The advantages of partnering with an MSSP

Issue 1 2022 Information Security

Outsourcing to an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) or building an internal SOC (Security Operations Centre), each comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. The aim of both is to enhance your cybersecurity, develop your systems and protect your data, processes and people. However, knowing which strategy to take can be a hard decision to make, especially if you are unsure of what each approach requires in the first place.

What is a SOC?

A SOC is defined as a ‘centralised unit that deals with security issues on an organisational and technical level’. It acts as a facility that stores the information used to monitor and analyse a network or business’s security posture. It usually comprises of a team of analysts who detect, analyse and respond to cyber threats, alerts and incidents.

What is an MSSP?

A MSSP is a provider who supplies a multitude of different security services, such as MDR, XDR, Firewall Management, Vulnerability Management, EDR and more, to enhance the security of a business. Usually at the heart of an MSSP is a SOC, which is available 24/7, run by expert engineers and analysts and costs a fraction of the price for customers to make use of than it would to build an inhouse SOC. An MSSP can ensure that you are legally compliant, help mitigate threats and reduce costly disaster repairs if attacked. But, most importantly, an MSSP will support your foundations, so that businesses can keep on growing, without the constant worry that security will cause its collapse.

Both strategies will enhance your security posture. But choosing the right one usually comes down to the skills, people, processes and price involved. There are many benefits to both options.

Key benefits of building your own SOC

For organisations with a larger budget, creating a SOC can be an appealing concept. With a sizeable financial plan, building your own SOC will give you a great deal of autonomy and control of how you want your SOC team to run and the features used to support your business.

Some key benefits include the following:

• Build your own team. It takes a minimum of 11 security experts to run a SOC, 24/7, 365 days a year. The people are at the heart of each security operation and usually are comprised of level 1 to level 4 analysts. By running your own SOC, you hire your own team of experts to manage and deliver your security, which means you have all the autonomy in forming your team and creating positions responsible for various networks.

• Partner with who you want. Being responsible for your own environment means that you hold a large amount of control over what you want to implement and the technology partners you want to merge with.

• Logs are held locally by you, and you would have the ability to tailor your SIEM solution to your specific needs.

• Recurring revenue: if you have your own SOC, clients stay with you, often for years.

Key benefits of using an MSSP

However, if you do not have the time to create, hire and train a whole SOC team, or you do not have the budget for such a venture, an MSSP is a more realistic option that can provide the same results and save you time and money in the process.

The benefits of partnering with an MSSP includes:

• Expert SOC analysts. Highly trained analysts are not only rare, but expensive. By using an MSSP and the experts that are dedicated to assisting you, you save money and the time it would take to hire and retain talent.

• Round the clock service. An MSSP provides full security 24/7, every day of the year, regardless of holidays, working schedules or natural disasters. 24/7 means supported by humans, not automated machines so that you have someone to help no matter when or where.

• Rapid response and SLA. Your MSSP should have a hotline number if you suspect an incident. They should also have an app you can contact the team directly on and a designated service delivery manager to call upon once signed up. Your provider must have an SLA agreement and that must detail the speed of response and the commitment to that.

• Disaster recovery. Be it natural disaster or cyber threat, the right MSSP will help you plan for all instances. That way data remains secure from both sides and business can carry on as usual, regardless of the circumstances.

• Continual support. If your employees are continually dealing with security issues themselves and can’t get on with their actual jobs, an MSSP provides fast answers to security questions, to respond to threats quickly.

• Proactive not reactive. With an MSSP, experts will be able to push your business to continually make the right updates and pro-actively search out issues, before the issues are found by the wrong people and used against the business.

• Third-party partnerships maintained. Your MSSP should already have the right processes in place as part of the package. This not only saves you time tracking down providers but ensures that the right tools are used in the right way.

• Realistic budget. The right MSSP will discuss and provide options for your security needs, alongside your own workforce and explore what yearly planning looks like for your business to save money and improve efficiency. They should also provide a fixed pricing, you need a single point of contact not only technically with delivery, but also commercially.

What to do going forward

Whatever solution you opt for, always keep in mind that the output should improve business efficiency by saving you time, by utilising the right resources and put into action the services most appropriate for you.

If you don’t know where to start, or what to look for in an MSSP, read more in Choosing Your Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). 7 Steps to Consider.

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