Key Factors that Assist Enterprises to Find the Most Pertinent MSSP

By CIOReview | Tuesday, July 19, 2016
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The surging complexity of cyber threats and the escalating rate at which innovations are occurring is pushing enterprises to hunt for better cybersecurity solutions. Midmarket companies usually find themselves at bay while addressing information security concerns and the global shortage of security professionals just adds another layer of stress for these firms. Moreover, cybersecurity solutions must be based on a detailed knowledge about threats, as the nature of the attacks have changed and become stealthier. To resolve the issues encountered within the security landscape, companies are resorting to assistance from managed security service providers (MSSPs). However, most of these providers specialize in various facets of cybersecurity management such as firewall management, antivirus management, intrusion detection and prevention, VPNs, and more. These services don’t just address all the cybersecurity issues plaguing any organization, but also helps in extending and augmenting the capabilities of existing workforce.

It’s usually advisable for companies looking to integrate MSSP solution into their existing ecosystem, to start at a smaller scale by engaging a provider to supply a single, non-critical service and then scale up eventually. This approach helps companies to better understand the nuances of MSSP management and ascertain whether it’s appropriate for the organization. Enterprises must always ask some essential questions that would help them ensure the profitability and efficiency of outsourcing solutions catered by MSSPs, before engaging them and the services rendered.

1. What is the requirement of hiring an MSSP?

IT departments usually struggle with adapting to the fast-paced technological growth, because of the limited resources and time constraints. MSSPs play a significant role in such scenarios, providing various levels of support to meet the transforming demands, so that companies can concentrate on their core activities. MSSPs deliver 24/7 coverage, taking care of aspects like remote management and monitoring. Companies however have to ascertain whether their MSSP can add newer capabilities and is capable of troubleshooting critical issues.

2. What are the services the MSSP would Provide?

Most of the highly professional MSSPs have a top notch, highly scalable command center, apart from a lab, which is capable of projecting a replica of your business environment, which helps in identifying and resolving any bug encountered. Enterprises must make sure that the command center their MSSP has, can show all the necessary certifications for the technologies that run in their labs. Moreover, probing into a MSSP’s organizational structure, procedure, processes and internal controls help to form significant insights before companies can go ahead and employ their service. An important criterion to judge MSSPs would be to inspect if they have complete redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities with automatic failover.

3. How should the MSSP essentially function?

It is ideal to presume that an MSSP should function as an extension of the enterprise’s IT department, managing the company’s day-to-day monitoring and response, while the control over policies and protocols is majorly retained by the organization itself. To choose the most appropriate MSSP, companies must ensure that the MSSP proactively reports on any pre-defined service level agreement (SLA); including details like response time, notification time, accuracy of performing change requests, uptime of devices, and availability of services or hardware.

4. Does the MSSP have a robust skills bench?

It’s a known fact that better performance comes with better team efficiency. An MSSP whose members are enthusiastic about learning and adapting to the newer technologies usually deliver high level of competence. Companies should check if the members working at the MSSP have necessary certifications, as these details not only reflect proficiency, but also act as an indicator of excellence. Furthermore, firms should ensure that the staff members working at the MSSP are provided with a career path which helps them gain more expertise. Once acquainted with this relevant information, companies can think about integrating the services offered by the MSSP.

5. Does the MSSP’s team collaborate well with the enterprise’s team?

Markets today are overwhelmed with a number of MSSPs. However, can every other MSSP be deemed appropriate or efficient to address the complex security and other relevant requirements for an organization?  Companies should investigate if the MSSP is capable of providing a focused and customized offering for their clients.

In a world plagued with shortage of technology and security professionals, more and more companies are associating themselves with the scope and services that MSSPs provide. This move will help enterprises to not only save time and enhance productivity, but also help them to forge a powerful and efficient security strategy as the MSSPs specialize in delivering cutting edge security skills, services, and technologies. At the end, the focus should lie on identifying and prioritizing the needs, and then finding the right MSSP.