June 26, 2023
How a Managed Security Service Provider Can Support Your Organizational Needs
Finding a partner that can work within your environment greatly improves your defense against threats.
Security is an important issue for every company, but for many smaller organizations, it represents a particularly serious challenge. They can’t do business without an effective security posture, but they want to focus on business rather than security.
Part of the challenge is having the staff necessary to handle security. Some organizations address their security staffing challenges by moving other IT personnel to their security teams, but in many cases, these professionals don’t have the security skill sets to handle complex incidents such as a ransomware attack.
The right skills and experience are essential for effective security. Security teams must implement the appropriate response to any breach or security incident and follow the steps toward full recovery: detection, response, mitigation, reporting, recovery, remediation and lessons learned. Many IT leaders are using managed service providers to make sure their organizations have the skills necessary to deal with security incidents and protect their data. Managed services enable them to deal with security effectively and get back to business.
Finding the Right Managed Security Service Provider
As IT leaders evaluate managed service providers, they should look for a partner that can holistically cover their environment. Different providers bring different skill sets to the table, and there are often large gaps in capabilities between providers. Decision-makers should consider the key areas where a managed service provider can help strengthen security.
For example, incident response is an important skill set for a managed service provider. A provider who can help an organization navigate an effective response to a cybersecurity incident can significantly improve the outcome.
IT leaders also should consider what solutions a provider is knowledgeable about. If the vendor you’re considering to run your firewall is unfamiliar with the firewall your organization has deployed, it’s probably not a good fit.
The ability to analyze security logs is another valuable skill to consider. Most organizations don’t have time to evaluate the line-by-line logging of network and security information related to their endpoints, email, web traffic and other parts of their IT environment. A managed service provider can evaluate a deviation from a normal baseline in this traffic and proactively conduct sweeps of the environment to determine what might be a threat.
Find the Right Level of Managed Security Services
Organizations should aim to find a managed service provider that aligns with their technology stack. IT teams that get the search right find that there are several benefits to using a managed security service provider versus doing it yourself. One is that the provider may have established processes and procedures for dealing with specific security incidents that most organizations may not. Following these procedures enables providers to ensure that they have consistent outcomes in dealing with incidents.
Many managed service providers also implement automated tools to help with their security efforts. Humans sometimes get tired or cut corners, so having tools that can automatically carry out simple, repetitive tasks can ensure that mistakes are avoided and that processes are carried out fully.
As organizations continue to evolve their security environments, automation will only grow in importance. Managed service providers rely on artificial intelligence extensively as they deal with the labor shortage for skilled security professionals. Cybercriminals already are using AI to enhance their attacks, and security teams also will need this technology in their defense.
Ultimately, managed service providers can help organizations deal with a number of challenges and focus on their core business objectives.
Story by Dominick Daidone, a cybersecurity solution strategist at CDW. He previously was a senior solution architect at CDW for eight years, helping customers achieve their security goals across numerous domains.