Why move to a managed security services provider?



As news of security breaches proliferates in mainstream media and information security damage is expected to cost companies $6 trillion annually by 2021, and with breaches becoming increasingly complex, more damaging it’s no wonder security strategy and budgeting is becoming a complex task.

Some companies have teams of IT professionals in a 24/7 SOC, responsible for preventing, identifying and addressing system vulnerabilities and suspicious network activity, and resolving incidents appropriately when they occur. However, that isn’t the reality for most organisations.  

I’ve found that all but the largest organisations often purchase a firewall and anti-virus solutions for their employees’ workstations and assume (or hope) those are enough to ward off attacks. It’s only when a security breach happens that a managed security services provider (MSSP) is contacted; the proverbial closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

Choosing a managed security service like that provided by CloudCoCo can provide the protection your organisation needs by giving you access to responsive services, industry-leading tools and skilled information security professionals – without the hefty price tag you would pay hiring your own full-time team.

Broadly speaking, in my experience the three most significant reasons customers have moved to an MSSP are to benefit from:

  • Access to increased security skills

  • A stretched budget, and

  • Improved security posture.

Access to increased security skills

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times: There is a skills shortage in the technology sector, particularly for information security professionals. In one study, Frost and Sullivan analyst firm projects, there will be 1.5 million unfilled security positions by 2020. In the same study, almost two-thirds (62%) of IT Security decision-makers agreed that there are too few security professionals.

Building an in-house dedicated team of IT experts equipped to deal with the attack surface, and keeping them trained on the latest cyber threats is not only very costly and time-consuming but even with unlimited budget attracting and keeping talent is near impossible.

MSSPs are one way to tackle the skills gap and gain access to a pool of highly skilled security professionals.  The MSSP model helps by empowering your organisation to benefit from the shared knowledge and skill of the service provider’s dedicated security experts. MSSPs provide not only proprietary technology and expertise but also control and oversee security systems, measures and countermeasures.  And for smaller organisations, MSSPs provide companies with access to expertise and technology that would be financially impossible to build in-house.

A stretched budget

Modern cybersecurity programmes are costly to build and maintain. The tools and capabilities required include dedicated hardware, appliances with annual licensing costs. Then consider the investment required to set up and run a 24x7x365 SOC, which is necessary for the rapid detection and response to security events and alerts.  An added complication is that because of the multi-faceted nature of the threat landscape - forecasting future security outlay is proving impossible.

MSSPs allow businesses to replace large, frequent capital expenditures associated with investing in new cybersecurity tools and capabilities with predictable, ongoing operational costs. Outsourcing to an MSSP also lowers human resource costs such as recruiting, employing, training and retaining a full-time security staff in-house. We’ve already touched on the skills shortage, which is driving up security staff salaries. MSSPs are able to provide the staffing and diverse security skillsets by distributing the cost to a broad base of clients, providing a shared service so that each customer does not need to bear the cost alone.

In a nutshell, an MSSP offers you a team of seasoned security experts that will work for you at a fraction of the cost of building your security team in-house. This helps to stretch your IT and security pounds while improving overall security outcomes.

A stronger security posture

 MSSPs deliver broader and deeper security coverage whilst addressing compliance requirements. An MSSP will generally have a larger set of security tools at its disposal to fully protect a company from different threats. This generally includes firewall security, network connection management, anti-virus protection and assessment, threat management, and security compliance. Additionally, MSSPs will operate a 24/7 SOC to neutralise threats before they cause maximum damage.  An MSSP delivering a multi-layered approach to security provides the most comprehensive protection for your company.

With an MSSP, you can expect more coverage of threat vectors through a wider deployed protection along with a better understanding of an attack and a more comprehensive response to any attacks. With extensive experience, backed up by threat intelligence, security experts at MSSPs are likely to spot new and emerging threats first. All this helps to ensure the successful mitigation of risks, while helping to eliminate single points of failure by managing a wide range of security devices, customising and updating policies, and optimising protection by consistently monitoring and attending to systems. Furthermore, MSSP teams are experts at building consistent security implementations between traditional, private cloud, and public cloud networks, applying appropriate analytics across the entire distributed ecosystem and constantly making sure that your security is actually working.

A final note

The point to take away from this is that MSSPs, like CloudCoCo, are much better placed to look after IT security needs than most companies. This is particularly significant for small to mid-sized organisations who will immediately benefit from a first-tier SOC, 24x7 coverage and access to expert security consultants – all unattainable without a huge budget.

Once you have decided to retain an MSSP, consider and carefully examine the skills they and the breadth of portfolio. I’ll cover more on this topic in my next blog on how to select an MSSP.

If you’d like to find out how CloudCoCo’s talent team can help protect your organisation please contact a member of our sale team.



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