In the previous post, we discussed how increased demand for managed security services is being driven by a perfect storm of sophisticated security threats, major investments in security, and a lack of qualified personnel to fill IT security positions. Much of the growth in the managed security services market is the result of increased adoption by small and midsize organizations.

Outsourcing provides smaller companies with access to the kind of expertise and technology that they would never be able to afford in-house. An in-house IT security operation requires hardware, software and licensing. Hardware and software are expensive to purchase, implement and maintain. Initial licensing costs and ongoing fees are expensive.

An in-house IT security operation also requires manpower – qualified manpower that is in short supply. Even if you’re fortunate enough to recruit and hire qualified people and meet their salary demands, they’ll need ongoing training. Security operations requires around-the-clock management and monitoring to enable fast response to security incidents without disrupting network performance and availability. The inherent complexity of a multilayered security operation is difficult and time-consuming to manage and can increase the risk of a data breach or noncompliance if not handled properly.

With managed security services, you have the flexibility to outsource all or a portion of security responsibilities to a managed security services provider (MSSP). The MSSP is responsible for purchasing, maintaining and updating their own security and management technology. They’re responsible for recruiting, hiring and training security experts. They’re responsible for understanding and satisfying compliance requirements. They’re capable of monitoring a wide range of applications and devices from multiple vendors. And they know how to separate legitimate security incidents and suspicious activity from false positives.

When you outsource security to an MSSP, you’re also outsourcing a significant portion of security costs and management complexity in exchange for a monthly fee. At the same time, you overcome a lack of in-house security resources and expertise and beef up your security capabilities.

There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating MSSPs. What is their level of expertise? Find out about training and certifications, and their experience in your industry. What are their security capabilities? Look for security monitoring, event correlation and alerting, intrusion detection and prevention, security information and event management (SIEM), incident response, and firewall protection at a minimum. What costs are involved? What is standard, and what costs extra? Can they seamlessly integrate with your operations? Do they have the flexibility to customize their services to suit your specific needs?

According to research from a major cybersecurity company, about half of organizations already outsource at least a portion of their IT security. That number is expected to climb as security becomes more complex and threats become more sophisticated. Let us show you how our end-to-end IT management solution can help you enhance your defenses and reduce risk.