MSP vs. MSSP: What’s the Difference
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) typically offer server/desktop monitoring and management, data backup and local network and endpoint support for client organizations. At one time, this model was a good alternative to break-fix or on-demand outsourcing, where these services are provided on a more sporadic, as-needed basis.
An MSSP, or Managed Security Services Provider on the other hand offers cybersecurity monitoring and management services in addition to everything a traditional MSP offers.
These services may include virus and spam blocking, intrusion detection, firewalls and virtual private network (VPN) management, and more. An MSSP may also handle system changes, modifications and upgrades. However, the key strategic benefit a reliable MSSP can offer is a comprehensive, holistic coverage of all your data security needs.
1) Security Operations Center (SOC)
An SOC monitors gateway devices and is responsible for protecting networks, as well as web sites, applications, databases servers, data centers, and other technologies. It works in tandem with and complements an organization’s NOC (Network Operations Center), whose primary function is to ensure uninterrupted network service.
2) Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a term for software products and services that combine security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) in the form of real-time analysis of security alerts generated by network hardware and applications. SIEM is delivered as software, appliances and/or managed services, and can also be used to log security data and generate reports for compliance purposes.
3) Security Analysts
Security analysts are responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of an organization’s data. Their main role is to analyze security measures and determine how effective each process is on an ongoing basis. Most SOC’s are staffed with multiple CISSP’s (Certified Information Security Systems Professionals) working around the clock, 24/7/365.
4) Remediation Services
Once you have comprehensive monitoring and detection, the obvious next step is to address issues as they arise. Not only will a good MSSP alert you of security concerns, they’ll take responsibility for remediation to mitigate risk and provide the appropriate due diligence.
5) Constant Process Evolution
A key aspect to success in data security is keeping your systems and processes current, facilitating your ability to remain as proactive as possible. Bear in mind that today’s malware is always one step ahead of any prevention system. You’ve got to remain constantly vigilant to know when your system has been compromised in any way.
6) Advanced Endpoint Protection
Antivirus software has been around now for 25 years. But it remains unable to protect against attacks that use unknown threat techniques. It continues to look for a known hash, and small changes to the hash can bypass the system. Antivirus systems also overlook “file-less” attacks that can infect your system’s memory, and write directly to RAM.
In the past couple of years, a new type of technology has emerged, designed to detect and prevent threats at the endpoint using a unique behavior-based approach. Instead of looking for something known or its variant, like signature-based detection, next-generation endpoint security analyzes file characteristics (to uncover known and unknown file-based malware) as well as the entire endpoint system behavior to identify suspicious activity on execution.
Known as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), it monitors for activity and enables administrators to prevent incidents from spreading throughout the organization. Next-Generation Endpoint Protection (NGEP) then goes a step further and takes automated actions to prevent and remediate attacks.
7) Security Awareness Training (SAT)
Even a single misstep by an employee can open the door to a potentially devastating breach. Security Awareness Training helps your team be more informed about security threats and more skeptical about what they receive via email or other channels. SAT helps prevent damaging behaviors, such as clicking on malicious links in email, oversharing on social media, or believing requests delivered through electronic channels without first verifying them.