How to Choose a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)

Recently CAT’s COO joined a panel of expert Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs), to discuss the challenges of running a security practice during a pandemic. It made us reflect on what makes a great MSSP?

During a time when most organisations have shifted their employee base from the office to the home, they’ve also rapidly migrated their data online and to the cloud to support remote working. But this rapid transformation meant many businesses did not adequately prepare or secure their critical data, leaving holes in security controls and gaps in information security hygiene that have allowed ransomware, phishing and other threats to flourish.

While organisations might have turned to their IT team or a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to ensure their IT systems are operational, they probably didn’t understand that an MSSP offers true security as a service, ensuring your people, process and technology are safe, secure and compliant.

In order to plug the holes and gaps from this data exodus — and to help organisations establish and maintain a strong security posture — an MSSP can be the answer many businesses seek.

What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

An MSSP enables organisations to outsource the monitoring and management of their security devices and systems. This may include on-premise IT infrastructure; public, private and hybrid cloud services; security tools (firewalls and antivirus); and applications that contain key business information or data. The right MSSP will provide a high-level of support to an organisation, constantly monitoring their digital environment to proactively ensure threats have minimal to no impact on the day to day operations of the business.

Benefits of an MSSP

There are many benefits of engaging an MSSP for organisations of all sizes. 

MSSP Benefit #1: Address Your GRC Concerns

Cybersecurity, or more accurately, information security is not just an IT issue, but focuses on data protection and privacy – it’s about Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Any MSSP worth considering ensures that your organisation understands its risks and implements measures to enable you to remain secure and compliant. This drives good governance and collectively this GRC approach to information security is critical to your success.

MSSP Benefit #2: Real-time Detection & Incident Response

For businesses without some form of internal or managed security capability, the average time before a data breach is discovered and contained is 281 days. An MSSP acts as your 24/7 eyes and ears in the cybersecurity landscape, you should expect them to respond to incidents and threats immediately.

MSSP Benefit #3: Operational Expertise

An MSSP enables organisations to have access to a suite of experienced cyber and information security specialists and technologies, without having to worry about finding and retaining staff given skills shortages or including them in headcount and annual budgets.  

MSSP Benefit #4: Minimise Costs 

Outsourcing has long been accepted as a means to reduce the costs of non-core functions and provide access to skilled resources.  Considering 90% of Australian businesses have faced some kind of security breach in the past year that can run into the millions of dollars, not only in remediation efforts but also regulatory fines, an MSSP can help save money and time in the long run. 

MSSP Benefit #5: Speed to deploy

By using an MSSP, your organisation can quickly and easily enhance your security maturity without the need for long onboarding and training requirements. An MSSP can hit the ground running with their already established offering, ensuring your security posture can be improved and 

What to look for when selecting an MSSP

There are several key factors to successfully choose an MSSP for the needs of your business:

  • Vertical specialisation: Ensure the MSSP has expertise and experience within your organisation’s vertical — for example, some MSSP focus solely in Professional Services while others cover the full gamut.
  • All-in-one service: Choose a trusted security partner that is more than just an MSSP, ensuring they can support your maturity journey with consulting services, training and awareness programs, and gap assessments, to name a few — this will ensure every aspect of your information security approach is covered.
  • Outcomes-focused: The right MSSP will offer your business tangible recommendations and outcomes that will help improve your cybersecurity posture. They will need to translate your risk into actionable roadmaps.
  • Trusted partner: As your MSSP will become your eyes and ears in the cyber landscape, you need to ensure they truly understand your business needs, are the right cultural fit, and are focused on helping your business achieve its goals.

Why choose Cyber Audit Team?

Cyber Audit Team is 100% focused on information and data security — and protecting your business, brand, reputation, and digital assets against internal and external risks across the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

We offer a complete suite of services that go beyond the traditional MSSP approach. Our focus is on small to medium businesses and providing enterprise solutions that are practical, affordable and deliver great value and ROI. Our flexible solutions are tailored to your business no matter where you are in your information security journey and we can help with everything from assessments to incident response. Our team, relationships, and how we work to understand our customer context is key to our approach.

If you’re considering how an MSSP could benefit you, get in touch with our specialists today to discuss your specific requirements.

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