As we continue moving into 2023, security concerns remain top-of-mind for business leaders. Yet many lack the time or resources to put into place the necessary protocols to safeguard their organisations.
How much of your typical workday is spent filling in forms, moving files around, copying data from one place to another, or re-typing stuff that exists one place into another place? What about your teams and your peers?
As a result, we’re seeing more customers inquiring about the benefits of managed security services, as well as how we can work with their internal teams or existing managed security service provider (MSSP) to improve the overall security posture of their organisation.
Of course, when we’re talking about security, it’s worth noting that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. While it’s true that MSSPs can leverage their extensive experience to offer more advanced security capabilities—potentially saving you time and money—working with them can present a separate set of challenges.
The reality is that, while you can outsource certain security functions, you can never truly outsource your risk. In order to create an ironclad security solution, you need to own security and adopt it as an enduring part of your company culture.
For this reason, we specifically recommend partnering with an MSSP that can become familiar with your unique environment, continually monitor the threat landscape and latest cyber security threats, and address your most pressing issues—all while supporting your existing team in a thoughtful, sensitive way.
Understandably, many companies encounter resistance from their internal teams when the idea of bringing on an external MSSP is raised. In some cases, this is due to fears that, under the scrutiny of a third-party provider, gaps in execution will be exposed. In others, team members worry about being displaced, which may cause them to head for the exit prematurely—a situation that risks exacerbating current IT staffing shortages.
Your MSSP should understand these dynamics and have experience supporting both leadership and IT teams in ways that leverage their strengths and involve them in the process. After all, you know your business best—including where there are likely to be security gaps or vulnerabilities within your organisation.
As an MSSP, our job is to assess each client’s current security posture, define their goals, and then create a plan to get them there. Often, this comes down to putting processes into place and ensuring you have the right people on your team to manage them. Our learnings from past and current MSSP partnerships play a key role in helping us to build strong relationships and launch security strategies that internal teams can get on board with.
So, what is MSSP? MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider. An MSSP is a specialized company that offers managed security services to organizations, helping them with various cybersecurity needs, such as threat monitoring, incident response, vulnerability management, and security consulting. Whether you’re already working with an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) or are thinking of adding one to your team in the future, keep the following best practices—developed based on our experience in the field—in mind:
Clearly understand both the benefits and limitations of MSSPs: An MSSP should help you understand your own cyber security requirements, as well as how the provided security services will fulfill them. However, they shouldn’t own security entirely. For this reason, information, transparency, and collaboration are key to the successful integration of an MSSP with an in-house team.
Service-level agreements (SLAs) are important. Both MSSPs and customers should review the service level agreement carefully in order to decide whether or not it would benefit them to collaborate.
Conduct an initial assessment: Most MSSPs will begin implementing managed security services by establishing a baseline, often involving a review or a security assessment. Your MSSP should scope their management services through a proper analysis of your environment and requirements, determining the required roles and who will be responsible for what—these factors play a pivotal role when it comes to integration.
MSSPs need to consider your organisation’s technology and security roadmaps, as well as the role any existing IT solution providers are playing in your environment—specifically, how they’re interacting with you, what their responsibilities are, and how they’re delivering services.
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Together with their MSSPs, customers should evaluate how security services will provide preventative solutions to compliance requirements and cyber security threats, such as by monitoring for them through a managed SIEM solution or by updating programs based on business and technical requirements. Even to a point where you implement an IT disaster recovery program in place just for advance security measures.
Finally, don’t forget about the importance of educating and training users. There are plenty of security services out there—many of which promise to protect businesses from current cyber security threats.
However, these tools require management and attention, and they require buy-in from both IT teams and your organisation’s users. That’s why, with all of our clients, we ensure that—if we’re handing over processes we develop or systems we implement—they’ll be handed over to a person who’s been trained to manage and maintain them.
If you’re looking to build a house, odds are you could do it yourself. But it would take longer, and it might even cost more than if you were to just hire a professional builder from the start. The same thing goes for security, it’s exactly the same thing—because this is our job, we know all the tips, the tricks, and what to look out for in an MSSP engagement.
For instance, at Canon Business Services (CBS):
• We often find that in-house teams have security as just one of the things on their to-do list, but that no team member truly specialises in the discipline. In contrast, our team is made up of dedicated security experts who have the hands-on expertise needed to secure your environment.
• We ensure our staff are trained and up-to-date on the latest in cyber security so that they can more effectively advise clients on the best ways to improve their overall security posture.
• We offer a greater degree of consistency in a challenging labour market. Relying on employees who come and go can leave you in a tough spot; working with a partner to manage security services ensures continuity.
In the event of employee turnover, partnering with an MSSP like CBS ensures you’re still able to respond effectively to security incidents. Not only can an external provider like CBS offer a comprehensive security solution, but we can also own aspects of it for your organisation, depending on your unique needs and circumstances.
Want to learn more about how working with an MSSP can boost the security of your organisation? Contact Canon Business Services (CBS) today.
Canon Business Services ANZ (CBS) is proud to be among the few Australian MSSPs in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), which means we can better defend you against a world of increasing cyber threats. Choose the team with 3 Azure advanced security specialisations (Identity & Access Management, Cloud Security and Threat Protection) to safeguard your organisation today.