Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the business community. In fact, cyber incidents ranked as the third biggest risk to business in the recent Allianz Risk Barometer survey.

A new report estimates that cybercrime cost the global economy about $1 trillion in 2020. And this figure will only go up in the coming years. But actually, this comes as no surprise given the growing number of cyberattack incidents. For instance, the NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report shows a record 5.4 million DDoS attacks in just the first half of 2021. The 2021 DBIR paints a similarly grim picture of cybercrime prevalence involving social engineering, ransomware, system intrusion, and basic web application attacks, among other tactics.

And it’s not like businesses don’t play their part in combating cybercrime. Organizations spend billions of dollars every year on cybersecurity. It’s just that digital threats are growing more sophisticated, rampant, and unpredictable. So, it’s becoming more and more challenging for businesses to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape. However, businesses are sometimes to blame for data breaches due to poor cybersecurity practices, such as:

  • IT systems and cloud misconfigurations
  • Poor access management
  • Low threat awareness
  • Slow response mechanisms against imminent threats
  • Using unsecured third-party apps, APIs, and services
  • Sharing credentials
  • Managing shadow IT poorly
  • Allowing overprivileged users
  • Poor access point and user protection

Old solutions don’t work on new problems; it’s time for a better approach to cybersecurity—managed security services. Let’s discuss how teaming up with a managed security services provider (MSSP) could eliminate your cybersecurity pain points and improve your security posture.

What does a managed security service provider do?

An MSSP is a third-party security outsourcing company. The MSSP offers oversight and administration over an organization’s security processes. Some managed security providers focus on particular areas, while others cover the entire scope of the IT infrastructure. So, you could have a co-managed or fully managed outsourcing arrangement. A typical MSSP partnership lets you leverage professional security expertise and cutting-edge cybersecurity products and services. These may include:

  • 24/7 IT systems monitoring
  • Threat avoidance, detection, response, and remediation
  • Data backup, disaster recovery, and continuity planning
  • Solutions deployment (firewalls, encryption, advanced user authentication, etc.)
  • Security policies and strategies development
  • Security consultancy
  • Employee training on threat awareness and cybersecurity best practices
  • Security investment costs and ROI optimization
  • Compliance management
  • Network, endpoint, and data security protocols

Ultimately, working with a managed security provider improves every aspect of your organization’s cybersecurity framework, from threat awareness and preparedness to incident response and recovery. You also cut security investment and operations costs in the process.

MSP vs. MSSP: What’s the difference?

A managed services provider (MSP) oversees general IT operations such as networks, servers, and endpoints’ health, performance, and usability. Some MSP’s service scope may cover cybersecurity, but usually not as deeply or comprehensively as an MSSP. On the other hand, a managed security provider focuses solely on cybersecurity. This may seem like splitting hairs, but security operations are very different from everyday IT support and administration. However, you can have a specialized MSP as your security provider too.

Key benefits of managed security services

A recent study found that roughly 70 percent of organizations plan to outsource IT security to an MSSP within 12 months. Reducing costs, relieving workloads, and onboarding security expertise are some of the main drivers behind cybersecurity outsourcing. Here’s is a more in-depth look at the key benefits of partnering with an MSSP:

Multi-layered security framework

Since cybersecurity is a multi-faceted concept, the MSSP covers all the bases. A holistic managed IT security package includes everything from threat deterrence measures and response strategies to ongoing security upkeep (patching and updates management, active monitoring, etc.). An all-rounded cybersecurity approach safeguards your organization against victimization and damages from all possible threats.

Access to specialized skills and tools

The IT industry is in the midst of a severe skill gap. It’s getting harder to fill IT job positions with qualified and reliable talent, especially cybersecurity roles. Partnering with an MSSP is a quick and easy fix to instantly expand and augment your organization’s IT team with highly skilled and vastly experienced professionals.

On top of that, MSSPs allow their clients access to cutting-edge security resources such as firewalls, user behaviour analytics systems, and network surveillance tools. Some of these might be too impractical or expensive for a business to implement independently.

Cost and time-effective approach to security

Many businesses outsource IT processes to third-party contractors in order to cut investment and operational costs. And this is true for managed security. Acquiring all the necessary security infrastructure and running a dedicated in-house security team is a massive and sometimes cost-prohibitive undertaking. Hiring an MSSP eliminates the need for all that. You only have to pay a small annual or monthly fee instead of paying for expensive equipment and salaries.

Working with a managed security services provider also frees your staff to focus on more important tasks. This means you can eliminate labour redundancies, cut costs even further, and put your workforce to better use. Plus, an MSSP is ready to work right off the box; there is no need for time-consuming preliminary formalities.

Guaranteed compliance

Compliance with data safety and privacy regulations is a big headache for businesses handling sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, critical business information, or classified data. Security compliance basically boils down to two things: having specific security measures in place and reaching particular security standard goals. An MSSP can help you achieve both. With professional help from an MSSP, you can carefully restructure your cybersecurity framework with compliance in mind without compromising other security or business aspects.

Faster incident response

Even with robust preventative measures, you can never entirely rule out the possibility of a successful attack. That’s why it’s crucial to have a solid incident response strategy. Once a threat slips through the defences, it’s a race against the clock to contain and eliminate it to minimize damages to the business. MSSPs have a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling threats and are better positioned to act fast in the event of a cyber incident. Even a few seconds between threat detection and response could make all the difference in an attack’s severity.

Final word

Protecting an organization’s digital assets from cybercriminals and internal threats is a full-time job. Cybersecurity must be continuously nurtured, revised, and updated to keep up with emerging threats and an ever-changing digital landscape. But such a level of commitment is often a tall order in many organizations, especially SMBs with tight IT and labour budgets.

Having a security partner by your side saves you all that hassle, time, and money in developing and running an effective cybersecurity framework. That’s what we do here at Softlanding. Our managed IT security services focus on strengthening security within cloud-based and on-prem enterprise Microsoft environments. We offer professional end-user security, critical data and assets protection, device management, network security, and more. We’d love to hear from you; talk to us about your security needs.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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