How Managed Security Service Providers protect companies: Benefits of IT-security services

The increasing complexity and evolution of technologies, the exponential growth of cyber threats, and stringent regulatory requirements require organizations to take an innovative approach to their security strategies. This positions cyber security as a priority issue for organizations of all sizes and industries. But who in your organization is keeping an eye on your IT security 24/7, 365 days a year? Even if your employees are "online" from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, who is monitoring your system for the remaining 14 hours, and who on Friday afternoons and Sundays and holidays?

In this context, Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) are coming to the fore. Managed Security Service Providers offer companies crucial support to ensure the integrity and security of corporate data and systems.

What is an MSSP?

MSSP stands for Managed Security Service Provider. These are specialized IT-service-providers that offer comprehensive security services for companies.

In the context of the digital business world, the importance of MSSP goes far beyond the provision of basic security measures: Managed Security Service Providers take over the monitoring, management and optimization of a company's security devices and systems. This often includes services such as monitoring all networks and activities, installing and managing firewall and intrusion detection systems, performing security analysis and risk assessments, taking action in the event of security incidents, and training or raising employee awareness.

By outsourcing these tasks to an MSSP, you can benefit from expert knowledge, advanced technologies and tailored security strategies. This allows you to focus on your core business without having to constantly deal with the complex and ever-changing requirements of cyber security.


MSSP versus MSP: One and the same?

Maged Security Service Providers (MSSP) and Managed Service Providers (MSP) are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the business and technology world. However, while they sound similar and have some things in common, their roles and services are different.

Managed Security Service Provider
Managed Service Provider
SubjectSpecialized in IT-security-servicesSpecialized in general IT-services
ServicesSecurity event monitoring, firewall management, risk assessments, compliance, incident responseNetwork management, hardware/software – support, cloud services, data backup, technical support
Main targetProtecting the integrity, confidentiality and availability of corporate dataExternal IT-department for companies

Services and tasks of MSSP

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) offer a wide range of security services that significantly reduce the workload on you or your IT-security-team or Security Operation Center (SOC). Furthermore, MSSP services help to increase your IT-security.

Here, the central role of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) goes beyond simply identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities. The primary goal is to proactively prevent business interruptions that could result from cyber attacks and to keep the resulting losses as low as possible.

Monitoring and management of security events

MSSPs monitor and supervise your IT-infrastructure to detect unusual activities and patterns and possible threats at an early stage. This enables a rapid response and helps minimize potential damage. By combining technology, expertise and proactive approaches, MSSPs can help organizations protect their critical assets, ensure regulatory compliance requirements and maintain operations in an increasingly vulnerable digital landscape - without having to recruit and upsize highly specialized staff.

Firewall management

Firewall management is an essential part of any organization's network security strategy. It involves implementing, monitoring, optimizing, and regularly updating firewalls to protect a company against unwanted and potentially harmful traffic patterns. For firewall management, more and more companies are adopting solutions for Firewall-as-a-Service, Forbes confirms. By working with an MSSP, you can be sure that your firewalls are always optimally configured, monitored and maintained to ensure the best possible protection.

Endpoint security management

Endpoint Security Management deals with the security and protection of endpoints that connect to your corporate network. These include desktop computers, notebooks, smartphones, tablets, and even IoT devices. With so many devices and an increasingly mobile workforce, robust endpoint security management is essential.

Endpoint security management goes beyond just technology and requires a comprehensive strategy that addresses both technical measures and human factors. By working with MSSP, you can ensure that your endpoints are protected from ever-changing cyber threats while enabling your teams to work smoothly and productively.

Endpoint Security

Block viruses and spam

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) play a critical role in proactively defending enterprise networks against a variety of cyber threats, including viruses and spam. Here, email-security plays a significant role: viruses, often spread through infected emails or malicious websites, can cause significant damage by stealing data, crippling systems, or even launching ransomware attacks. Spams, though often considered harmless, can also be a vehicle for malware and Phishing-Attacks and cause employees to unknowingly violate security protocols.

A professional MSSP implements advanced antivirus solutions and spam filters that are continuously updated to detect and neutralize even the latest threat vectors. By applying Deep Learning and other AI techniques, MSSPs can identify and block potentially malicious content in real time before it poses a threat to the corporate network.

Identity and access management (IAM)

By implementing IAM solutions, MSSPs ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and systems. Among the most secure IAM solutions is multi-factor authentication. With MFA, a user's identity is verified by providing multiple credentials, such as.

  • a password that only the user knows
  • A code sent to the user by email or SMS (or to a hardware token generator)
  • information specific only to the user (e.g., biometric information in the form of a fingerprint.)

Employee training and awareness

In the cyber security landscape, humans represent the "weakest link" in the chain. Even the most robust security system can be bypassed by an unknowing or careless employee. MSSPs therefore provide cyber-security-training and awareness campaigns to increase employee awareness and understanding of cyber security efforts.

Raising awareness and educating your employees is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your organization's cyber security. By working with an MSSP, you can ensure that your employees have the knowledge and tools they need to actively participate in defending against cyber threats.

Vulnerability Assessment und Penetration Testing

Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and Penetration Testing (PenTest) are two core components of a comprehensive cyber security strategy. While both aim to identify vulnerabilities in a system or network, they differ in their approach and scope.

VA is the process of identifying, classifying, and prioritizing security vulnerabilities in a system. Through the use of automated tools and manual techniques, systems are scanned and known vulnerabilities are identified. The main goal is to create a comprehensive list of vulnerabilities and provide recommendations for their remediation to minimize the risk of a cyber attack.

Penetration testing (PenTest) is a simulated attack on a system to exploit its vulnerabilities and assess how deeply an attacker could penetrate the system. Experienced security professionals attempt to access systems and extract data to replicate the reality of a real cyber attack. The main goal is to test the effectiveness of existing security measures and see how a system would react under real attack conditions.

How MSSP work

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) function as an extension of an organization's security team by providing specialized services to monitor and manage the security infrastructure.

MSSPs leverage advanced technologies, tools and the expertise of their IT-specialists to create a comprehensive security landscape customized to your unique needs and compliance requirements.

The result of this combination is sophisticated enterprise IT-solutions that ensure maximum security.

  • By outsourcing these critical functions to an MSSP, you can
  • Reduce your internal workload,
  • improve your company's IT-protection and
  • focus "peace of mind" on your core business functions.
Server Security

MSSP: 6 decisive advantages for companies

Shortage of specialists, lack of expert knowledge in IT-departments on the one hand, constantly increasing cyber attacks on the other hand, as well as legal requirements and regulations are the primary motivations why companies decide to work with MSSP. Working with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) brings companies numerous other benefits:

Cost efficiency

Hiring a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to take over your security services results in significant cost savings in several areas:

Reduction of your personnel costs
Cooperation with an MSSP not only eliminates additional salaries, but also non-wage costs and workplace costs for in-house IT-specialists.

Reduction of your capital expenditures
A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) enables companies to reduce the capital expenditure for necessary hardware and software. This leads to transparent and calculable monthly costs for using the services and support of the MSSP.

Reduction of your costs for further education
In-house organization and delivery of training can put a strain on your budget, both financially and in terms of time. MSSP have extensive training materials and expertise that you can leverage through their service offerings.

Reduction of unforeseen expenses
MSSP take over your internal security management and thus also relieve you in case of new or unexpected events, such as new legal frameworks or technological innovations.

Expertise and professional knowledge

IT security has developed into an independent, indispensable specialist area that requires permanent training and further education. This presents many companies with major challenges: first, competent IT-security experts are hard to find, and second, building up a specialized team is very costly and time-consuming.

A significant benefit of partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider is their extensive cyber security expertise. By outsourcing to an MSSP, you can trust specialists to monitor and manage your data in the best possible way. MSSPs' skilled teams are up-to-date on the latest technology, trends and threats. In addition, unlike hardware or software providers, Managed Service Securite Providers act and advise in a "neutral" manner.

Focus on own business

By taking responsibility for cybersecurity, MSSPs allow companies to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. That means MSSP buy you time for your business.

Around the clock monitoring

Do you have employees who can take care of your IT-security 24/7? From the moment you start working with an MSSP, you will be safe and secure even on weekends, holidays or vacation periods. And that also across geographical borders and time zones.

Fast response times

Alerts about possible risks alone don't do the trick – especially since automated, internally installed alerts are often unusable because they are often false alarms. Then, when an actual cyber attack occurs, it may go unnoticed or the response may be too slow. MSSP offer support of guaranteed response times as part of 24/7. The response times are based on the SLA (Service Level Agreements) and are regulated in the service contract.

Customizable solutions

MSSP offer customized security solutions that are tailored to your specific needs and challenges and can be increased at any time. So if you need additional capacity temporarily, MSSP can respond quickly and "grow with you". Likewise, capacities can be reduced again just as quickly - without you having to increase or reduce internal capacities.

Collaboration with MSSP: Watch out for potential pitfalls

While there are many benefits to working with a managed security service provider (MSSP), there are also potential challenges you should consider.

Integrating services from an MSSP with a company's existing internal systems and processes can be complex and time-consuming. It requires careful planning and coordination to avoid inconsistencies and conflicts.

When handing over sensitive data and system controls to third-party providers, consider privacy and compliance requirements. Here, for example, the location of the providers' servers plays an important role.

Clear and effective communication between the enterprise and the MSSP is critical to the success of the partnership. Lack of communication and coordination can lead to misunderstandings and inefficient processes.

The worst MSSPs regulate tasks, duties and rights through service contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs). Make sure that these are formulated clearly and unambiguously.

5 tips on how to find an optimal MSSP

Selecting an MSSP is a multi-faceted process that requires careful planning, evaluation and negotiation. By considering the following tips, you can ensure that you find the right MSSP partner for your security needs.

Needs analysis

Define your specific security needs and objectives at the outset. This will establish an understanding of your risk landscape, compliance requirements and long-term security strategy. Discuss your status-quo and goals as a team and make sure owners, business leaders and steakholers are behind it.

Vendor evaluation

After the requirements are clear, you should conduct a comprehensive assessment of potential MSSPs. This includes reviewing qualifications, experience, services offered, and past successes. Solicit testimonials from potential vendors. Obtaining references and feedback from the MSSP's current or past clients will provide valuable insight into the quality and reliability of their services.

Service agreements

Review service-level agreements (SLAs) carefully to ensure that the MSSP's services meet your expectations.

Safety standards

Pay particular attention to the issue of security and find out where the servers of the MSSP provider or the MSSP's partner companies are located. Also find out whether the potential MSSP supports security standards of the BSI (Federal Office for Information Security).

Collaboration & Support

Find out exactly how support is handled at your favorite MSSP. Are support requests prioritized via an IT ticket system? Is your IT supported remotely and, if necessary, on-site? Are your users also helped with requests and other inquiries?

Security Manager

MSSP – Trends and developments

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing, and managed security service providers (MSSPs) are no exception. With increasing complexity and ever-changing threats, MSSPs must continually adapt and innovate.

The future of MSSP will be shaped by several trends and developments:

Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

With the introduction of AI and machine learning into the security landscape, MSSPs will be able to detect and respond to anomalies faster, make accurate predictions, and increase overall efficiency.

Rise of cloud-based services

As more enterprises migrate to the cloud, there will be an increasing demand for cloud-specific security services and Cloud-Computing Service. MSSPs offering these services are likely to gain in importance.

Regulatory changes

With the increasing emphasis on data protection and compliance, the role of MSSPs in helping organizations meet complex regulatory requirements is more important than ever.

Expanded threat spectrum

The cyber threat landscape is evolving dynamically - hackers are also using AI and the latest technologies. This requires holistic security approaches and solutions.

FAQs about MSSP

IT news straight to your inbox

Subscribe to the GRTNR newsletter now

Bodo Gärtner

We check whether your company falls under the NIS2 directive and help you implement the requirements on time.

Make an appointment