How you choose the right mssp for your cyber security
Many organizations are outsourcing their IT security to a managed security service provider (mssp). Is this something for your organization too? And what should you pay attention to when selecting a mssp?
A growing number of businesses are outsourcing a part of the IT-processes with a managed security service provider (mssp). From hosting and storage to security service, the demand for managed services has been increasing for years. According to an estimation of research agency Mordor Intelligence, businesses spent over €125bn to managed services in 2020. In 2025 the total turnover is expected to be more than €225bn from these management services.
Why is managed security-service so popular? The benefits of mssp is that it unburdens clients and it reduces complexity. Especially the latter is very important when it comes to cybersecurity. Securing IT environments was already a fairly complex matter. The transition to working from home, having gained momentum as a result of the Covid pandemic, has further enhance this complexity.
Now that we are working from home in large numbers – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future – the number of cyber-attacks has grown disproportionately. Every device and each user forms a potential point of entry, presenting favorable circumstances to cyber criminals. Subsequently they have also increased their efforts during the pandemic. Homeworkers are often an easy target: unprotected by the company firewall and operating out of sight of the IT department.
This has not made matters any easier for IT professionals to protect the business against ransomware. Often the required expertise is simply not available. It is also challenging to hire the right people since the knowledge of cybersecurity is scarce and expensive. Furthermore, management and maintenance of security solutions also require resources.
These are just a few of the reasons why mssp is so popular. But is it also relevant for you? And how do you choose the right partner? A few things to consider:
- Decide whether you need an mssp:
First ask yourself the question: Am I satisfied with my current security? If not, why is that? It often has to do with the aforementioned complexity or a lack of resources. Perhaps you are spending a lot of money on individual security measures but you don’t immediately see the benefits of these investments. Or maybe you experience the management and maintenance as difficult and time consuming. In both cases an mssp can be an excellent choice.
- Assess the portfolio and security platform
Now selection process starts. An important criterion is of course the portfolio. The ms(s)p has to address your entire security need: from network and endpoint security, from Cloud to safe wifi and authentication solutions. It is not ideal if these solutions are supplied by different vendors. This will only cause more complexity, for example when it comes to integration of the systems. Ideally the mssp works with a vendor that brings all essential security services together in one user-friendly platform. This kind of platform makes the life of mssps much easier and subsequently the end-users also benefit from this.
- The financial picture
Engaging an mssp is usually a cheaper solution than “do it yourself”. However, there are significant price differences. In addition to this, it is important that the revenue model of the mssp matches your business. For example, with some MSSPs you do not pay a fixed amount per month for your security but are costs dependent on usage. That appeals to many companies. Does the mssp offer this flexibility?
- Ask the mssp for a first recommendation
Have you found an mssp? First ask for an exploratory meeting. Of course, it will be difficult to estimate the quality of the mssp at this stage. However, one thing is key: the mssp has to put the customer first. This doesn’t mean the mssp should follow your orders unchallenged. On the contrary. A good mssp knows what is needed to raise the security to the next level, does not hesitate to name the pain points and might, based on their own best practice, set specific demands in order to secure the primary business operations of the customer.
Reinvent the wheel
There is no miracle cure yet against a cyberattack. Yet it is worth considering (partly) outsourcing IT security to an mssp which is specialized in security. It means the end user does not have to reinvent the wheel and rely on the investment and knowledge of an mssp and subsequently can avoid unnecessary problems.