Organizations of all sizes can outsource their management of security devices and systems to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). For most companies, it is more cost-effective and efficient to outsource security to an MSSP company rather than setting up its own security system and personnel. Read on to learn more about what MSSPs do and some of the top MSSPs on the market today.
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What Is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?
The typical managed security service provider specializes in security monitoring and incident response. They also handle system changes, upgrades, and modifications for their clients’ security ecosystems.
The primary goal of an MSSP is to protect businesses from any type of cybersecurity threat, whether that requires installing certain security software on company computers or training the company’s IT and security personnel on how to respond to cyberattacks. The range of solutions offered by an MSSP can vary, but common solutions include 24/7 security monitoring and onsite security assessments.
MSSPs first appeared in the 1990s, with internet service providers (ISPs) offering their users firewall management services. Over the years, Managed security services has evolved into a specialized field, with several companies offering full-service cybersecurity solutions. The increase in global cybersecurity incidents has increased the demand for MSSPs to help mitigate these crises.
Best Managed Security Service Providers
The cybersecurity industry is constantly evolving, with hackers introducing new techniques for finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the IT systems of companies around the globe. Companies can combat this threat by working with a reputable and reliable MSSP. These are some of the best MSSPs in the market today:
Accenture offers its customers Symantec MSSP, which it acquired in 2020. Key features of MSSP by Accenture include managed application security, security risk, detection and response, cloud security, and digital identity.
Managed application security helps accelerate application release cycles while cloud security helps provide comprehensive security coverage within a client’s cloud environment. The complexity and high price of working with Accenture present some disadvantages, but with its excellent customization tools and usage flexibility, the company remains one of the top MSSPs on the market.
Alert Logic offers an MSSP platform with 24/7 globally distributed security monitoring by hundreds of security experts. It also offers Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solutions in SaaS and on-premises formats. Depending on their specific needs, clients can choose to have a security expert assigned to them for personalized security consulting.
The ease of setup and the scalable, simple pricing model of Alert Logic are some of its key advantages. As far as disadvantages go, Alert Logic’s automation and reporting need some functional improvements. Despite these weaknesses, Alert Logic is a solid MSSP solution for companies of all sizes.
With its variety of security solutions and technologies, Capgemini MSSP offers excellent flexibility for its users. Key features of Capgemini MSSP include data loss prevention, security governance, Cloud SaaS, multi-tenant managed security operations centers (SOCs), and endpoint SaaS.
The variety of solutions offered by Capgemini makes it suitable for use by different types of companies. Customers can choose to have a single point of contact at Capgemini and/or choose to get a customized solution for their needs. A potential con for some users, experts and users have found the reporting and response times of Capgemini MSSP to be lacking.
IBM MSSP offers a variety of solutions for security risk, compliance and strategy consulting, zero trust acceleration services, and identity and access management (IAM). The IBM Security X-Force also has security experts that help with incident response and threat intelligence for the client.
Beyond the obvious benefits of working with one of the most prolific and recognizable tech brands in the world, IBM MSSP also offers an extensive portfolio for intellectual property protection. As far as potential weaknesses are concerned, users have reported some frustration with the user interface of IBM MSSP.
After it acquired AlienVault in 2018, AT&T expanded its services through its AT&T Cybersecurity division. This includes incident response, security monitoring, and investigation. AT&T has eight security operations centers around the globe for uninterrupted security monitoring.
Clients of AT&T MSSP can choose to use its on-premises or cloud solution. The ease of deployment, excellent global coverage, and range of services are major strengths of AT&T’s MSSP. In contrast, experts have pointed to customer service as its major weakness.
UK-headquartered Deloitte offers a variety of MSSP features, including security information and event management (SIEM), vulnerability management, and onsite security operations. It also offers cybersecurity advisory services through leading experts in the MSSP space.
The strategic vision and international scale of Deloitte MSSP are regarded as its biggest strengths, while there is some room for improvement in its device management and support features.
With 15 SOCs around the globe and an extensive range of managed security services, Atos is regarded as one of the most advanced MSSPs available on the market. It offers solutions for public, private, or hybrid networks on the cloud and on-premises. State-of-the-art Atos SOCs utilize AI and big data to optimize their security operations. Atos also offers advanced solutions to detect and counter advanced persistent threats (APTs).
The major advantages of using Atos MSSP are its flexible pricing structure and wide range of security tools and technologies. However, Atos’ features and offerings are geared toward larger companies, which makes it less suitable for small and mid-size companies. There is also some room for improvement in the clarity of its reporting.
With Fujitsu MSSP, clients get identity and access management features, multi-cloud security, industry security, data protection features, and vulnerability management. Through its comprehensive 24/7 security monitoring, Fujitsu offers complete visibility of an organization’s IT infrastructure.
Fujitsu also uses machine learning (ML) and advanced analytics to monitor, detect, investigate, and report on any type of cybersecurity threat. Fujitsu’s high-touch technology management tools and its excellent flexibility in service delivery options are the major advantages of working with this MSSP. As for disadvantages, the limited capabilities of its managed security services (MSS) are regarded as its weak point in an otherwise excellent MSSP solution.
MSSP Market and Use Cases
MSSPS are offered through different types of pricing models, including per user, per device, flat fee, monitoring only, or a la carte. Common services offered by MSSPs include intrusion detection, managed firewall protection, antivirus services, virtual private network (VPN) management, spam blocking, and vulnerability scanning. In most cases, an MSSP provides incident response through their security operations centers.
MSSPs are being used by companies of all sizes, although they are most commonly used by large and medium-sized enterprises. Some high-profile cyber attacks, including those that have resulted in millions of damages in ransomware, have increased global interest in working with MSSPS.
MSSPs should not be confused with MSPs, or managed service providers, which offer general IT and network support, such as SaaS or telecommunications platforms. They do not provide specialized security services, although they may offer some security functionality as part of their service portfolio.
What Do Managed Security Service Providers Do?
Companies can outsource their IT and network security work to MSSPs, which offer a variety of solutions; continued security monitoring, threat intelligence, access control, and video surveillance are some common solutions. In some cases, MSSPs can also help companies make or change their IT and network security policies to maximize security for a company’s IT infrastructure.
These are some of the most common categories of services offered by MSSPs:
This type of MSSP work involves everything from day-to-day security monitoring to security incident response. MSSPs monitor access control and user logins, generate security incident reports, and investigate any unusual events through the network.
MSSPs also resell third-party hardware, software, and services to their clients. This is a major revenue generation channel for the MSSP, but it also benefits clients with a larger variety of security products to choose from.
For example, clients can choose to buy intrusion prevention systems through MSSPs. Technical support or after-sales support can be provided by the MSSPs or vendors, as well. In some cases, security solutions sold by MSSPs are a combination of products from multiple vendors.
Whether a company needs onsite security assessments or wants to get expert advice on how to boost its security network, MSSPs offer a variety of consulting solutions. Onsite consulting offered by MSSPs can identify potential vulnerabilities in the IT network and help the company fix these issues.
An IT perimeter separates a company’s internal IT assets from public ones, acting as a line of defense against external cyberattacks. MSSPs can help set up and manage IT perimeters to limit access to company data, prevent hacking into the system, and manage access control.
Companies often hire MSSPs for compliance monitoring to ensure a company is compliant with cybersecurity policies and procedures. Compliance monitoring frequently includes periodic scanning of security infrastructure, software, and hardware. MSSPs can monitor data storage and transmission to ensure the process is safe and secure.
Most MSSPs offer penetration testing and vulnerability assessment services. This can include ethical hacking of a company’s devices or network to identify any vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. With penetration testing, MSSPs attempt to penetrate the devices or company network using the latest hacking tools and techniques. This simulated cyberattack helps the company and MSSP develop a strategy for defense against a real attack.
Benefits of Working with an MSSP
Implementation of modern and effective security tools
The biggest benefit of using an MSSP is the high level of security these companies offer. They provide advanced solutions that utilize the most up-to-date tools and technologies to keep computers and networks protected from cyberattacks. As MSSPs specialize in cybersecurity, they carry and implement the best cybersecurity solutions available on the market.
Access to security expert perspectives
Another key advantage of working with an MSSP is the security experts who are trained in vetting and deploying advanced security solutions. They can help minimize security risk and can implement customized security strategies for each client. Clients from different industries and backgrounds each have unique security requirements, including industry regulations and compliance, which can be met with customized solutions offered by MSSPs and trained security professionals at these companies.
Potential cost savings
Working with an MSSP also offers cost savings, as the client does not need to employ or invest in additional employees to manage security. With a managed security services partnership, companies can save on salaries, office space, benefits, and training.
The client also saves on security hardware and software, as access to these tools is typically part of the services offered by the MSSP. Although they will charge a fee for their services and the management of these tools, these fees generally add up to less than what the client would have to spend to develop their own security infrastructure.
But the biggest cost saver an MSSP provides is protection against the devastating effects of cyberattacks, such as ransomware, which can result in severe financial damages for the client and its customers.
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