • Constant data-security. With 24/7 monitoring, MSSPs can provide constant security support to help your organization protect its data. Few in-house teams are able to provide constant data-security efforts, so an MSSP eases the burdens of having to try to manage that yourself. Plus if your in-house team clocks out at the end of the day, you’re leaving your data vulnerable. An MSSP can fill in that gap and ensure constant security.
  • Improved security maturity. New, small, or medium-sized businesses often don’t have the security maturity to handle the modern security landscape, especially with the growth of remote work. An MSSP provides the mature security response necessary.
  • Improves security tool management. Some organizations solve security problems by selecting a new security solution tool. But when there are many tools all trying to work together, it can create a complicated situation for your in-house security team to work with. An MSSP, on the other hand, provides a centralized solution to security and manages tools for your organization.
  • Reduce IT costs. Building and supplying an IT security team is costly, especially when changes in the industry happen. But an MSSP provides services at a set price that your organization can always plan for.
  • Compliance support. Following regulations is crucial when it comes to security and data. Compliance is also time consuming. An MSSP can take care of compliance and ensure that your organization is following all relevant regulations.

Fill Your Managed Security Service Needs with Ontinue ION

An MSSP is a powerful way to help manage your security needs. But the key is to find a managed security service provider that offers extensive services and strong security solutions. Ontinue ION MXDR is nonstop protection that’s extensive and fast.

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