Should Your Organisation Use Managed Security Services?

February 12, 2019 • Blog
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Security threats are unfortunately common in the business world of today, and these threats are only getting more sophisticated.

Compounding the issue is the complexity of businesses themselves. As digital transformation continues in all industries, there has never been more potential for vulnerabilities in your technology systems.

To combat these threats, businesses of all sizes are resorting to external Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) to shore up their defences through Managed Security Services (MSS).

MSSPs provide outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems through a range of services, such as Managed Detection and Response, Vulnerability Management and Endpoint Security Services.

Outsourcing your security makes sense for a number of reasons. In addition to always having access to security skills, an MSSP typically focuses exclusively on protecting businesses from a variety of threats that could negatively impact organisations. Leveraging highly sophisticated security tools, MSSPs can prevent attacks from getting into your environment, and reduce the impact if they do.

But is MSS required for your business?

Before appointing a provider to manage your security, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why are you considering MSS?

Before contracting an MSS provider, the first question to ask is what you need from the service.

Are you worried about the security of particular technology systems that your business relies on to run? Do you have important information that must be protected? Are you looking to achieve PCI compliance? Different MSSPs will offer different outcomes, so understanding what your requirements are will ensure you find the right match.

Understanding what you need to secure in your organisation will help you determine what needs to be included in the service. For instance, if you require threat detection and security management, it’s important that you understand the abilities and limitations of your provider’s security analysts.

  1. Do you already have some security tools in place?

Most organisations should have the basics in place, such as firewalls and the latest antivirus software.

Beyond these tools, what else does your organisation have covered? Vulnerability scanning and monitoring for network intrusions is becoming common place among many organisations. And if you have these tools, who manages them?

Another decision to make is whether you want to maintain management of your current tools, or whether you need your MSSP to take it over.

Finally, you should decide whether you’re looking to add security measures beyond what you currently have in place.

Different MSSPs specialise in different areas, and security experts like Loop Secure can support you in defining a package that works best for your business.

  1. What is your budget?

As expected, the question of budget needs to be answered, as different services will have different financial implications.

Beyond basic management of security tools, different levels of engagement will impact costs. For example, having someone investigate and respond to security incidents will cost you extra.

To keep costs under control, you may have staff with the skills needed to manage some of your security services. This will require you to evaluate what skills you have on your own team and how much time those employees have to dedicate to your security goals.

If your IT team has someone with experience in security, you need to strongly scrutinise their available time. Security will often take a back seat until there is a major issue to react to.

In addition, many organisations are underfunded when it comes to their security budget. This is often due to a lack of proper risk management processes and / or security strategy.

Risk management helps identify cyber risks that the business cares about and should inform the organisations cyber security strategy. Following these industry best practices will ensure that the business is spending the right amount of money on security in order to manage actual cyber risks.

MSSPs can then be asked to deliver specific outcomes to manage these risks.

  1. What does your network architecture look like?

Does most of your environment sit it in the cloud, or do you still maintain much of your environment on premise?

Depending on what your network architecture looks like, you’ll need an MSSP who can provide services for that particular architecture.

Ultimately, the need to appoint an MSSP for your organisation depends on the security needs of your business and the resources and tools you currently have in place. In any event, there is no panacea for managing your security. It’s always challenging to assess what mix of security tools, people and processes you need to effectively manage your risk.

Get in touch with Loop Secure if you’d like advice in defining your security needs, and whether an MSSP is the right move for your business.

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Security Specialist

Tesserent is a full-service cybersecurity and secure cloud services provider, partnering with clients from all industries and all levels of government. Let’s talk.

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