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How to Evaluate an MSSP

Someone who is selecting and evaluating a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) might run into a bit of a dilemma – A quick google search reveals that there are a vast amount of different cybersecurity tools and services available, making it difficult to select the right one.

To make matters worse, cybersecurity companies often use a slew of buzzwords and acronyms when promoting themselves, making it difficult to understand what kinds of capabilities and value are actually being delivered.

Selecting the right MSSP for your business is fundamental to the security of your clients, people, processes, data, and infrastructure, and it is therefore critical that you know what to look for when choosing a partner.

What is an MSSP?

A Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) provides outsourced monitoring and management of an organization’s security devices, system and network. Through the use of a security operations center, an MSSP can bolster a security program by providing 24/7/365 services designed to reduce the amount of internal security expertise needed.

If you lack internal security expertise and are struggling to hire security talent, and MSSP is a great way to make sure that your sensitive data is safe.

Here are some key guidelines you should think about when choosing a Managed security service provider (MSSP):

  1. Level of Service:

It is no surprise by now that businesses are storing more data and information in the cloud than ever, which has created an urgent need for always-on, 24/7 network protection. This does not simply refer to automated protection – Look for a partner that is capable of providing live, human support 24/7 regardless of holidays or working schedules.

Additionally, your MSSP should always be easily reached and always available with a dedicated service delivery manage and detailed Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is also recommended that you ask about security incidents in the past to ensure that the right processes and resources are placed to guide and support clients through all possibilities.

  1. Hardware & Software Commitment:

Unsurprisingly, different providers and organizations use different tools to carry out their security operations – Naturally, this would suggest that some MSSPs will require that you buy or add certain technologies simply because their architecture demands it. This can often come with steep hardware and software investments requiring expensive contracts and multi-year commitments.

However, a “good” MSSP should not be telling you what you need to buy – Rather, they should be able to use the technology already in place and operationalize it. Look for an MSSP that is can integrate seamlessly with your existing security tools in place.

  1. Proactive vs. Reactive

Businesses without MSSP support are often limited to dealing with security issues as they occur – In other words they are often left scrambling to resolve potentially devastating issues without the preparation or resources required to do so effectively.

MSSPs should enable you to continually make the right updates and proactively search out issues before they occur.

  1. Third-Party Partnerships

One of the key benefits of an MSSP is that they should provide access to the latest and greatest technology and services. Look for an MSSP that already has the right tools and processes as part of their package – This will save you from having to outsource every little tool and element and will save your team both time and effort in the long run.

  1. Onboarding time

Something that might be overlooked when considering an MSSP is the time required to successfully onboard a new client – Onboarding processes are notorious for being exceptionally long, complex, and error-prone, so it is worth searching for a partner that has processes technology in place to streamline the process.

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