Skip to main content

What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were the forerunners of Managed Security Service Providers in the late 1990s (MSSP). At the time, several ISPs began providing firewall equipment to their clients, and if the customer so chose, the ISP would also operate the firewall. The cornerstone of the MSSP is a managed firewall solution incorporated into ISP offerings.

Over time, the concept of specialist MSSPs evolved, with organizations committed to delivering outsourced security services. MSSP services expanded to become full-service security providers as the cyber threat landscape and enterprises' security needs to be changed.

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is a third-party organization hired by a company to monitor and manage security systems in order to protect the company's digital assets and resources.

This article will look at how MSSPs may help a company run more efficiently and how they vary from managed service providers (MSPs).

What is the Purpose of MSSP?

With the rise of cybersecurity threats, businesses require competent cybersecurity experts as well as cybersecurity solutions to protect their data. Of course, this is insufficient. Because no technology can provide complete security, businesses may require additional solutions such as continuous security monitoring and incident response.

At this stage, the requirement for a company for MSSP becomes apparent. An MSSP provides enterprises with a complete outsourced security solution. The cornerstone of the MSSP business is security monitoring and incident response for an organization's corporate networks and endpoints in order to detect and respond to any security event before it causes severe difficulties.

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is used to outsource the monitoring and administration of security devices and systems. Managed firewall, intrusion detection, virtual private network, vulnerability screening, and anti-viral services are all common services.

Thanks to MSSPs leverage high-availability security operation centers (either their own or from other data center suppliers) to provide 24/7 services meant to reduce the number of operational security professionals an enterprise needs to hire, train, and retain in order to maintain an acceptable security posture.

How to Use MSSP?

There are different types of services that MSSP provides you can use them according to your budget and needs.

Managed security services are classified into two types:

  1. Fully-managed security services and
  2. Co-managed security services.

Fully-Managed Security Services: They entail the security services provider owning the security technologies and managing and monitoring the security events created by these tools and technologies. If your firm is on a tight budget or has the internal resources to study and handle a wide range of cutting-edge technology, fully-managed security services are most likely a suitable fit.

Co-Managed Security Services: If your business has a variety of security technologies but lacks the internal security personnel needed to administer these solutions on a 24x7x365 basis, co-managed security services can help. As your firm grows and a Security Operations Center is built, you may ultimately bring technology monitoring and control back in-house (SOC). An MSSP can educate and teach you about the capabilities and functioning of each tool, as well as set up the appropriate configuration. Furthermore, co-managed security services enable your employees to focus on other strategic security projects while delegating the time-consuming task of monitoring and controlling occurrences during non-business hours. As a result, several MSSPs provide coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For Monitoring and Management of Threats Services

Today's security world necessitates continual threat monitoring and analysis. Security data is collected from a number of sources, which an MSSP may utilize to find similarities in your security events, eventually pinpointing abnormalities and malicious activities.

An MSSP's security analysts will review your security data and assess if these instances should be converted into security events with alerts.

If this is the case, tickets are filed and notifications are sent in accordance with a set of escalation profiles that assign a priority and inform accordingly, building an incident response playbook for your business.

Response to Incidents and Event Investigation Services

Once a security alert has been generated, the MSSP team will strive to resolve the situation. Your internal security staff may be overburdened with other critical security activities. Offloading incident response to a supplier helps your business to handle situations that previously may have taken multiple shifts or even days to resolve.

Intelligence on Security Services

Security intelligence may originate from both public and private sources, and it can assist an organization to enhance its detection and response capabilities. If your company is unable to devote full-time workers to threat intelligence collection, managed security services can help.

How to Use MSSP in Cyber Security?

An MSSP is an IT service provider that outsources a variety of cybersecurity-related operations for its clients.

MSSPs can provide services like security tool management, threat management, Incident Response (IR), and forensics. They often service several customers and rely on high-availability Security Operations Centers (SOCs) that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outsourcing to an MSSP may be a simple method for a company to add specialized security skills that it may lack, it can save money by reducing the need to recruit full-time in-house staff, or it can be used to supplement in-house capabilities, such as 24/7 security monitoring.

What are the Benefits of MSSP?

Hiring an MSSP provides several benefits to an organization's security staff. Your team may begin to focus on strategic security projects while the MSSP manages your security environment on a daily basis.

The primary advantages of hiring an MSSP are as follows:

  • Minimize Your Costs & Maximize Efficiency: An MSSP provides you with a team of seasoned security specialists that will work for you for a fraction of the expense of developing your own security staff. Acquiring a complete set of security technologies and solutions might be an expensive task.
  • Extend Your Team: A global MSSP will provide your team with a distinct advantage. Through an MSSP's worldwide 24x7x365 Security Operation Centers, you will be better positioned for sustained operations wherever or whenever you require them (SOCs). These SOCs can give your company the most recent threat information and visibility into sophisticated threats that a smaller or regional vendor cannot.
  • Become a Threat Hunting Organization: An MSSP will provide you with enhanced monitoring, analysis, and investigation of malicious code and callbacks, as well as detection of attempted or successful security breaches. The Security Operations Centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provide best-in-class defense, real-time incident response, and operational optimization.
  • Rapid Incident Response & Event Investigation: An MSSP that can provide Incident Response and Event Investigation services would have unrivaled knowledge in dealing with business security events. This protects the organization from future harm, ranging from single-system hacks to enterprise-wide invasions by advanced assault organizations. The Incident Response team of an MSSP will immediately analyze the issues you encounter and offer specific steps based on digital forensics and their expertise managing literally thousands of hours of every potential crisis.
  • Closely Monitor Advanced Threats: Cyber risks such as Advanced Persistent Threats, advanced malware Trojans, viruses, and worms, and other harmful assaults are becoming more complicated and sophisticated for small and mid-size corporate enterprises. An advantage of utilizing an MSSP is that they can supply advanced security technology as well as the most recent threat information to enable monitoring and detection against these significant, rising dangers.
  • Security Asset Management Relief: Organizations frequently buy new IT security solutions just to put them on the shelf, failing to realize the full potential of these security solutions. Another advantage of using an MSSP is that they will provide your team with the required expertise and technical resources to manage and administer these new security assets.
  • SIEM & Log Management Insights: Across several sites, a company collects very relevant data regarding its security posture. When you utilize an MSSP, you can evaluate all of the data from a single perspective. This makes it easier to spot out-of-the-ordinary trends and patterns. That is the function of a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) system. The SIEM system will be used by an MSSP to collect logs and other security-related material for analysis on a single platform.
  • Automate Your Vulnerability Management: Continuous vulnerability scanning of your environment is a vital component of a good security posture. Working with an MSSP has the advantage of providing accurate internal and external scans of your IT network assets, hosts, online applications, and databases. An MSSP's automated vulnerability scans will minimize resource requirements through a controlled dispersed deployment, lowering IT operations expenses.
  • Properly Manage Risk & Compliance: It's essential that you're monitoring your level of compliance for regulatory purposes across PCI DSS, GLBA, SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, ISO, and others. A highly accredited MSSP will provide you with the benefit of extending its Risk Management and Compliance experience and certification to your firm, ensuring the security of its assets.
  • Obtain Best-In-Class Intelligence: Only the top managed security service providers (MSSPs) provide real-time threat intelligence technologies to detect sophisticated malware attacks persistent threats and malicious attacks. A highly competent MSSP will employ a threat R&D laboratory in various nations to do an extensive and ongoing study on these sophisticated threats.

Benefits of MSSP

Figure 1. What are the benefits of MSSP

What is a Managed Security Service Provider?

A managed security service provider (MSSP) outsources the monitoring and administration of security devices and systems. Managed firewall, intrusion detection, virtual private network, vulnerability screening, and anti-viral services are all common services. MSSPs use high-availability security operation centers (either from their own facilities or from other data center providers) to provide 24/7 services designed to reduce the number of operational security personnel an enterprise needs to hire, train, and retain in order to maintain an acceptable security posture.

Organizations choose to collaborate with MSSPs for a variety of reasons, including a lack of in-house security resources or knowledge, as well as the necessity for security monitoring and management outside of normal operation hours. In other circumstances, businesses will contract managed security service providers to do security audits or to respond to and investigate issues.

What Are the Typical Security Technologies Managed by MSSPs?

The following technologies may be deployed, configured, and/or managed by typical MSSP tech businesses.

  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IPS): An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a device that identifies unauthorized network or system activity. An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is a system that includes an intrusion detection system with a response or control system. Intrusion prevention systems function by detecting malicious behavior, recording and reporting information about it, and attempting to prevent it from occurring.
  • Web Content Filtering: Web filtering refers to the process of controlling users' web access by allowing them to pick which websites they may visit, what information they can view, and what they can download.
  • Identity and access control (IAM): Identity and access management (IAM) ensures that the right person and job responsibilities (idIentities) in your business have access to the tools they require to accomplish their tasks. Identity management and access solutions allow your business to manage employee applications without checking in as an administrator to each app.
  • Management of Privileged Access (PAM): Privileged access management (PAM) software can assist you in securing your clients' privileged passwords and accounts, regulating access to client systems, monitoring and auditing privileged activities, detecting and preventing malicious actions in real-time, and remaining compliant with regulatory standards.
  • Scan for Vulnerabilities: In order to handle cybersecurity risks proactively, a company must do vulnerability management on a continuous basis. The first step in doing good vulnerability management is vulnerability scanning, which allows concerns to be recognized and addressed throughout the vulnerability management process.MSSP vulnerability scanner will provide website scanning and network vulnerability assessment services to its clients.
  • Patch Management: MSSP manages your patch distribution system so that interoperability, compliance, and system compatibility are not jeopardized.
  • Anti-virus Software (AV): Antivirus software, commonly known as anti-malware software (abbreviated to AV software), is a computer application that prevents, detects, and removes malware.
  • Anti-spam: Anti-spam software detects and blocks potentially harmful emails in user inboxes. Anti-spam protocols define what constitutes an unsolicited and unwelcome message (spam); in many situations, spam advertises a product, which might be genuine (but still undesirable) or malevolent.
  • Firewalls: A firewall is a network security device that monitors and restricts network traffic based on security rules that have been set. It is an essential component of the network security system used for network segmentation by separating a trusted network from an untrusted network, such as the Internet. You may require a firewall not just to protect your servers and clients from Internet-based attacks, but also to prevent unauthorized user access to mission-critical systems
  • VPN: A VPN (virtual private network) is a sort of technology that improves your online security and privacy. When you use a commercial VPN service, you connect to the server of the VPN provider over an encrypted connection. In other words, all data passed between your system and the VPN server is encrypted, making it impossible for anybody else to access it.
  • Preventing Data Loss (DLP): Data loss prevention (DLP) is a set of tools, techniques, technologies, and procedures designed to ensure that end-users do not transmit sensitive or secret data outside of a firm. Data loss prevention software and other data loss prevention solutions are designed to manage data transfer by end-users with various administrative responsibilities.
  • Threat Intelligence: Threat intelligence services use cutting-edge techniques and methodologies to collect data throughout the worldwide spectrum of possible cyber threats, including existing and developing threats and criminal actors. Threat intelligence providers then use this data to deliver the most relevant information to organizations in order to help them prioritize security measures and keep on top of infections, frauds, and other cybercrime trends.

What is Managed Security Service Provider List?

Managed security service providers, commonly known as MSSPs, offer cybersecurity outsourcing solutions for a variety of security requirements. These services may include patching and vulnerability reporting systems, threat detection, incident response, and others. Furthermore, MSSPs offer their own experience and information on future risks and security advances.

Top Managed Security Service Providers MSSPs

  • Cofense Managed PDR
  • SecureWorks
  • IBM
  • Verizon
  • Symantec
  • Trustwave
  • AT&T
  • BT
  • Wipro
  • Raytheon MSS
  • CenturyLink
  • Clear Infosec
  • Intrust IT
  • Trend Micro Managed XDR
  • Trustnet
  • TSC Advantage
  • Global IP Networks

What is the Difference Between an MSP and an MSSP?

MSP and MSSP both provide expert assistance with your organization's IT and cybersecurity needs. MSP stands for Managed Service Provider, whereas MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider.

Both services strive to provide expert assistance with your organization's IT needs, although the major focus of MSP is IT administration, whereas MSSP concentrates on IT security. Furthermore, MSP attempts to give you simple access to your organization's IT infrastructure, whereas MSSP focuses more on security tools, incident management, and so on.

From a technological standpoint, MSP provides bug fixes, update management, and threat detection. MSSP goes above and above by assisting you with incident detection, response, and scanning for new threats and vulnerabilities.

To summarize, MSP provides a more basic and economical solution, whereas MSSP is a little more complex.

The History of MSSPs

MSSPs first appeared in the late 1990s as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). At the time, several ISPs began supplying firewall equipment to their customers, and if the customer so desired, the ISP would also operate the firewall. The MSSP's foundation is this managed firewall system, which is incorporated into ISP service packages.

The notion of the specialist MSSP expanded over time, with businesses specializing in outsourced security services. As the cyber attack surfaceand enterprises' security demands evolved, an MSSP's offerings extended to become full-service security providers.