For many organizations, maintaining a full-fledged in-house security operations center (SOC) is not a viable option. The expanding cybersecurity skills gap and the rapid evolution of the cyber threat landscape mean that companies often lack access to the security expertise and tools required to protect them against cyber threats.
Managed security services provide a potential solution to this problem by allowing organizations to outsource security duties to a third-party service provider. Two of the most common managed security services offerings are the Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) and Managed Detection and Response (MDR).
Managed Security Service Provider services (MSSP) are the original form of managed security services. MSSP services began as remote firewall management by an organization’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Over time, MSSPs have expanded to provide a more complete portfolio of security services.
A Managed Security Service Provider can supplement an organization’s internal security team by providing round-the-clock monitoring, detection, triage, investigation, hunting, response, and remediation. This helps to ensure that an organization can rapidly respond to incidents whenever they occur, minimizing the impact and cost to the company.
Additionally, partnering with an MSSP provides an organization with access to specialized cybersecurity expertise. This includes everything from incident response to compliance specialists and ensures that a company has access to these experts when they need them without the need to maintain these capabilities in-house.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a newer type of managed security service offering. It provides in-depth security monitoring and incident response supplemented with proactive security support.
MDR providers go beyond the capabilities of endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to provide detection and response services across network, email, mobile, and cloud . This deep visibility and control that this provides enables an Managed Detection and Response provider to identify and respond to potential threats that might not be detectable using perimeter-based defenses and to secure employees working remotely.
Beyond incident detection and response, MDR providers will also perform proactive security activities, such as threat hunting. By searching for indicators of potential risks or attacks within an organization’s environment, an MDR provider can help to prevent future attacks or remediate intrusions that went undetected by an organization’s existing security solutions.
Both MSSPs and MDRs provide managed security services for an organization. In both cases, an organization can achieve significant benefits – such as improved security and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) – by outsourcing some or all of their cybersecurity duties. However, the precise services offered by MSSPs and MDR providers can differ significantly.
In general, MSSPs are designed to act as a complement to an organization’s existing security team. An MSSP may help an organization to fight alert overload by acting as an initial clearinghouse for security data. By sifting through and curating these alerts, the MSSP enables an internal security team to focus its efforts on the events most likely to be true threats to the business. An MSSP may also offer support for incident response to an organization as needed.
An MDR provider is more likely to act as a complete replacement for an organization’s internal SOC. MDR providers have deep visibility into an organization’s network and the ability to respond to ongoing incidents or to act proactively to identify undetected cybersecurity risks or potential threats via threat hunting.
Both MSSPs and MDR providers offer outsourced security services for an organization. The question of which is the best fit for a particular organization depends on the unique needs of the business.
When choosing between an MSSP and MDR service provider, it is important to consider the problem that the organization is trying to solve and the maturity of the company’s existing security program. If an organization has a relatively mature in-house SOC but requires additional support to keep up with an evolving threat landscape, then an MSSP is likely the best solution. On the other hand, an organization without the resources or desire to maintain a complete in-house SOC, or if the organization wants to reduce cost, ongoing experts recruiting and training, may find that an MDR provider better meets its needs.
Regardless of the service offering that an organization takes advantage of, partnering with a managed security services provider offers significant benefits to an organization. Outsourced security can help to solve the challenges of attracting and retaining necessary cybersecurity talent during a significant skills shortage and provides the same or better security at a lower price by sharing costs across the service provider’s customer base.
Check Point offers managed security services powered by industry-leading security solutions. By leveraging cutting-edge threat intelligence and analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Check Point analysts can rapidly identify, investigate, and remediate security incidents across an organization’s entire network infrastructure. If you are a service provider looking for a security solutions to meet customer needs, you’re welcome to request a free demo. Otherwise, contact us to learn more about Check Point’s MDR service offerings.