Cyber threats are skyrocketing. IT budgets are shrinking. Cybersecurity talent is increasingly in short supply. If you decide to outsource IT tasks, do you need a managed service provider (MSP) or a managed security service provider (MSSP)?
Let’s start with some definitions:
What Is a Managed Security Service Provider?
A managed security service provider (MSSP) specializes in offering a wide range of security products and services (“security as a service”) to businesses that need ongoing security expertise and protection.
This can include a wide range of security services, such as remote intrusion detection and response (RID), endpoint detection and response (EDR), cybersecurity risk assessments, backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity auditing and much more.
Most importantly, a true MSSP will offer a 24×7 managed security operations center (SOC) along with a security information and event management system (SIEM.) An MSSP will also typically help you obtain and manage the necessary IT security solutions to maintain specific industry compliance standards, including HIPAA, HITRUST or CMMC.
If your organization has an IT department that currently handles a full range of IT systems and responsibilities, you may only need an MSSP to round out the security functions.
What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
A managed service provider (MSP), like our team at BrightFlow Technologies, offers a much wider range of IT solutions from a 24/7 help desk and onsite support to vendor management and network solutions. Like an MSSP, MSPs like ours also offer advanced security solutions and even security training. Sometimes an MSP will contract with an MSSP for specific security services.
If your organization has no or very few in-house IT personnel, choosing an MSP will be very helpful to your whole team. You can rely on the MSP to offer security as part of their service level agreements.
Differences Between MSP vs. MSSP
In short, the key difference between a managed service provider (MSP) and a managed security service provider is the security capabilities. MSSPs provide a dedicated level of security expertise service with 24/7 network monitoring and proactive security tactics. While MSPs generally have expert knowledge of cybersecurity, the specialized services of an MSSP may be a better fit for certain clients. For example, companies that work in heavily regulated industries, such as banking and healthcare, can rely on an MSSP’s expertise to ensure their network is secure and compliant with all regulations.
As you compare service providers for your business, look for proactive security approaches that include:
- Virtual private network (VPN) setup and management.
- Event monitoring, alerting and reporting.
- A managed firewall.
- Managed detection and response setup and management.
- Intrusion detection and prevention capabilities.
- Incident response and forensics capabilities.
- Help with identifying and reacting to cybersecurity threats or attacks.
In-depth cybersecurity tasks can include:
- Compliance auditing.
- Incident remediation techniques.
- Restoration of data in the event of a breach.
- Performing penetration testing.
Example Service Offerings
At BrightFlow, our BrightCare Elite managed services are tailored to each of our client’s needs. Essentially, we become an extension of our clients’ teams, not an outsider who fixes things and leaves them to find for themselves until the next issue arises.
BrightCare Elite plans include a long list of services. Here are just a few:
- Managed endpoint detection and response
- Email security spam filtering
- Unlimited cloud backup
- Dark web monitoring
- Employee cybersecurity training
- Annual technology review meeting
Considering Outsourcing to an MSP or Managed Security Service Provider?
Many of our clients find that outsourcing is a wise move. It eliminates the cost and time of setting up and staffing an on-site IT department.
Managed services help reduce downtime, as well, to increase your organization’s productivity and profitability. Top quality managed services (whether they’re provided by an MSP or a managed service security provider) are proactive, not reactive. Ready to learn more? We are eager to help, so let’s chat about your security needs.