Key questions to help identify the right managed cyber security service for your business

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is an organisation that specialises in providing the support and advice businesses need to improve their cyber security. Businesses not only use MSSPs for their specialist skills and knowledge but to help bridge the shortfall in cybersecurity professionals and because outsourcing can be much more cost effective.

There are many different types of managed security services, which are tailored to businesses with different security needs and resources. Here are five key questions to help identify the best type of MSSP for your organisation.

How large is your in-house security team?

The size of your in-house security/IT team could have a key bearing on the type of security service required. If your organisation has either a small in-house security team, or even none at all, then it is likely that you will be in need of a service that encompasses a broad range of support, including everything from 24/7 security monitoring to vulnerability management and incident response.

If you have a large in-house security operation then it’s likely you’ll want a managed service to augment your current security team and support specific functions. For instance, you might be in need of an outsourced team that can help with out-of-hours network monitoring and/or focus on more proactive aspects of security such as threat hunting. Choosing an MSSP to help reduce the heavy lifting will help you to reduce security fatigue amongst your team members and free them up to focus on patch management, incident response, and other strategic activities.

Are you currently utilising any threat detection technologies?

The level and type of security technologies that your organisation has in place will have a major bearing on the type of managed service it will benefit from the most. Some MSSPs just won’t have expertise and knowledge to manage all the technologies your organisation uses, such as its firewall, and intrusion detection, SIEM, and Endpoint Detection and Response systems.

“The advanced and evolving nature of cyber threats means that all businesses, even those with the best preventive security controls in place, are susceptible to data breaches. To fully mitigate the risk, having the capability to identify and eliminate attacks that evade perimeter defences is now essential.” (MDR specialists, Redscan)

If your organisation lacks the security technology it needs, then a specialist Managed detection and response company, providing the latest threat detection and response technology as part of the overall service could be a better solution. An MDR provider will be able to deploy their technology stack quickly, providing the security protection you need in weeks rather than months.

What infrastructure do you currently have in place?

It is also important to think about your business’ infrastructure and digital transformation plans. For instance, if your organisation makes use of a wide variety of cloud-based infrastructure and services, then it is essential that your managed services provider has the capability to ensure that the data and assets in these environments is fully protected and monitored.

Cloud security demands specialist skills and there are some service providers that simply will not have the skillset and experience to be able to offer the technology and defences you need.

Do you need support with incident response?

The level of incident response offered can be an important differentiator between many managed security services. There are many providers that will offer very limited support in terms of incident response – this might mean providing notification of security incidents, but offering very little support and advice alongside it.

A service offering a minimal incident response capability may be acceptable if your organisation has good in-house security knowledge, but for many businesses it simply will not be enough. Many organisations need a managed service that can provide sufficient contextual and remedial support to help in-house teams respond quickly, assist with on-premises support, plus automatically block and contain threats when they are identified.

Do you have bespoke risk reporting requirements?

Compliance requirements are increasing for all business, and this means that there is often a need to regularly keep internal and external stakeholders informed about security risks.

If your organisation is keen to record and track key metrics then reporting should be a key consideration when choosing a managed security service. Some MSSP have minimal reporting capabilities. Others will be able to create bespoke reports that are aligned to regulations such as the GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA and SOX.

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