Most businesses have trouble keeping up with today’s constant barrage of cyber threats. Many are turning to MSSPs (managed security services providers) to protect their networks cost-effectively and reliably. But choosing an MSSP requires thought and research. Not all offer the same levels of protection, so you should focus your search on a provider with a solid track record and reputation.
Here are 10 best practices to follow when selecting an MSSP.
- Getting to Know You
The first clue that you’re talking to the right MSSP is that the provider asks about your business needs and strategic goals. A provider needs to learn your IT environment to properly secure it.
- Reputation Matters
Handing over IT security to a third party requires trust. Ask for references and get feedback from existing customers about the MSSP’s reliability and expertise, and how responsive it is when clients need support.
- Menu, Please
Security requires more than firewalls, patch updates and antivirus. These days, you need functions such as asset discovery, vulnerability assessments, intrusion detection, log management, threat intelligence and behavior monitoring.
- All Covered
With today’s elevated threat levels, you can’t take your eyes off the ball. That’s why you’ll want an MSSP that takes a holistic approach, preferably by implementing a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solution.
- Technical KnowHow
Some MSSPs focus on specific security areas or do little more than monitor your environment. That may not meet your needs. Be sure to check on the MSSP’s levels of expertise and experience. Ask about its technical team–how much experience it has and what certifications its members hold.
- Human Factor
So you’ve done your homework and contracted an MSSP that secures your data. But who secures the users? Human action, malicious or otherwise, plays a major role in security incidents, which explains why cybercriminals rely so much on phishing to deliver malicious payloads.
- It’s the Law
Aside from protecting your IT environment, your MSSP must have the tools and knowhow to help you comply with all applicable privacy and security laws.
- Value vs. Cost
When contracting an MSSP, you’ll want to know upfront how much the provider charges and exactly what you’re paying for. Try to get the best possible rates, but avoid basing decisions strictly on cost.