What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

Managed security service providers (MSSP) deliver management and outsourced monitoring of systems and security devices. An MSSP can also handle upgrades, system changes, and modification.

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MSSP – What is a Managed Security Service Provider?

The History of MSSPs

The history of MSSPs began in the late 1990s with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). At that time, some ISPs began offering their users firewall appliances, and if the user wished, the ISP would also manage that firewall for them. This managed firewall solution, integrated into ISPs’ service offerings, is the root of the MSSP.

 

Over time, the concept of the specialized MSSP evolved, with organizations specifically offering outsourced security services. As the cyber threat landscape and companies’ security needs grew, the services offered by an MSSP expanded as well to become full-service security providers.

What is a Managed Security Service Provider Used For?

An MSSP should provide a complete outsourced security solution for an organization. The core of the MSSP business is providing security monitoring and incident response for an organization’s enterprise networks and endpoints. However, as enterprise networks grow and evolve, support for other platforms, such as cloud-based infrastructure, has become a common component of MSSPs’ security portfolio.

MSP vs MSSP

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are both third-party organizations that provide services to a company. However, these two types of service providers differ significantly in their focus. An MSP delivers general network and IT support, and services such as managed telecommunications (telco) or Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms. In contrast, an MSSP is focused solely on providing security services.

 

One of the clear differences between MSPs and MSSPs is their “operations center”. An MSP is likely to operate a network operations center (NOC), from which they monitor and manage their clients’ networks. An MSSP should operate a security operations center (SOC), which provides round-the-clock security monitoring and incident response.

Benefits of an MSSP

An MSSP is intended to augment or replace an organization’s internal security team. By partnering with an MSSP, a company can reap several benefits:

 

  • Filling Vacant Roles: The cybersecurity skills gap means that filling vacant positions on an organization’s internal security team can be difficult and expensive. Partnering with an MSSP enables an organization to fill gaps within its internal security team or to replace it entirely.
  • Access to Specialist Expertise: Limited cybersecurity headcount isn’t the only impact of the cybersecurity skills gap. Organizations also periodically require access to specialized cybersecurity expertise (such as malware analysts or forensics specialists) if an incident has occurred. An MSSP has the scale required to retain this expertise in-house and makes it available to customers as needed.
  • Round-the-Clock Protection: Cyberattacks can occur at any time, not just during an organization’s standard business hours. An MSSP should provide a 24/7 SOC, providing continual detection and response to potential cyberattacks.
  • Increased Security Maturity: Many organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses, do not have the level of cybersecurity maturity that they require. With an MSSP, SMBs can rapidly deploy a mature cybersecurity solution.
  • Solution Configuration and Management: Cybersecurity solutions are most effective when they are configured and managed by an expert. When partnering with an MSSP, an organization gains the benefit of expert security management without paying to have the required talent in-house.
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership: Many cybersecurity solutions offer support for multi tenancy and high scalability. This enables an MSSP to use the same solution to support multiple clients, spreading the cost of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure across their client base.
  • Compliance Support: The regulatory landscape is growing more complex as new data protection regulations (such as the GDPR and the CCPA) join existing laws (like HIPAA and PCI DSS). An MSSP can help with collecting data and generating reports for demonstrating compliance during audits or after a potential incident.

Security for MSSPs

When looking for an MSSP, customers search for a provider that they can trust to effectively protect their networks and the sensitive data that they contain. To offer an adequate outsourced security solution, a company not only needs to have the required cybersecurity expertise but also the tools to do their jobs effectively.

 

Check Point offers a wide range of endpoint and network security solutions for the MSSP. These solutions are designed based upon years of experience in identifying and meeting the cybersecurity needs of small businesses and large enterprises alike. Advanced data analysis capabilities, unified threat management, and an intuitive user interface provide MSSP SOC analysts and incident responders with the visibility and control that they require to rapidly identify and respond to threats within their customers’ environments.

 

To learn about offering the protection of Check Point’s solutions to your customers, contact us for more information and request a demonstration of Check Point’s MSSP solutions.

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