Staying Safe in Times of Cyber Uncertainty

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.

How Check Point Solutions Can Help MSSPs

As companies struggle to find the security expertise that they need, partnering with an MSSP is the logical choice. However, the ability of an MSSP to effectively scale to meet demand depends heavily on the tools that they have available.

Check Point solutions provide MSSPs with the solutions that they need to scale with confidence and minimize cybersecurity risk for their customers. Check Point’s Cloud-Delivered Multi-Tenant Management MSSP offering and its SOC platform provide significant benefits for MSSPs, including:

  • Simplicity: Check Point Infinity Portal provides comprehensive and consolidated visibility for threat detection and response and threat hunting activities. Check Point solutions are easy to deploy in both on-prem and multi-cloud environments and offer seamless integration with many third-party solution providers.
  • Automation: Check Point’s well-documented integrations and APIs enable MSSPs to painlessly implement threat prevention, detection, remediation, and reporting while minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO). MSSPs can also provide customers with visibility and control over their services with self-service onboarding and offboarding portals and automated, value-driven reporting.
  • Scalability: Check Point solutions can grow with MSSPs’ customers, including support for zero-trust deployment and painless integration of additional functionality into existing Check Point deployments. As customers grow, they can easily add new users without the need for additional licensing.
  • Reliability: Check Point Infinity Portal offers over 99.999 availability and eliminates the need for MSSPs to operate fully redundant data centers. Customer environments are protected with the latest code that offers industry-leading catch rates for known and emerging threats. Check Point incident response and professional services teams are available as needed for additional support.
  • Low Cost of Entry: Check Point solutions enable MSSPs to enter the market with minimal up-front investments. Check Point’s MSSP partners do not need to acquire hardware due to Check Point’s hardware right-to-use agreement.
  • Predictable Revenue: Check Point’s transparent tiered pricing model provides MSSP partners with visibility into the cost of software and services up-front. Additionally, MSSP agreements future-proof MSSPs’ services by ensuring that they have up-to-date solutions that provide superior protection against the latest cyber threats.

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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