Questions Security Chief Must Ask Their Managed Security Providers  

Managed Security Providers

As businesses step-up initiatives to enhance their cybersecurity protections, many look at outsourcing as an efficient and viable way to manage security. Outsourcing cybersecurity comes with a host of advantages, but no two managed security service providers (MSSP) are alike. Hence, it is crucial to carefully analyze providers to ensure that the chosen MSSP meets the security needs of the organization. Because a wrong choice can leave a company’s assets open to substantial risk.

While cyber threats continue to escalate and pressure on the in-house security teams grows, it’s become crucial for businesses to seek managed security providers (MSSP) to ease the burden of protecting their business round the clock.

Since there are multiple options available in the market, it can be an advantage for organizations looking for managed security providers provided they know the right questions to ask. So, here are some common questions that need to be put answered while choosing an MSSP.

Would it be possible to generate a monthly report on metrics that measures the value of the service?

Metrics are essential irrespective of the size and nature of the business. Clear data sets can be helpful while demonstrating the ROI for the management to assess the efficacy of the investment. However, determining how to measure value can be challenging and may differ from customer to customer.

Service offerings should have the capability of providing statistics on the number of high-fidelity cases increased, possible mean-time-to-remediation (MTTR) data, and mean-time-to-detection (MTTD) data depending on the deliverables.

Also Read: Top Challenges SOC Teams Need to Address in 2021

How will the provider design teamwork during a security incident?

The managed service provider should feel like a part of the organization. Working together as a team during incidents and responding to security alerts can foster a stronger bond between both entities. Also, gaining knowledge from skilled professionals can help businesses enhance the skill set of their own organization.

Why didn’t the provider identify the malware executed by the company on their lab device?

It’s extremely difficult to catch everything. Even if a company has all the right security solutions and monitoring in place, there are chances of something getting missed. Managed security providers are expected to stay on top of the game at all times since they are getting paid for that. If they miss something, it’s the company’s responsibility to bring that up to them so they can fill up the gaps in the process or detection rules to enhance their services.

What are security recommendations for the level of threat activity observed in the organization?

Even though it is crucial to deliver a managed detection and response service to customers, offering feedback on how customers can enhance their internal controls can truly be a game-changer. Managed service providers have significant insights into the company’s security posture, details of the attacks, including the frequency and vectors they come from.

If patterns such as spikes in phishing-related compromises are observed, then perhaps it is the right time for companies to introduce a more formal security awareness campaign to their employees or add extra layers of control at their email gateway. These insights can be highly valuable.

Also Read: Identifying and Controlling Risk with Automated Certificate Management

Would the provider respond real time if an incident strikes?

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are important for organizations to understand and analyze. With managed service offerings, they are generally open 24/7, but not all are. When an incident strikes, businesses must be in a position to understand what level of support will be given during off-hours for their time zone. For instance, perhaps only an analyst and not the incident manager for the team is available to discuss. Therefore, drawing up these expectations in advance is highly recommended.

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