Why use managed security services?

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You may be aware that managed security services are now hugely popular with businesses of all sizes, especially SMBs. You not, however, understand why they are so very popular. With that in mind, here is a quick rundown of some of the benefits of managed security services.

You can effectively manage risk and ensure compliance

In today’s world, this benefit probably ranks above all others. Many SMBs need to comply with certain compliance programs (e.g. HIPAA, PCI/DSS, GDPR…). Even if they don’t, the fact is that a data breach could have horrendous implications for any company of any size, even if their non-regulated (Yahoo! Is currently looking at a settlement of over $100M just for the U.S., although that was for a series of data breaches). Then, of course, there is the issue of bad publicity.

Why use Managed Security Services

You get cost-effective access to top-level security expertise

The average SMB cannot afford to employ a significant number of top-level IT professionals with breadth and depth of expertise. Even if they could, they would probably struggle to recruit such a team, since there would probably not be enough work for them to do on a regular basis and people who have put significant effort into developing their skills do not usually want to sit back bored while they go stale.  

The obvious solution is to buy in these skills as and when they’re needed, but this brings its own set of problems. First of all you have to find a suitable person and then you need to get them up to speed with how your business works and you may have to do all of that under massive time pressure due to ongoing security threats or, even worse, an actual attack.

Opting for managed security services means you get ongoing support (which reduces the likelihood of you coming under attack), plus guaranteed access to top-level expertise if you need it, plus these experts will be familiar with your business.

Strong emphasis on prevention rather than detection

Crime shows may make for good TV, but in reality, being threatened by criminals of any sort is usually a miserable experience most people vastly prefer to avoid. The best way to avoid it is to put up solid defenses and monitor them effectively. This second point is massively important. The best defenses in the world (both physical and digital) still need to be monitored by humans, otherwise attackers will just keep going until eventually they find a way through them. It may take a while but they will generally get there in the end.

You get effective management of security assets

One of the many challenges facing in-house IT teams is the need to work out what resources they need to buy and how to deploy them effectively. Get this wrong and you can end up with the equivalent of a defensive shield which is full of holes. What you actually need are security products which all holistically integrate to provide a really robust defense against even the strongest attack.

What’s more, you need to monitor those tools effectively to make the most of the security insights they can offer your organization. In particular, you need to pay close attention to the logs generated by security software. These can be massively useful, but only if you have the time and knowledge to read them effectively and many SMBs have neither. By contrast, managed security services providers can translate these logs into language everyone can understand and explain what they mean in practical terms.

You can get guidance on what to expect over the future

Managed security services providers are people who are right at the forefront of cybersecurity. Although they are obviously in competition with each other for clients, they do work cooperatively on issues which impact everyone, such as detecting emerging trends and working out what needs to be done about them.  

MSSPs will be on top of issues long before they hit the mainstream media. For example, ransomware has been around for a few years now, but it’s really only come to widespread public attention in the last year as a result of major attacks on major U.S. organizations including cities.

You can relieve the burden on your in-house IT team and free them up for value-add tasks

Although the smallest SMBs are likely to outsource all of their IT needs, many SMBs like to combine in-house IT staff with managed IT services in general and managed security services in particular. The managed services partner(s) can lift the burden from your regular IT team and free them up for value-add tasks. This can reduce their stress, increase their job satisfaction and improve your recruitment and retention.

Managed IT Services definition