What is an MSSP?
A managed security service provider is an organization that provides outsourced security solutions and services such as fully managed advanced network firewalls, virtual private networks (VPN), intrusion protection (IPS) systems, and cyber security monitoring and alerting capability to its customers. Most MSSP offer a centralised SOC capability either physically located in a highly secure facility, or more commonly now cloud based.
How do they work?
Depending on the actual need, an SMB is best served by an MSSP using an advanced next generation firewall appliance (NGFW) located within the businesses premises between the ISP service connection and the internal network. This capability, amongst many other security features, will provide a physical and logical security barrier between the open internet and all internal IT systems and devices that filter and automatically block malicious or unwanted traffic. The NGFW itself is remotely managed by the MSSP provider over a highly secure connection where security staff can monitor, block and alert the business of any attempted cyber intrusions.
What’s the benefit?
MSSP’s offer a focused network and cyber security service that does not normally exist within an SMB environment and its local IT staff’s capability. It has dedicated security consultants and SOC operators that are highly skilled and understand the risks and attack methods an SMB faces, and are able to expertly analyse attempted cyber intrusions and dynamically apply policy modifications to ensure the business is not breached. MSSP’s are also able to stay ahead of the wider threat landscape by continually and automatically updating their threat databases from industry leading cloud based security intelligence feeds. This data is fed straight into the on-site NGFW appliances to ensure the business is also as current as the MSSP. Being outsourced and MSSP is also able to offer this type of capability at a much lower cost than if it were to be provisioned within the business.
If an SMB understand the need to protect their business against an increasingly complex cyber threat landscape, but does not want to dedicate internal staff to this task, and just concern themselves with running their own business knowing they are fully protected, then outsourcing their network and cyber security to a dedicated MSSP make a lot of sense.