Three Key Elements of a Successful Managed Security Services Implementation

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Three Key Elements of a Successful Managed Security Services-01

To gain security knowledge and reduce the workload of their in-house security employees, more companies are turning to managed security services.

Many businesses can’t afford an in-house SWAT team of security professionals to pounce on and deflect the latest threats to the organization, no matter how much they would like to. Most businesses are already time and resource-restricted. Others are still suffering from the ever-worsening skills deficit, which has made hiring and retaining skilled cybersecurity professionals challenging.

Managed Service Provider (MSPs) in a nutshell

This is where managed security providers come in. MSPs, whose expertise is sought by enterprises struggling to secure their critical assets from malicious actors, have never been more popular.

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With so many businesses scrambling to put in place an effective data protection plan in order to comply with rapidly changing data privacy laws and mitigate the ongoing onslaught of ransomware attacks, here are three ways businesses can help foster a valuable IT-MSP relationship.

Define security requirements

Businesses should identify and comprehend the critical assets that must be protected. This, along with data classification, is frequently the bedrock of any successful information security plan. Also, enterprises must consider what must be protected at all costs as a company: Think intellectual property, source code, and mission-critical information.

Once those essential assets have been identified, businesses should convey their security requirements and deficiencies to the new managed services team in a transparent and effective manner. This is a crucial step in building a protection baseline. It also ensures that the internal team and the MSP are on the same page as far as functional expectations are concerned.

Establish a connection

The better the connection with the MSP, like with any good relationship, the more involvement and engagement the company has with the MSP. The team will get a better understanding of its role, including what the MSP can and cannot do, as a result of this communication.

Ensuring that IT strategy and business strategy are in sync can also help the firm run more smoothly. Businesses can learn about one other’s skill sets and create a rapport by keeping an open discussion between teams, which can contribute to operational efficiencies in the long term.

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Businesses should consider the MSP as an extension of their security team and treat them as such. When dealing with security issues, this can help ensure operational synergies. It can also reveal areas where the MSP can provide value during downtime, such as when performing threat investigations or investigating phishing efforts.

Continue to collaborate and communicate

While the customer and the MSP are bound by a service-level agreement (SLA), what begins as a high-level partnership can thrive into a mutually beneficial relationship. Companies should schedule monthly check-ins, including quarterly business reviews (QBRs), to discuss trends, incidents, policy changes, and other issues, regardless of the MSP’s services —network, application, infrastructure, or security.

These meetings can provide valuable information, allowing the security team and the MSP to work together to identify areas for improvement. When reporting to the company’s senior executives, they can also assist the security team in better communicating the MSP’s value.

The financial advantages of working with an MSP are well-documented, but having measurements and being able to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) can boost the cause even further. After being embedded with the IT department, an MSP can pay off over time.

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