In last week’s blog post, I wrote about top 2019 tech trends for small businesses.
I stated that “in 2019, many small businesses will turn to manage security service providers (MSSP) to help them with their security woes. These cybersecurity providers understand the current threat environment and work towards helping their clients get ahead of cyber-attacks. “
In today’s post, I’m going to expand on that thought by answering this question:
As a small business owner, do I need an MSSP when I already have an MSP?
The short answer is yes and no depending on the capabilities of your MSP.
But before I unpack that answer, let’s go over the differences between an MSP and MSSP.
MSP and MSSP
MSP means managed service provider, and they act as an organization’s IT department. Their main goal is to deliver network, application, system, and IT management services to other businesses.
MSSP is the acronym managed security service provider. In contrast, an MSSP offers cyber security as a service for organizations. They are NOT an outsourced IT department.
The goal of an MSSP is to protect, alert and monitor your IT environment against cyber threats. An MSP’s role is to maintain and manage your IT on a daily basis.
The Role of an Average MSP
The definition of a “managed service” differs depending on who you ask. For this example, I’m going to focus on what customers expect out of their managed service provider.
In most cases, small businesses expect their MSP to handle the setup, installation, and configuration of the equipment. The provider will also configure their client’s IT environment with the best practices.
And finally, managed service providers deliver technical support to their customers.
The Role of an Average MSSP
The main goal of an MSSP is to ensure that a client’s employees and systems are safe, secure, and compliant.
A managed security service provides incident response, incident detection, and penetration testing. They also help ensure compliance with regulatory mandates and industry standards.
And should a cyber breach occur, the MSSP offers remediation services to mitigate any damages. Take that, hackers.
To continue reading about MSPs vs. MSSPs, check out this post.
Does your MSP have security capabilities?
If we’ve learned anything, a firewall and antivirus is not adequate security coverage. MSPs who don’t offer security services are at risk of losing business to those who do.
So, how do you know if your MSP has security capabilities? To find out, you’ll need to ask your MSP some tough questions:
- Is my current cyber security posture strong?
- Do I have security policies and an incident response plan in place?
- How is my organization’s environment being monitored?
- If I need a risk assessment of my environment, could you perform one?
- What would happen in the event of a data breach? Will I be able to recover compromised data?
If you don’t like their answers, then it might be time to consider partnering with a cyber security provider.
At the end of the day, the more layers of security, the better off you’ll be.
There is a strong case to have both an MSP and an MSSP, which leads me to my next point.
Do I need an MSSP: a Case for Both
For a small business, a good MSSP should function as a seamless extension of the company’s own IT employees, or MSP.
In a perfect picture, the MSP takes care of the daily legwork that comes with managing an IT environment.
Meanwhile, the MSSP will shoulder the reasonability of securing and defending that IT environment.
So, as a small business owner, do I need an MSSP when I already have an MSP?
In most cases, yes. You need both. Here are my top 5 reasons why:
Let your IT team do what they do best.
Having an MSSP can free up your in-house IT team to focus on other jobs that will deliver business benefits.
Never fall between security trends.
It can be very difficult for a small IT team to stay relevant with security news and know-how. An MSSP will have a great deal more experience and expertise in security. In fact, many MSSPs require employees to continue their education through pursuing certifications.
More tools in the toolshed.
MSSPs have access to more advanced security tools than MSPs. They go above and beyond the basic antivirus and firewalls. A good MSSP will use security information & event management (SIEM) solutions. The SIEM enables the security provider the ability to monitor and manage security incidents.
The SIEM also helps the security analysts identify unauthorized access to any of your systems, networks, devices, or data.
On top of that, security experts use threat intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, security automation, advanced security analytics, and more.
Policy compliance can be very overwhelming for small businesses with fewer resources. With an MSSP by your side, you can define, document, and manage your security policy.
Employee cyber awareness training is essential. People are the area of greatest vulnerability. Most MSSPs will help train your employees in security best practices on a regular basis.
A few years ago, small businesses hardly had to think about cyber security. But in today’s world, no one is safe from a cyber security attack. I urge all small businesses to take the threat of cybercrime seriously.
If your managed service provider or IT department doesn’t have the knowledge and infrastructure to handle a data breach, then it’s time to consider partnering with an MSSP.
At MRW Systems, we are both a managed service provider and managed security service provider. Through offering both services, we are able to provide our clients with the resources they need to keep their networks running reliably and protected.
To learn more about our MSP, follow this link.
And to learn more about our MSSP service, NetGarde, click here