Top 5 Benefits Of A Managed Security Service Provider

Swami Nathan Mon, 12/30/2019 - 16:06

Executives are frustrated by the possibility of hack, enforcement, collapsing technology budgets and failing to understand what information security really is and how best to manage it. An increasingly challenging approach for companies is to work with a managed security service provider (MSSP) to enable their security departments to protect their sensitive assets and data with the staff, processes and technology.

The following benefits are provided by association with an MSSP:

  • Superior Protection
  • Cost Savings
  • Focus on Business
  • Security Experts
  • Advanced technology

Despite massive breaches affecting numerous organisations over the past several years, including assaults on blue-chip corporations such as Target and Home Depot, government agencies such as OPM and the CIA, and a who’s who of other organisations spanning sectors and geographies, the real costs to the organisations themselves have not seemed to be that high… so far.

CEOs lost their jobs and were criticised by the U.S. Senate, stock prices have fallen, products have been discarded by consumers and doors locked by companies.

We have collected five important explanations why MSSPs are becoming an increasingly popular option for companies seeking to protect their data environments.

1. MSSPs Offer Superior Protection

Security tools and technologies in many organisations can produce up to 2.7 billion activities every month from their security tools, including logins, uploads, and others. A small fraction of these are real threats, fewer than one in a million. More than 31 percent of research respondents in a security research study reported avoiding notifications entirely because they feel that so many warnings are false positives, and more than 40 percent believed that the alerts they receive lacked actionable intelligence.

Many companies use up to 20 different solutions for cybersecurity and almost half use more than 6. Most of these solutions have integration problems creating costly, ineffective data silos that almost always create additional threats to security. MSSPs usually provide integrated technical solutions that incorporate best-of-breed technology that has been designed with businesses of all shapes and sizes over time by specialists. Most significantly, MSSPs have scope and can spread the fixed cost of their investment in technology across a large customer base, thus passing the savings on to the customer.

MSSPs implement state-of – the-art, advanced security solutions that have often been deployed in different geographies across many companies dealing with a range of threats. In addition, the services offered by MSSPs continue to evolve, including endpoint protection, vulnerability testing, web application vulnerability detection, firewall management, reporting, tracking, and configuration management, just to name a few. New offers continue to be introduced, such as Center-as – a-Service Security Operations, Deception, or Cyber Risk Hunt Operations, all of which have risen in deployments over the past year. Most MSSPs leverage advanced technologies or capabilities, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the intelligence of dark web cyber threat.  Such skills are a major driver of MSSP collaboration. 24 percent reported wanting to outsource protection to improve performance in a survey of 400 SMEs in the United States and the United Kingdom. Those intending to use an MSSP (23 percent) indicated in another global survey of 1,350 decision makers that lack of internal expertise (31 percent) and a desire for better technology access (27 percent) were the drivers of migration.

Creating a layered or defence-in-depth approach that efficiently protects the enterprise is even the most difficult challenge for companies with the budgets to buy the latest and greatest technologies. Strong defensive programmes develop countermeasures of protection and incorporation into their own perimeter, endpoints, internal network, and data. Also, these multiple layers of tools are hard to synchronise and produce their own logs and notifications and data, which then become very difficult to compile and analyse. MSSPs manage this phase of standardisation smoothly and can overcome the aggregation, correlation and alarm tuning problem.

The bottom line is that in the vast majority of cases, consultants who provide controlled security support services are more effective than in-house security teams in protecting organisations. In addition, quality MSSPs offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that provide their customers with guidance on incident response times and other guarantees in the event of any security incidents. Such obligations have resulted in many companies seeking protection from an MSSP and moving the burden away from the company to a professional third party.

2. Outsourcing to a Managed Security Provider Allows Cost Savings

Construction and maintenance of new cyber security systems are costly. The above-mentioned devices and capabilities frequently require specialised hardware or equipment to run, and often include an annual cost of licencing. In fact, the expense is attributed to the staff salaries and training required to use the new tools. MSSPs help organisations to substitute substantial, regular capital spending associated with investing in new cyber security technologies and capabilities with stable, ongoing operating costs.

Therefore, corporations can use an MSSP to provide 247 coverage for a fraction of the cost. When factoring in total security costs–in particular recruiting or training cybersecurity staff to maintain the latest technologies (cybersecurity wages are rising at nearly 7 percent and often beginning at $100,000+) –MSSPs can provide an immediate return on investment (ROI) for companies that decide between developing a security infrastructure internally and contracting an MSSP. A recent CompTIA study reported that 46% of managed IT service users had reduced their annual IT costs by 25% or more.

Staffing problems are a common savings area. This alone can be a challenge in a profession that is projected to have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. MSSPs can provide the personnel and various security expertise by sharing the costs to a large client base and delivering a managed service so that each customer does not have to bear the costs alone. Migration to a network security MSSP generated a ROI of 152 percent, with total cost savings of $1.3 million over 3 years, in a new Forrester research report. MSSPs also provide businesses with access to resources and infrastructure in the case of smaller organisations that would be financially impossible to build in-house.

3. Delegating Cybersecurity to an MSSP to Focus on Business

The security community has wondered when organisations are going to take seriously protecting their clients, staff, and records. Historically, managers have passed this issue down to their CISO, IT Security Managers, or other staff, all while pleading incompetent when a violation took place under their watch. As suggested earlier, this year has proved to be a turning point and their boards and stakeholders are pushing executives to show the company is being covered.

In many companies, the problem has become so critical that the security diversion has shifted the focus of business leaders from carrying out the company’s goal of making money and serving their customers for establishing a viable security organisation. As the best security experts say, “Amateurs mitigate risk, professionals manage risk.” What this means is that there will always be risks and it is not possible to eliminate all risks, but risk must be handled in a cost-effective manner that is consistent with business goals.

Cybersecurity needs to support the organization’s mission, reduce, move or embrace threats, and pass risks on to leadership. Too often, cybersecurity professionals get wrapped up in the latest and largest tools, implementing security in the interests of security and disconnecting from real business needs. The need to balance security needs with business goals has challenged large and small IT organisations for a long time. As the sophistication of threats continues to increase, companies have been challenged and stressed by defensive capability requirements.

Capabilities such as big data analytics, obscure site tracking, or advanced threat anomaly detection can be time-sinks for companies–distracting from core missions and high-risk. Partnership with an MSSP is one way for companies to reduce the complexities associated with maintaining a cybersecurity system, allowing their executives to concentrate solely on core business needs from the fear of breaking back.

Ultimately, security is not a technical issue; it is a business issue and must be managed in order to maintain a laser focus on the organization’s mission for the business and its executives. The company exists to serve clients, protect and involve its workers, and provide its shareholders with value.

4. Benefiting from MSSPs’ Security Experts

One critical point that business leaders have learned over the past few years is that security of information is more than technology. It’s the people, processes and technology, as we’ve heard repeatedly, and unfortunately the process piece appears to get lost on so many business leaders. When implementing a security programme, businesses need to align the programme with business needs, understand the business ‘ risk tolerance, put in place ISO, NIST, or CSC controls, set goals as to how their organisation should manage the controls, and ultimately how to improve their overall security posture without over-expenditure.

Most industries are threatened by issues unique to the sector. Retail companies often have to comply with the PCI DSS, a complex set of security controls that includes access management, endpoint protection, and safe development. Healthcare providers must comply with the Privacy and Security Code of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Publicly traded companies are required to meet the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).

These are just a few of the regulatory issues that are common to the industry. Every industry faces various risks, challenges and threats. Insider threats challenge the confidentiality of patient data in the healthcare industry. Businesses in financial services need to protect confidential financial information and meet a variety of regulatory requirements. Manufacturing, government, and transportation sectors form the five most cyber-attacked industries, each with a somewhat specific set of challenges to address, including ICS and SCADA security issues.

Quality MSSPs provide business support not only to meet compliance needs, but also to tailor their cybersecurity programme to each industry’s unique needs and risks. Quality MSSPs have consultants whose expertise is to implement controls, manage risk, and develop custom IT security strategies to meet business objectives.

Creating an information security system, putting in place controls, testing those controls against a norm, handling vulnerabilities, and performing penetration tests all require a range of technical skills usually possessed by a number of hard-earned people. MSSPs can build an information security programme by plugging in specialists with the greatest needs of the organisation.

MSSPs are able to maximise return on investment while addressing the most pressing threats and needs by tailoring cybersecurity services to the highest risks and compliance requirements specific to each company.

5. Taking Advantage of Managed Security Providers’ Advanced Technology

The technology they use to secure their consumers is rooted in a crucial benefit of an MSSP. While the technology that fills RSA and Blackhat halls is the leading edge, as we suggested earlier, none of it offers a silver bullet, and even the best-of-breed layered security solutions have been compromised.

Not only will MSSPs have operated and tested most of this technology, they will also either build organic solutions from what they’ve tested or integrated into their overall solution. The downside to the companies they represent is that the MSSPs are using technology that suits their clients ‘ needs and their workforce’s skills. In addition, there is no need to turn off bells and whistles and to hire experts to configure and manage the technology.

A premium MSSP goes beyond implementing its own technology to manage and integrate the technology currently being used by the customer. It is important to obtain reports and data from a variety of sources and to normalise the data so that it can be processed and used proactively to detect threats and eradicate vulnerabilities.

Almost every organisation has implemented a layered model of security or defence-in-depth, but best-of-breed technologies are not designed to communicate with each other and every technology leaves gaps that need to be addressed in order to have a bulletproof solution.

MSSPs provide cybersecurity technologies to help companies mitigate the risk of cybersecurity. They do so in many different industries around the globe and for businesses of different sizes. This expertise has helped MSSPs to develop security solutions that can be tailored to a variety of customers and environments. Furthermore, because MSSPs deploy services and solutions and are not in the business of selling boxes and technology, they can use technology to evaluate controls, report gap analyses, measure system and organisational security posture, and red flag critical vulnerabilities that are so often used by sophisticated cyber criminals to attack even the most secure organisations.

Conclusion

Superior protection, cost savings, business focus, security experts and state-of – the-art technology are the five benefits that organisations should expect when looking for information security support outside their organisation. It is the responsibility of managed security service providers to assure their customers that their organisation is protected by integrated, tested and proven technology accompanied by well-defined service level agreements. Cost savings should be provided through the elimination of upfront costs and the provision of predictable regular costs.

While we are not going to highlight the much-debated “60% of all small businesses are out of business 6 months after a hack” that was discussed in Congress, we are going to point out a survey by the Ponemon Institute that notes that 55% of small and medium-sized companies reported experiencing a cyber-attack in the last 12 months, but that only 14% found their security defences to be highly effective.

In a recent survey of 301 U.S. research from 451. Over the next year, 87 percent of IT security professionals announced plans to move to the SaaS model. A separate survey of in-house IT security professionals from February 2017 reported that 86 percent of IT security professionals either already partner or plan to partner with an MSSP to handle many of the responsibilities of the Security Operations Center (SOC) to monitor, analyse and respond to security incidents.

Executives should have the freedom to turn to professionals and motivate their own security teams in order to maintain the organization’s attention on the company and its customers. Therefore, quality-managed security service providers should provide a tailor-made approach from the information security system to controls to regular monitoring and change management, all within a single vision provided by a single expert team. Ultimately, with the amount of organisational assets, different records, and vulnerabilities, the technology needs to be that single glass panel that companies can use to easily track the organization’s security posture and control the system risk.

For a very clear reason, the cybersecurity industry is growing; there are more attacks every year and each infringement seems to be more damaging than the last. We’re at a turning point because organisations are experiencing a dramatically worse outcome from these breaches than previous breaches. That said, this tipping point gives companies an opportunity to look for approaches that are more functional and cost-effective than organically produced. Maybe the 5 advantages outlined in this blog post will provide you with a guide to determine how your company can be covered.

 

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