What Is an MSSP? Definition, Benefits and Tips To Consider

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

Many companies store data digitally, which requires unique cyber security solutions to manage properly. One solution for maximizing security is to hire a managed security service provider (MSSP). Since this is a highly technical field, a company or organization may benefit greatly from hiring an MSSP.

In this article, we define MSSPs, explain the reasons for using one, discuss the benefits of doing so and provide a few tips.

What is an MSSP?

MSSPs are third-party businesses that you can hire to provide digital security for your company or organization. The concept of an MSSP is newer to the market, but they are becoming more popular as organizations store more of their data electronically. The sole focus of an MSSP is to focus on the security of its clients' data. Some MSSPs offer several general services, while others specialize in a few. Businesses can rely on an MSSP to maximize security, protect their data and increase the company's technological maturity. Services provided by MSSPs include:

  • Managing the company's firewall

  • Detecting intrusion and identifying potential threats

  • Creating a secure virtual private network (VPN)

  • Scanning for potential areas of vulnerability

  • Implementing anti-virus software

  • Assessing and managing risks

  • Creating and implementing solutions

  • Managing all security systems

  • Educating and training clients about cybersecurity best practices

Related: What Is MSP in IT Services? Benefits and How To Use It

Reasons to use an MSSP

As companies become more reliant on storing data digitally, it's important to ensure your data remains protected. You can hire an internal security team, or outsource to an MSSP. Here are a few reasons to consider using an MSSP:

Alleviate strain on an organization

If your organization is expanding, hiring an MSSP can alleviate strain so you can allocate your resources to other areas of the company. For example, imagine your marketing team is growing rapidly. As this happens, it's necessary to onboard each new hire into the computer system used by the organization. An MSSP can manage this aspect of their onboarding so the marketing department can focus on internal onboarding. By using an MSSP, other departments have more time to support different projects.

Related: 5 Key Risk Mitigation Strategies (With Examples)

Prevent a security breach

Another important reason to hire an MSSP is to prevent a security breach. If your company stores data digitally, it may be susceptible to a cybersecurity attack. By contracting an MSSP to handle all security services, you can rely on experts to identify potential threats to prevent a security breach. This can provide your company and all your clients with more comfort about the safety and security of their data. Additionally, an MSSP offers an opportunity to increase your company's security significantly in a short amount of time, so you can implement a rapid and secure solution.

Related: What Is Data Security? Definition, Importance and Strategies

Increase bandwidth

Since the use of an MSSP means that the MSSP is responsible for managing IT environments, company databases and general digital security, the rest of the company can focus its attention elsewhere. Regardless of the type of MSSP that your company chooses to use, the company now has more bandwidth to provide resources for other departments. With the knowledge that company data is secure, executives and company leaders can focus on other high-priority projects.

Related: 21 Different Types of IT Jobs To Explore

Remain updated with current technology

Since technology is always changing, it can be helpful to have a team of experts prepared to assess the security of new technology before implementing it. This additional layer of security can help organizations feel more confident about using new and innovative technological solutions. This can increase the technological maturity of the company as it relies on the assessment of the MSSP to determine the security of new technology.

Related: How To Stay Current With Technology Trends

Benefits of using an MSSP

While some companies may have large internal security teams, others may need to direct their resources to another department. However, businesses can still implement strong security solutions by using an MSSP. Here are a few of the benefits of using an MSSP in an organization:

Improved company security

The main benefit of using an MSSP is the ability to increase company security. By relying on a team of experts, companies can implement strong solutions to maximize data protection and prevent cyber attacks. Increasing company security can help reassure customers or clients, and it can strengthen the reputation of an organization.

Added expertise

When an organization contracts an MSSP to manage security, it's adding expertise to the organization as a whole. Typically, MSSPs provide people to liaise with clients when something arises. By hiring a team of experts to manage security, the company can use the expert resources available to implement security practices that work best for the organization.

Enhanced problem-solving measures

Another benefit of using an MSSP is understanding which solutions are the best in the market. Since the technology market changes often, it's helpful to have a team of experts that can inform an organization about the best current solution. This can help companies stay on the cutting edge of security technology, which can enhance the safety of the company's data.

Applied knowledge

Since MSSPs often work with multiple clients to provide security solutions, there's a possibility that these professionals can implement solutions that they learned while helping another client. With such a diverse range of experience, professionals at an MSSP may have more creative and innovative security solutions. Additionally, they may have experience dealing with several different types of security issues, which gives them extra insight into problems that arise with new clients.

Constant protection

Most MSSPs provide constant protection for their clients. You can rely on daily security, as the MSSP implements systems to continually detect potential threats. If the MSSP flags a potential security issue, they can alert the company immediately to develop a rapid solution. This can help limit the damage of a security threat or prevent a cyber attack altogether.

Related: Working in Cybersecurity: Definition, Careers and Skills

Tips for using an MSSP

If you want to implement an MSSP in your company, it's important to choose the one that suits your organization's needs. You might discuss services with multiple MSSPs before choosing the one that's best. Here are a few tips for using an MSSP:

  • Find strong client reviews: When you're looking for an MSSP to hire, try to find one with strong client reviews. These reviews demonstrate the success and effectiveness of the MSSP at protecting their other clients.

  • Choose one with several third-party certifications: Another thing to look for when searching for an MSSP is third-party certifications. An MSSP can earn several cyber security certifications that can increase your confidence in its services.

  • Decide between general services or specific tools: Before you decide which MSSP to use, consider if general security services or specific tools are better for your company. Since each company has different needs, it's helpful to determine what services you want before you hire an MSSP.

  • Assess the service agreement: After you decide which MSSP to hire, it's important to assess the service agreement. This agreement may include important information about the services provided, the expected compensation and other important logistics.

  • Select one with expertise in your industry: Some MSSPs may only work with companies in a certain industry, so it's important to find one that has experience providing services for a company similar to yours. For example, if your organization is in the finance industry, try to find an MSSP with other financial clients.

Explore more articles