Your In-Depth Guide to Managed Security Services

With the increasing complexity of cybersecurity threats, an MSSP can be a valuable asset for any organization that wants to ensure its data and systems are well protected. This article will review the benefits of managed security services and what to look for when selecting the right provider for your organization.

What are Managed Security Services?

Managed security services (MSS) are a type of IT outsourcing in which an organization contracts with a service provider to take on responsibility for some or all of its cybersecurity functions. The scope of MSS can vary, but typically includes network monitoring, risk management, and managed detection and response. Some MSS providers also offer additional services such as penetration testing and compliance assistance. By outsourcing security functions to an IT provider, organizations can free up internal resources that would otherwise be devoted to security tasks.

What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

A managed security services provider (MSSP) is a type of security solutions provider that offers comprehensive, proactive cybersecurity care and management services. MSSPs remotely monitor and manage an organization’s security infrastructure on a 24/7 basis, using a team of Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts.

In the event of an incident, an MSSP can provide expert guidance on how to respond in order to minimize the damage and get the organization back up and running as quickly as possible. For many organizations, especially those without in-house expertise, an MSSP can be an essential partner in maintaining a secure IT infrastructure. 

An MSSP typically charges a monthly fee for its services. This fee is usually based on the size of the organization’s network and the level of protection required. Some MSSPs also offer pay-as-you-go plans that allow organizations to only purchase the services they need on an as-needed basis. 

These services provide organizations with the peace of mind that their security posture is constantly being monitored and improved by experts while freeing up in-house resources to focus on other strategic initiatives.

The History of MSSPs — They Have Evolved

Managed security service providers have become an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to outsource their security needs. But what exactly is an MSSP, and how did they come to be?

MSSPs first emerged in the early 2000s, in response to the growing complexity of cybersecurity threats. At that time, most businesses handled their own security internally, but as attacks became more sophisticated and widespread, it became clear that most companies didn’t have the resources or expertise to keep up. MSSPs stepped in to fill this gap, offering to manage a company’s security needs for a fee.

Today, MSSPs offer a wide range of services, from 24/7 monitoring and threat detection to incident response and even compliance assistance. And with the ever-growing list of compliance regulations, more and more businesses are turning to MSSPs to help them meet their obligations.

Managed Services Provider vs. Managed Security Services Provider

Managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) are both types of organizations that offer similar outsourcing services but have different concentrations. MSPs typically provide a range of IT services, including desktop support, data backups, software updates, and system monitoring. MSSPs, on the other hand, solely focus on security-related services such as cybersecurity monitoring, intrusion detection, and managed firewalls.

Both MSPs and MSSPs can be beneficial for businesses that lack the resources to manage their own IT infrastructure. However, it is important to carefully consider which type of provider is best suited to your organization’s needs. MSPs may be a better choice for businesses that require a broad range of IT services, while MSSPs may be more appropriate for businesses with specific security concerns.

Organizations that outsource all or pieces of their IT environment typically do so in one of four ways. They use an:

  1. MSP for general IT needs
  2. MSSP exclusively for cybersecurity
  3. Separate MSP and MSSP for dual coverage — 2 vendors
  4. MSP with an MSSP business unit for dual coverage — 1 vendor


Managed security services providers deliver incredible value to their clients that don’t have the internal resources or expertise to properly run a fully-functioning in-house cybersecurity team. If your business meets the right criteria, a partnership with an MSSP that delivers a multi-layered security solution can be a very strategic move.


Maintaining a secure IT infrastructure is a complex and time-consuming task, one that requires specialized knowledge and constant vigilance. For businesses without an in-house IT team, the best way to ensure a secure IT infrastructure is to partner with a managed security service provider. You can cope with the headache of managing a security team, but wouldn’t it be more simple to partner with an MSSP that handles everything for you?

Expertise & Threat Intelligence

MSSPs provide a unique combination of expertise and outside perspective that can benefit any business that is looking to implement an effective security solution. If you choose a seasoned security provider, you can rest assured that you will significantly benefit from an objective third party that has the expertise and experience to protect your business from any issue that arises.

Advanced Tech & Tools

Managed security service providers offer a range of services that can help organizations protect their data and systems from cyber threats by using the most advanced technology and tools available. When the newest tools hit the shelves, chances are that your MSSP has already thoroughly vetted the technology and decided whether to implement it into their security stack — a huge benefit for any organization.

Playing Offense Instead of Defense

Organizations today are under constant attack from cyber criminals who are becoming more sophisticated and organized. As a result, organizations need to change their cybersecurity philosophy and become the aggressor — they must now play offense. Without the proper knowledge and resources, this is nearly impossible for an IT department ill-equipped to take on this threat hunting challenge. By partnering with an MSSP, a business can sit back and let its provider implement a proactive approach to protecting its systems and sensitive data.

Automated Detection & Fixes

One of the most valuable services an MSSP can provide for its clients is automated detection and mitigation of vulnerabilities. As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, organizations are struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of security alerts. Security providers that can deliver detection and response automation can help their clients not only identify potential threats but also quickly fix any vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

24/7 Security Monitoring

In today’s interconnected world, organizations rely on data and IT systems to stay competitive, however, these same systems are also vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals. MSSPs provide around-the-clock monitoring of an organization’s IT infrastructure and can quickly respond to any threats that emerge. By doing so, they help to ensure that businesses can keep their systems up and running, even in the face of a sophisticated attack. In a world where seconds count, MSSPs provide an essential layer of protection for businesses.

Keeping Current For You

Who has time to stay up-to-date on everything IT? Managed security providers offer an invaluable service to organizations that don’t have the time or resources to keep up with the latest IT trends, cyber threats, best practices, tech, and compliance changes. They do it all, so you don’t have to!!

Recovery & Remediation

Things go wrong. It happens. And if it does, you better have a plan and process to get you back on your feet. Good thing MSSPs offer recovery and remediation services from a team of experienced professionals who specialize in event management and data restoration. In the event of information loss, a security provider can quickly identify the root cause and take steps to restore lost or corrupted data. In addition, an MSSP can help organizations to develop and implement policies and procedures that will minimize the risk of future losses.


A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and a client that spells out the expectations and responsibilities of each party. For businesses that use a managed security service provider, an SLA is essential in order to ensure that the MSSP will meet their specific security needs. An SLA should outline the services to be provided, the level of availability of those services, and the response time in the event of an incident. It should also establish clear lines of communication between the customer and the MSSP, and identify who is responsible for each aspect of the security program. By having an SLA in place, businesses can be confident that their MSSP is held accountable for providing high-quality services. In turn, this can help to not only improve the overall security of the business, but when these service guarantees are continuously realized, it can help to instill trust in the relationship between the outsourced third party and the client.

Consulting on Demand

Organizations typically engage a managed security provider on a subscription basis, but there are moments when extra help is required. On-demand consulting services are beneficial for organizations that are facing a specific challenge or opportunity, such as a new regulation or an emerging threat. By engaging an MSSP on a project basis, organizations can get the expertise they need without making a long-term commitment or hiring a full-time employee.


MSSPs can help businesses reduce costs in several ways. One is by providing access to economies of scale. As large organizations, MSSPs can buy security products and services at a lower cost than businesses could on their own. They can then pass these savings on to their clients. In addition, MSSPs can help businesses cut costs by providing a centralized security operations center. This allows businesses to consolidate their security efforts and avoid duplicating expensive tools and resources. Finally, MSSPs can help businesses reduce costs by sharing risk. By pooling resources and sharing information, MSSPs can help businesses identify and mitigate threats before they cause damage.

Get Back to Business

In a world where data breaches make headlines regularly, it’s more important than ever for organizations to invest in strong cybersecurity measures to optimize their security posture. However, building and maintaining an in-house cybersecurity team can be a major undertaking, requiring significant time and financial resources. And with normal business operations needing constant attention, it’s no wonder organizations are turning to MSSPs to provide a level of protection that would be difficult for most to achieve on their own. Their invaluable expertise and insights into the latest cyber threats make managed security services such an attractive option for so many businesses. By entrusting their security management to an MSSP, organizations can reallocate their staff to focus on their core strategic goals and activities, safe in the knowledge that their security is in good hands.

Features to Look For

When researching managed security services providers for your business, it is important to review the features of their offering that should include the following:

SIEM Monitoring

SIEM monitoring is the process of collecting, analyzing, and responding to security-related data in real-time. It’s a key component of a comprehensive security strategy, as it helps organizations detect and respond to advanced threats more quickly and effectively. SIEM tools collect data from a variety of sources, including network traffic, application logs, and user activity. This data is then analyzed in real-time to provide visibility into the organization’s IT environment. This visibility can be used to quickly identify and respond to security incidents, as well as improve the organization’s overall security posture.

Endpoint Detection & Response

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a type of security software that focuses on detecting and responding to security threats at the endpoint level. Endpoints are devices that are connected to a network, such as computers, laptops, servers, and other mobile devices. EDR takes a proactive approach to endpoint security, using advanced analytics and machine learning to detect suspicious activity, identify potential threats, and respond accordingly.

DNS Protection

DNS protection is an IT security measure that helps to protect against DNS hijacking and cache poisoning attacks. DNS, or Domain Name System, is a key element of the internet that helps translate website names into IP addresses. This process is essential for anyone who wants to visit a website, but it also makes DNS a potential target for cybercriminals. A DNS hijacking attack occurs when someone redirects traffic from a legitimate website to a malicious one. This can happen if a hacker gains access to a DNS server and changes the IP address that is associated with a particular domain name. Cache poisoning attacks are similar, but they involve maliciously altering the DNS records that are stored on local servers. This can cause users to be directed to fake websites even if they enter the correct URL. Both of these attacks can be very harmful, but DNS protection can help to thwart them. By using secure protocols and monitoring DNS activity, organizations can make it much harder for hackers to carry out these types of attacks.


RMM, or remote monitoring and management, is a type of software used by IT professionals to manage their networks and devices remotely. By using RMM, IT professionals can monitor their network for potential problems, deploy updates and patches, and troubleshoot issues without having to physically be onsite. This can save a significant amount of time and money, as well as improve the efficiency of the IT team. In addition, RMM can also help to reduce the risk of data breaches and other security threats by providing a central location for monitoring all devices and networks.

Anomaly Detection

Anomaly detection is the process of identifying unusual patterns in data. It has a wide range of applications, from fraud detection in financial services to the identification of cyber-attacks. Anomaly detection is typically used in situations where it is not possible to identify all outliers in advance, or where the distribution of data is not known. The goal of anomaly detection is to find instances that are significantly different from the rest of the data.

Managed Phishing Response

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses fraudulent emails or websites to trick users into sharing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data. Managed phishing response is a service that helps organizations quickly and effectively react to these attacks. The services usually include a team of security experts who will customize a response plan to minimize the impact to customers, employees, and the overall organization. The service typically includes disabling compromised accounts, resetting passwords, and notifying affected users as well as access to a 24/7 hotline and an online portal for reporting phishing attempts.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. The most common factors used for MFA are:

  • Something they know — like a password
  • Something they have — like a security token
  • Something they are — like a fingerprint.

By requiring multiple factors, MFA makes it much more difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access to restricted data.

Email Hygiene

Email hygiene is the process of keeping your email account clean and free of spam, malware, and other threats. Two of the most common practices in protecting against business email compromise are:

  • Email Filtering — can help to block spam or dangerous emails from reaching your inbox.
  • Business Email Security — can help to protect your account from phishing attacks and other types of fraud.

Dark Web Monitoring

The dark web is a section of the internet that can only be accessed using special software because it is not indexed by search engines. Due to its anonymous nature, it is often used for illegal activity, such as the sale of drugs, weapons, and cybercrime.

Dark web monitoring is the process of monitoring the dark web for outlawed or harmful activity. This can be done manually, by searching for specific keywords or terms, or automatically, using software that crawls the dark web for suspicious activity. Dark web monitoring can help to protect businesses and individuals from being victimized by identity theft or other crimes.

Cloud Security

Cloud-based security services are the process of securing data, applications, and infrastructure that are stored on or accessible through the cloud. It is a relatively new field that is constantly evolving to keep up with the changing landscape of cloud computing.

The most common types of cloud security services include identity and access management, data protection, incident response, and governance. These services work together to provide a comprehensive security solution for enterprises that use cloud computing.

  • Identity and access management (IAM) is used to control who has access to what data and applications.
  • Data protection includes encryption, data backup, and disaster recovery.
  • Incident response helps to identify and investigate security breaches.
  • Governance ensures that all policies and procedures are followed to meet compliance requirements.

Cloud security services are essential for enterprises that want to embrace the cloud without compromising on security.

Managed Backups and Redundancy

Backups and redundancy are two important concepts when it comes to data storage. Backups refer to the copies of data that are made in case the original data is lost or corrupted. Redundancy refers to having multiple copies of data stored in different locations. This ensures that if one copy is lost or corrupted, there is another copy that can be used.

Managed backups and redundancy are services that are provided by companies, like MSSPs, that specialize in data storage. These companies create backups of data and store them in multiple locations. They also monitor the data to ensure that it remains intact and can be quickly restored if necessary. This provides peace of mind for businesses that need to store large amounts of data.


Managed security service providers offer an important service to businesses by monitoring and managing their network security and one of the most important aspects of a security provider’s job is to provide timely and accurate reports to their clients. This allows businesses to stay informed about the status of their security, make well-informed decisions about where to allocate their resources, and identify trends and potential areas of improvement.

MSSPs typically generate two types of reports for their clients:

  • Activity reports provide an overview of the MSSP‘s activities on behalf of the client, including the number of incidents detected and their responses, as well as any changes made to the client’s security posture.
  • Forensic reports are more detailed, and often include information such as evidence of intrusion attempts, malicious code, and data exfiltration.

MSSPs use a variety of tools and techniques to generate these reports, which help their clients to understand the current state of their security posture and make informed decisions about their security strategy.

Cybersecurity Training

Organizations that rely on IT infrastructure to conduct business are vulnerable to cyberattacks. They should provide cybersecurity training designed to help employees understand and implement security protocols within their organization, however, many lack the internal resources to develop and deliver effective instructional programs. As a result, they often turn to a managed security services provider for help.

MSSPs offer a variety of cybersecurity training services, including awareness training, technical training, and compliance training. Awareness training helps employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and the potential consequences of a data breach. Technical training covers topics such as password management, email security, and data encryption. Compliance training ensures that employees are aware of the legal requirements for protecting customer data.

By working with an MSSP, organizations can be confident that their employees are receiving the latest and most comprehensive cybersecurity training available.

Vulnerability Assessments

A vulnerability assessment is a systematic process for identifying, classifying, and prioritizing weaknesses in computer systems, applications, and networks. The goal of a vulnerability assessment is to identify gaps that could be employed by attackers and to prioritize these liabilities based on the potential impact of an exploit.

Vulnerability assessments are an essential part of any organization’s security posture, and they should be conducted on a regular basis. They typically involve the following steps:

  1. Identifying assets to be included in the scope of the assessment.
  2. Identifying potential threats to these assets.
  3. Identifying vulnerabilities that could be exploited by these threats.
  4. Classifying the severity of each vulnerability.
  5. Prioritizing the remediation of each vulnerability.

The precise approach used in a given assessment will depend on the specific needs and resources of the organization.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing, also known as “pen testing”, “security testing,” or “ethical hacking” is the process of simulating an attack on a computer system in order to evaluate its security. It is a form of security audit that is becoming increasingly common as businesses look to protect themselves from cyber threats.

The goal of penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker, assess the impact of such an attack, and provide recommendations for mitigating them.

In order to carry out a successful penetration test, testers need to have a deep understanding of both security principles and hacking techniques. They also need to be well-versed in the tools and technologies that are commonly used by hackers.

Simulating regular penetration tests can strengthen an organization’s security posture by identifying and fixing weaknesses in the environment before they are exploited by real-world attackers.

Application Whitelisting

Application whitelisting is a security technique that allows only authorized applications to run on a computer or network. Whitelisting can be used to protect against malicious software or viruses and can prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data. However, it is important to note that application whitelisting is not a perfect solution, and it can sometimes cause problems if not configured correctly. For example, if an approved program is updated without also updating the whitelist, it may no longer be able to run. As such, application whitelisting should be used as part of a broader security strategy.

Firewall Management

A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. They can be hardware-based or software-based, and they are often used in conjunction with each other. Hardware-based firewalls are typically installed between a network and the Internet, while software-based firewalls are installed on individual computers.

Firewall management is the process of configuring and maintaining firewall settings and includes adding or removing rules, setting up access control lists, and monitoring traffic logs. It is a critical part of network security, as it helps to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data.


Encryption is a technique used to protect data or communication from unauthorized access and involves transforming the data into a form that cannot be read or understood by anyone who does not have the appropriate key. There are a variety of encryption algorithms available, and the level of security provided by each algorithm varies, so it is important to choose one that is appropriate for the level of security required. When implemented properly, encryption can be an effective way to protect data and communications from unauthorized access.

Patch Management

Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, installing, and verifying patches for software products. The goal is to ensure that they are up-to-date and have the latest security fixes installed. By keeping software current, patch management helps to reduce vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals. While patch management can be a time-consuming and challenging process, it is essential for ensuring the security of both individual computers as well as an entire network. By staying informed about the latest security threats and promptly applying patches, organizations can help to protect their systems from attack.

Incident Response

Incident response is the process of identifying, containing, and mitigating security incidents that can cause identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage. The goal is to minimize the damage they can cause and to resume normal operations as quickly as possible. These response plans should be designed in advance so that they can be executed quickly and efficiently in the event of a security incident. The steps usually include the following

  • Identify and investigate: The first step in incident response is to identify the incident. This can be done by monitoring network activity for unusual patterns or by reviewing logs for suspicious activity.
  • Contain and eradicate: Once the incident has been identified, it is important to contain it to prevent it from spreading. This can be done by isolating affected systems and disconnecting them from the network.
  • Recovery and lessons learned: Finally, the incident must be mitigated. This involves taking steps to restore normal operations and to prevent future incidents from occurring.

Security Operations Center

A security operations center (SOC) is a centralized unit that provides 24/7 surveillance, detection, and response services for an organization’s network and data. The team is responsible for managing an organization’s security posture, developing and maintaining the organization’s security policies and procedures, monitoring and investigating cybersecurity incidents, as well as taking steps to prevent future attacks. The SOC typically consists of security analysts, engineers, and incident responders who work together to protect an organization’s information assets.

  • Security Analysts — responsible for monitoring security events and identifying potential threats
  • Incident Responders — responsible for investigating and responding to security incidents
  • Security Engineers — responsible for designing and implementing security solutions.

The SOC team works closely with other departments within the organization to ensure that all security concerns are addressed in a timely and effective manner. A SOC is a critical component of an organization’s overall security strategy and when properly implemented, it can help to protect the organization’s most valuable assets.

Making the Cut

The process of selecting an MSSP can be stressful and daunting, but following the 3Rs can accelerate the process of narrowing your search:


When it comes to finding the right managed security service provider, referrals can be extremely helpful. If you have a friend or colleague who has experience with MSSPs, Their recommendation may provide some valuable insight into this world. It is a great first step in finding the right security provider for your organization.


Individual reviews can be tough to trust, but an overall score can give you a sense of an MSSP‘s strengths and weaknesses from third parties. While reviews shouldn’t be the only factor considered, they can help narrow your search.


General research on a potential vendor is commonplace, but it is even more important when that vendor could be tasked with overseeing your company’s entire security posture. Before they make your final list, be sure to search Google, industry-specific review websites, and you should always look through their website to get a sense of their overall offering and success.

The 3 R’s are a great starting point when forming your list of finalists to engage, but you don’t need to be done in any particular order. Of course, there are many other rounds of due diligence once you begin interviewing MSSP candidates, however, the 3 R’s should set you up on the right path to selecting the best provider for your needs.

The Right Match for Your Business

After you have done some initial reconnaissance on a specific managed security provider, the next best step is to schedule a meeting with their team. Of course, it is a good idea to have a basic structure of what you want out of an outsourced relationship beforehand, but let them guide you through how they can solve your security issues. Get a sense of their personality and ability to meet your specific requirements by digging into the following areas:

The Right Expertise

Choosing an MSSP with the right mix of expertise and services can be a challenge, but it’s important to select a provider that can meet your organization’s specific needs. Here are 4 types of expertise to consider when deciding on which managed security services provider is the best match for your business:

  1. Cybersecurity training and certifications — Does the MSSP have employees with cybersecurity training and certifications? This is important because they will need to stay up-to-date on the latest security threats and how to protect your systems from them.
  2. Industry experience — Make sure the provider has experience in your industry. They will be familiar with the specific types of threats faced by companies in your sector and how to best protect against them.
  3. Technical expertise — The MSSP you select should have a team of experts who understand your company’s specific IT infrastructure and can provide comprehensive protection.
  4. Proven 24/7 threat monitoring and support — Choose a security provider that not only offers around-the-clock monitoring and support, but has the real-life experience to reinforce their offering to bring you peace of mind that your systems are always protected.

A Provider With A Plan

As businesses increasingly rely on data and technology and as cyber threats continue to evolve, it is more important than ever to partner with an MSSP that is proactive and strategic in its multi-layered security approach. While an individual security provider may have a seemingly comprehensive offering in terms of technology and tools, it’s critical that you find an MSSP that is inherently forward-thinking in preparing for new threats and vulnerabilities. You should also select a provider that will build out a comprehensive vision for your company and that will proactively deploy the necessary controls to protect your organization. Simply put, working with a tactical MSSP will help to keep your organization one step ahead of the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Keeping Current

IT is a rapidly changing field, and it can be difficult for even the most dedicated professionals to stay up-to-date on all the latest trends, which is why businesses turn to managed security service providers for help. Make sure that the MSSP you choose for your business is always current in the following areas:

  • IT TrendsMSSPs constantly review the latest IT trends to develop the most up-to-date security solutions for their clients.
  • Cyberattacks — Having a detailed understanding of the latest cybersecurity attacks can provide insights into how to better protect a specific IT environment.
  • Technologies & Security Tools — Businesses don’t have time to vet the newest technologies, but MSSPs have an entire team of individuals who are always on the lookout for the next best tool to protect their clients.
  • Processes & Practices — By keeping up-to-speed with the latest best processes and practices, security providers can ensure they are delivering the best possible support for their clients.
  • ComplianceMSSPs help their clients keep current with all applicable regulations to avoid hefty fines and penalties from compliance changes or new mandates.


Communication is key to any working relationship. When researching the right managed security provider for your business, make sure that you pay attention to their communication clarity, the frequency at which they communicate, as well as their preferred communication style.


Clarity is so important to a partnership, but it is surprisingly less prevalent than you would think. Here are some attributes to consider:

  • Plain Speaking — In the world of Information Security, there is a lot of jargon. But when it comes to securing your organization’s data, you can’t afford to be in the dark. That’s why it’s so important to understand what your MSSP is telling you when you’re trying to make decisions about security threats and vendor solutions — otherwise, you could put your data at risk. In today’s complex security landscape, there is no room for misunderstanding, so make sure you partner with an MSSP that values direct and simple communication.
  • Documentation — Reference is so important when working with any outsourced vendor. MSSPs can implement tools to facilitate communication documentation that ensures better alignment regarding an organization’s security posture. It allows both parties a transcript of previous conversations and supplies a record of what has been done to the environment when investigating an incident.
  • Pricing Delivery — When it comes to cybersecurity, it is important to partner with a security provider that you can trust and afford. An MSSP that delivers clear and transparent pricing is a critical part of that trust. Hidden fees and surprises can quickly erode your budget and the confidence you have in your MSSP, which can jeopardize the security of your organization. A reputable MSSP will be upfront about its pricing structure and will not hide any costs so you can be confident that you are getting the best possible value for your security expenditure.
  • Contract Details — A vague contract with plenty of grey areas is a recipe for disaster. A black-and-white contract helps everyone understand the complete breadth of responsibilities and services provided by the MSSP. Clear distinctions between what is in and out of scope will help to alleviate any misunderstandings down the line.


One of the most important aspects to consider when maintaining a positive relationship with an MSSP is the frequency of their communication. To effectively protect your business, your provider must have a clear understanding of your company’s IT infrastructure, security goals, and potential cyber risks. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can ensure that your MSSP is always up-to-date on changes to your network and can rapidly respond to any new threats. Furthermore, regular and proactive communication will allow you to monitor the performance of your MSSP and make sure that they are meeting your expectations. Finally, in the event of an incident, timely communication with your MSSP will help to minimize the damage and ensure a quick resolution.


If all goes according to plan, your business will be working very closely with your MSSP. As such, you want to work with people who you actually like. Your provider should be attentive, proactive, and responsive — and if something does go wrong, you don’t want them to hide.

  • Proactive Communication — This goes well beyond the protection of your data (which is of paramount importance). You should select a security company that shows that they not only value constant communication but that is forward-thinking in sharing guidance and insights on how to mitigate emerging risks to your environment.
  • Eagerly Responsive — In today’s fast-paced world, new threats are constantly emerging, and businesses need to be able to respond quickly to protect their data. An MSSP can offer 24/7 monitoring, use the latest technology, and utilize industry-leading best processes, but if they can’t respond to your email or phone call in the appropriate amount of time, you should move on.
  • They Don’t Hide — Issues will arise. You can’t avoid them. But you can choose to work with an MSSP that doesn’t avoid your team when they pop up. Trust is a delicate aspect of any relationship, and if a provider wants to keep that trust with their clients, they better not hide when it’s time for an uncomfortable conversation. If you get the sense that they are good at “hide and seek”, then you should run the other way.

Existing Customers

Managed security service providers offer an outsourced solution for businesses that want to maintain a strong cyber security posture but lack the in-house resources to do so. When choosing an MSSP, it is important to review the list of their existing customers to ensure that there are similar businesses in terms of industry, size, and scope on their client list to determine whether their offering will meet your needs. While this isn’t usually the determining factor in choosing a specific provider, it should give you insight into their proficiencies and qualifications as a security partner.

Pricing Models

Every business has a budget. Regardless of its size, it is important to better understand MSSP pricing models so when you push forward with an outsourced provider, you do so with your eyes wide open. Some common pricing models include subscription-based, usage-based, and hybrid models.

  • Subscription-based models typically involve a flat monthly fee for a set of services.
  • Usage-based models charge customers based on their actual usage of the services.
  • Hybrid models combine elements of both subscription and usage-based models.

MSSPs may also offer discounts for long-term contracts or for bundling multiple services together, and may inversely charge additional fees for add-on services or features. Ultimately, the best pricing model for a particular business will depend on factors such as the size of the organization, the scope of services required, and the budget. By working with an experienced MSSP, businesses can find the pricing model that is best suited to their requirements.

The Full Package

While it is important to prioritize your business needs when considering a security provider, it is also important to look at all aspects of an MSSPs offering to ensure you are getting a balanced partner. Make sure to consider the breadth and depth of their services, their company culture, communication style, support delivery, and their experience in providing security for businesses like yours. Don’t settle. Take your time in finding a well-rounded MSSP to not only ensure that your business is protected from any potential threats, but the people you will be working with day after day are quality individuals you can trust.

Don’t Become a Victim

No business is safe from cybercrime. If attackers can get in, they will. Our recommendation is to tighten up your systems so they can’t. Unfortunately, security seems to fly under the radar of most businesses until an incident hits — and then chaos ensues. Trust us, it can get really bad.

If your business becomes a victim of a cybercrime or ransomware attack, the consequences can be devastating. Not only can you lose important data or have your systems disrupted, but you may face legal action, reputation damage, layoffs, or large financial losses. Small businesses may be more susceptible to the effects, but even mid-market to enterprise-level organizations can feel the pain — and in some cases, be forced to close down permanently.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated by the day, and if you don’t have the expertise and resources to properly protect your systems, an MSSP may be worth considering. Either way, we advise you not to take cybersecurity lightly. It’s just not worth it!! If you’re interested in getting started with Meriplex’s managed security services, get started today!