The SMB's Guide to Choosing a Managed Security Services Provider

Posted by Shruthika Kamat on August 15, 2017 at 12:49 PM

Are you still handling your own IT security? Well…why?

You hire a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) for the same reason you hire an electronics guy to fix your phone, a mechanic to fix your car, or an accountant to do your taxes: It’s just safer and more cost-effective. Hiring an MSSP (also known as an SECaaS, Security-as-a-Service or SaaS) saves a small or midsized business (SMB) money and provides expertise SMBs may not have in-house. So let’s talk about the what, why and how of hiring your MSSP team.

What Is a Managed Security Solution Provider?

An MSSP is pretty much what it sounds like: A service provider that manages any of your your network security processes, which can include regular tasks like virus/spam blocking, intrusion detection and VPN management. Some MSSPs may take on a larger ISP (internet services provider) role, offering hosting and cloud services, too.

Why you should you consider an MSSP

The tech talent gap is a major factor affecting IT and cybersecurity groups. By 2020, the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions, an important point to keep in mind when deciding whether to handle security internally or through an MSSP.

Ask yourself who can do better in the following areas:

Talent: Can you really identify the best talent and afford to keep them in-house? Or, would you be better off hiring an MSSP— a firm that already specializes in security, already has top industry talent, and know where to find new resources as needed?

Industry Experience: An experienced MSSP team can help you identify your unique security needs and deliver the enterprise class security solutions that are the best fit for you.

Savings: Through their industry relationships, MSSPs have access to great deals on equipment, software and training that would most likely be otherwise unavailable to you.

Choosing the Right MSSP

It’s one of those things where bigger isn’t always better. It’s all about ensuring that an MSSP can deliver high-quality services that will fit your business’s unique set of requirements.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when you’re shopping around:

  • How well can they protect against malware? What security measures do they use to protect against ransomware and other sophisticated threats?
  • What is their incident response procedure? How quickly have they identified vulnerabilities and resolved breaches in the past?
  • Do they have 24/7 support? How responsive are they to their current customers’ needs?
  • Do they offer web hosting? Can they support the transition to a more cloud-based business infrastructure?
  • Do they support a BYOD workplace? What steps do they take to secure connections with employee-owned computers, smartphones or other devices?

If you’re unclear about exactly how a particular MSSP service works, just ask. It’s worth the extra time to make the best decision you can. For example, if you’re transitioning to a cloud computing environment, look for a company with that specialty area, such as XenWinGo.

The right MSSP is worth the investment.

The good news is that, once you’ve made your selection, a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders. You’ll have experts who understand your network, are current on security issues and can identify the solutions that will protect your network data and infrastructure.

XenWinGo, a Fortinet partner, delivers the expertise and cyber security solutions that today’s SMBs need for a secure, high-performance network environment. Contact us to find out more.

Tags: small business, cybersecurity, management, IT, managed security services provider, outsourcing

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