What MSSP Services Should You Expect From Your Security Partner?

Be Sure That Your Managed Security Services Partner Is Offering What You Deserve

 

MSSP Services Vary Significantly From One Provider to the Next

MSSP services are rising in prominence. Cybersecurity is increasingly one of the most pressing issues for small and midsize businesses.

Data and information security ranks as the third biggest budget priority for SMBs—unsurprising when you consider that nearly half of all cyberattacks target them.

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) are stepping in to meet the demand, with SMBs more and more frequently turning to them to fulfill their network security needs.

The global market for managed security services was $24 billion last year—by 2023, it is expected to have nearly doubled to almost $48 billion

Executives and decision makers are turning to MSSPs because they can provide a wealth of experience, expertise, and solutions for an affordable, fixed fee.

That being said, not all MSSPs are born equal.

We’re going to be taking a look at what you should be expecting when bringing a partner on board and the quality of service a stand-out provider will be able to offer your organization.

The Core Components of a Quality Cybersecurity Offering

Audit & Vulnerability Assessment

One of the most crucial immediate steps in your partnership will be a vulnerability assessment conducted to scan your organization’s network for any weak points that need addressing.

With scanning tools and interviews, MSSP services can determine where vulnerabilities are in your internal and customer-facing networks and recommend changes and projects to help your business mitigate potential harm and give you the protection you need.

After these changes have been addressed, additional vulnerability scans can be conducted to ensure that the new changes have achieved the desired results.

Regular, scheduled scans are a major part of a comprehensive security plan.

For many organizations, difficulties lie in not being able to fully understand what threats they face and how to counter them.

Worse still, a company may have implemented a security tool, but simply ignore issues because they don’t know how to act on them or are unsure of their meaning.

40% of in-house IT security professionals ignore alerts they receive because the information they are given is not actionable, while 32% ignore warnings because of so-called “alert fatigue”—inundations of red flags they don’t know how to address

This can lead to a messy approach to cybersecurity, wherein SMBs are effectively guessing what’s best for their security operations.

Quality MSSP services will be able to help in these scenarios by providing actionable recommendations keeping on top of every threat and vulnerability in your network with a clear plan of action.

Perimeter Safeguarding

Your network perimeter is the boundary between your private-facing network (usually intranet), and your public-facing network (usually internet).

Perimeters have changed a lot in recent years; for most modern businesses the concept of a perimeter is far more abstract than many are typically familiar with.

Internet of Things technology means users connect to networks through a wide range of devices that need accounting for and cloud technology has drastically decreased the amount of on-site servers that businesses have to maintain.

These present entirely new security challenges for SMBs.

MSSP services should be able to offer a strong unified threat management package for your perimeter defense.

This will protect your network from any incoming threats and block malware in real-time.

In addition to safeguarding with threat management, you can also utilize a web application firewall (WAF) to inspect web traffic.

A WAF gives you complete web-centric coverage, reviewing encrypted traffic and securing your site from damaging attacks such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

components of next gen antivirus graphic

Endpoint Protection

Endpoint security means securing devices that connect to your network in any capacity, whether it’s workstations, mobile devices, or printers.

The rise and prevalence of IoT devices and dramatically increased the amount of endpoints that operate in the networks of modern businesses.

Many of these endpoints are simply overlooked by SMBs in their security strategies.

Printers, for example, can pose a severe cybersecurity threat if they are not adequately protected—which they often are not.

Your endpoints should be protected by a next-gen antivirus solution; preventing malicious executables and fileless attacks and exploits in your systems.

Related Post: What Is Next-Gen Antivirus?

In addition, your security provider should be providing a solution with persistence protection.

Hackers have used persistence techniques to gain footholds in the network infrastructures of businesses since the 90s.

Your MSSPs endpoint security stack should include a solution which protects against malware persistence by rigorously analyzing metadata from applications which start on boot-up or user login.

Number of IoT devices worldwide graphic

Data Flow

The protection of data that flows in and out of your organization is one of the most important considerations of your security strategy.

This includes data that you send, and data received by everyone in your workforce.

As you will already know, it can difficult to keep a handle on the sheer amount of data flow in a business.

That’s why you need a quality protection module for all your sensitive information.

Azure Information Protection is a good example of this type of solution.

90% of all data in the world has been generated in the last two years. SMBs have more data flow in their organizations than ever before

Data can be classified and labelled based on sensitivity in a system that is fully automated, ensuring continued protection for data flow, regardless of where it is or who has ownership of it.

This ensures safe handling of data across your entire organization, drastically reducing the possibility of unsecured data finding its way into the place.

You should also expect MSSP services to utilize advanced solution which can protect from incoming spam information.

Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated in their spam attacks, and the statistics shed light on the danger posed to SMBs by targeted phishing attacks.

Authentication

Verifying that the right users are accessing your network is a crucial aspect of your cybersecurity strategy.

It is advisable to have a secure credential management system which protects your passwords with solid methods of encryption.

A good management system will often be centrally stored in a cloud server, allowing easy storing and retrieving of passwords but providing a rock-solid protection mechanism.

Related Post: What Is Cyber Hygiene?

A quality authentication solution can give your provider the ability to monitor and report on the integrity of your network access.

Who’s logging into your system; the complexity (and security) of user credentials; and insights into usage—allowing you to take appropriate decisions on your user account security.

If you want to be even more secure, you can expect your MSSP services to offer solutions with multi-factor authentication (MFA) for added security, common in today’s security world.

MFA is a secure way of protecting your organization against attack methods like phishing and brute-force attacks.

It strengthens your security by adding an entirely new layer of protection to user accounts.

data security graphic

Backup & Recovery

Being the victim of a cyberattack can be potentially fatal for an SMB.

They are very costly—not just in terms of money, but also reputation—and are a nightmare for businesses.

93% of businesses that suffer a major data breach go out of business with one year.

Downtime is expensive and should be mitigated at all costs.

Having a strong disaster recovery plan for your company data is of vital importance for a modern organization.

With only 27% of businesses prepared for business continuity and a third of businesses not testing their disaster recovery plans at all, there is a clear trend of SMBs not employing a strong strategy to counter cyberattacks.

MSSP services should be able to offer you a secure and comprehensive backup plan for all your data.

This means duplicate images of all aspects of your OS, including all applications, able to be delivered to you in a timely manner so an engineer can restore your systems and get you back up and running.

These solutions can be offered physically and virtually in the cloud.

If your data is backed up with a cloud solution, your operations can be restored instantaneously.

Related Post: Why a Disaster Recovery Plan Is Vital for SMBs

Cloud options can be backed up as regularly as every 15 minutes—even outside of business hours.

Local server backups can be conducted hourly within business hours.

Monitoring

This is one of the most critical components that good MSSP services can offer you.

Your partner should have full visibility into your systems and users in order to have a full understanding of your security functions and the health of your network on a constant basis.

This means they should be utilizing solutions that support continuous monitoring, proactively alerting your dedicated vCIO about potential threats so they can be addressed before it turns into a major problem.

Threats will often be dealt with by the MSSP before anything is noticed by the client at all.

You can also expect your MSSP to use an analytics solution which aggregates, indexes, and analyzes security data in order to detect behavioral inconsistencies in an organization’s network.

Your partner should be operating a detection and response strategy.

This means that if an anomaly or issue is found, they will investigate and determine the root cause of the threat.

Then they will respond and help mitigate against these threats in the future.

Services

Finally, your MSSP partner should be just that—a partner.

This means they should take an active role in ensuring that your security technology stack is used to its full capability.

Time and time again, employees prove to be the weak link in network security.

Both malicious and accidental, staff are often poorly equipped to know how best practices are undertaken with regards to cybersecurity

An MSSP should be in a position to offer training and consultation to your workforce to ensure that necessary precautions are taken by every user operating in your network.

Impact Networking’s Managed Security program provides vital cybersecurity protection for clients, keeping their minds at ease in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by our security experts.

We’ve vetted 100s of vendors to ensure that our program utilizes best-in-class solutions for our clients. In today’s landscape, a comprehensive cybersecurity program has never been more important. Learn more about Impact’s offering here.