MSSP - the inexpensive option for businesses to enjoy network security provided by experts
Today, many company owners are aware of the nightmarish consequences of cyberattacks. Nevertheless, they are daunted by the prospect of having to spend a great deal of money on cybersecurity tools and to scramble for cybersecurity professionals who are relatively thin on the ground. So, there is often the temptation to take a chance and not take any actions, hoping that hackers will not knock on one’s door. But then, companies do not necessarily have to do the actual work of maintaining cybersecurity themselves. In recent years, hiring a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) has become an increasingly common practice among businesses. By paying a reasonable amount of money, companies can enjoy high-level security protection provided by an MSSP. This saves them not only money, but also time and manpower.
Table of Content
- What is MSSP?
- Wide variety of cyberattacks & the heavy costs of every attack
- Scope of MSSP services
- Four leading advantages of MSSP
- Factors to consider when using an MSSP
What is MSSP?
A questionnaire conducted by the market research company Gartner found that about 24% of the interviewed companies were willing to delegate the job of maintaining cyber security to an MSSP. But what is MSSP? Simply put, the role of an MSSP is to help businesses maintain network security, thus freeing the latter from the burden of day-to-day network security maintenance work. By using an MSSP, businesses effectively outsource their network security maintenance work. As cyber criminals are now using more sophisticated and complex techniques to launch cyberattacks, contracting out network security maintenance work is the way to go for more and more companies.
Wide variety of cyberattacks & the heavy costs of every attack
In the article Fighting ransomware Sourcing out network security tasks is the way to go for SMEs, we pointed out that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as with big companies, are hardly immune to cyberattacks that are sweeping the globe with increasing frequency. Apart from ransomware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, credential stealer and supply chain attack can also plunge companies into a crisis to different degrees.
|Type of Cyberattack
|The hacker floods a website or application with invalid requests via a huge amount of zombie computers, so as to exhaust the server or network resources.
|Paralyse company websites or applications, thus interrupting business operations.
|The hacker obtains the login information of company employees through phishing emails or brute-force attacks.
|The hacker gains access to the company’s network and database, and then installs malicious software or steal confidential information.
|Supply chain attack
|The hacker hacks the application service provider or open source software used by a company, so as to eventually hack the company.
|The hacker gains access to the company’s network and database without a hitch, and then installs malicious software or steal confidential information.
Scope of MSSP servicesMSSP is to provide professional security hosting services for corporate customers, who therefore need not invest a great deal of resources to purchase network security solutions and hire security experts. The scope of MSSP services usually covers the following:
|Monitor and control abnormal network traffic
|Prevent DDoS attacks and detect any malicious acts inside the network and at different nodes.
|Monitor system resources
|Detect any suspicious elements in the system, such as cryptojacking and botnets.
|Network health check and management
|Check for any system vulnerabilities by scanning and conducting penetration tests.
|Handle security issues and back up security logs
|Follow up on alerts issued by security tools and back up security logs for future reports and probes.
|Check whether a company’s network security and information security meet specific industry regulations, such as GDPR of the EU, and China's Cybersecurity law and Data Security Law.
|File security reports that meet international standards
|For customers to meet audit requirements.
Four leading advantages of MSSP
Cutting-edge cybersecurity technologyNowadays there are a complex variety of cyberattack technologies out there, including different kinds of variants and fileless malware. These sophisticated technologies have effectively disabled the signature-based malware detection functions of traditional anti-virus software and firewalls. Equipped with a wide range of cutting-edge network security tools, MSSPs can intercept impending attacks and prevent zero-day vulnerabilities. In addition, MSSPs provide their services and technology support around the clock, so that companies can focus on their own business development.
Comprehensive information on cyber threatsTo boost one’s ability to ward off cyberattacks, it is necessary to collect as much information as possible on cyber threats around the globe. This way, one can stay updated on the latest developments and eliminate security vulnerabilities that may otherwise be taken advantage of by cyber criminals. MSSPs can put together a vast amount of global intelligence on cyber threats. They are therefore more reliable and can act more promptly than in-house IT staff. They are also more able to identity new cyberattack methods and the latest trends. Some MSSPs even go one step further by setting honeypots to lure hackers to launch cyberattacks.
Compliance with specific industry regulationsCertain industries, such as finance and law, are subject to specific laws and regulations on network infrastructure and data processing. For example, companies that use electronic payment systems have to comply with PCI DSS and BSI, and IT service providers have to use experts with certain internationally recognised qualifications in network security when carrying out government contracts. MSSPs have experts specialising in different fields and with different qualifications. They include holders of GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certification, GIAC Certified Forensic Analysts (GCFA) and GIAC Certified Forensic Examiners (GCFE), holders of GIAC Cyber Threat Intelligence (GCTI) certification and Certified Information Security Managers (CISM), and holders of Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certifications. With MSSP support, companies need not worry about not being able to find IT experts amid talent shortage, or that their operations might be affected when in-house IT staff members leave the companies.
One-stop management & data transparencyIn adopting a work-from-home policy amid the coronavirus pandemic, companies have had to adopt a variety of new tools and cloud applications in a short time. That has blurred of lines between home and work. Meanwhile, a lack of centralised management of the said tools results in a lack of transparency of data transmission. That can make it difficult for IT staff to identify security vulnerabilities.
MSSPs have their own security experts and IT management tools to help businesses ensure transparency of data transmission, so that when a security or network issue arises within a company, it will be easier to identify the cause. MSSP security experts can also help businesses scan for security vulnerabilities, update their computer equipment and conduct penetration tests, thus keeping cyber criminals at bay.
Four leading advantages of MSSP
While there are multiple advantages in the use of an MSSP, you should only choose reputable ones, given that they are to handle confidential information of your company. Make sure also that the MSSP you use meet the ISO 27001, ISO/IEC 20000 international standards. A clearly written service level agreement with the MSSP is also of great importance as far as the effectiveness of the MSSP’s service and your company’s interests are concerned.
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