Managed security service providers, better known as MSSP companies, offer perhaps the simplest and easiest of all security solutions. Instead of worrying about the particulars, you can simply outsource the entire matter to an outside company. As long as you choose a company with reputable ownership and staff, there is no reason not to put your security in the most capable and experienced hands possible. However, there are some downsides as well. Let’s take a fair and impartial look at the pros and cons of outsourcing network security.
There are several important benefits that come from the use of an MSSP service. Let’s look at the most significant of them.
1. Cost Savings
Although this benefit does not always manifest, most companies find that they can save a significant amount of money by using an MSSP company. This happens because they don’t have to worry about micromanaging every single security issue. Instead, everything is handled for a flat monthly fee. Even if the monthly fee is relatively high, it will still usually prove to be cheaper than the old-fashioned in-house approach.
MSSP companies are able to provide their services cheaply because they are using the same basic infrastructure to service a large number of companies. Thus, their operating expenses can be “spread out” so that no one company ends up shouldering the entire burden. An in-house IT setup, on the other hand, has costs that can only be absorbed by your specific organization.
2. Higher Quality Service
Let’s be honest here: There are many instances in which corporate IT professionals are not fully qualified to do their jobs. Because of the high demand for IT and cybersecurity skills (and the fact that most of the best people are already employed), a lot of companies have to settle for the best they can get. In some ways, having a half-qualified person can be even worse than having a complete amateur.
When you go with an MSSP, you can be reasonably sure that their people have been tested and vetted and that they all have relevant qualifications and certifications. Without those credentials, the hiring of IT professionals can be a shot in the dark. When it comes to cybersecurity, this kind of uncertainty is just not acceptable.
3. Help With Compliance Issues
Regulatory compliance is always a serious pain, particularly because legislators are constantly modifying the regulations. While the intent behind this might be good, the results often are not. Over time, all those overlapping rules and decisions create a patchwork of confusion that is very hard to navigate without special help. Attorneys can certainly help with compliance matters, but they don’t generally work cheap.
An MSSP, in most cases, will be willing and able to help you with your compliance issues. Because they are sharing some liability with you, they will be motivated to research the current regulations thoroughly and ensure that you remain within those guidelines. Since their services will often include security monitoring, there is no reason that they cannot monitor compliance at the same time.
4. Constant Monitoring And Feedback
From a security standpoint, network and system monitoring is a very important thing. Surface-level protections like firewalls and HTTPS encryption are helpful, but all of these things can be circumvented by a skillful attacker. Even if there is no malicious actor involved, simple mistakes and accidents can also compromise an organizations’ security. Thus, you need a secondary “checkpoint” to weed out the bigger and smarter threats.
You could have your monitoring done by an in-house team, but that is going to keep at least one team member tied up on a constant basis. They won’t be able to do much besides monitor things, and that reduces their worth as employees. Further, if that person is not alert and observant enough (or just poorly educated), they won’t do you any good. With an MSSP, these problems aren’t nearly as bad. They will generally have enough qualified people to keep an eye on things without compromising their effectiveness in other areas.
Unfortunately, there are also some problems that can come from the use of an MSSP service. Let’s discuss the largest of those below.
1. Potential Leakage
When you put an outside company in charge of your cybersecurity, you are basically giving them permission to look at all your data and all your network activity. This is fine if you have a trustworthy and discrete MSSP, but it doesn’t always happen that way. You have to make sure that you can trust the company that handles your security, or they may do more harm than good.
The best thing here is to look at the reputation of your chosen MSSP and see if you can find anything bad. Dig for some dirt just to see if you can find any. If you do, it’s probably best to move on to another candidate. For instance, if your MSSP has suffered a recent security breach, that can be a really bad sign. Of course, the company’s response should also be taken into account.
2. Potential Loss Of Control
When you keep everything in-house, you can basically control every detail. Whether it’s the staff, the servers, the connected devices, or the network itself, everything is in your hands. Delegating some of that responsibility will also mean delegating a certain amount of control. Once again, this is only a problem if you choose an untrustworthy or substandard MSSP.
Here at PCH Technologies, we offer MSSP services that are second to none. While these services may not be the best option for everyone, they truly represent the easiest path to good cybersecurity. They also represent the cheapest path to good cybersecurity, so you can easily see why these services are becoming a lot more popular. Traditional antivirus software hasn’t been effective in a long time, so those with a need for serious security will need to step things up or face the consequences. If you would like some help in that department, feel free to call us at (856) 754-7500.