Making sure that your business is protected against cybersecurity threats shouldn't rely solely on your watch. After all, your top priority is engaging with customers, driving conversions, and generating profits. Why should the extra responsibility of managing IT systems also fall on your plate when it doesn't have to?

Nowadays, in-house legacy strategies often lead to security mishaps. Whether it's IT teams running into problems with outdated tech or advanced security threats wreaking havoc on your infrastructure, the number of security breaches is rising every year, and many businesses can't afford the upkeep. This is where a managed security service provider (MSSP) makes a huge difference. An MSSP is an outsourced, third-party service that manages all of your IT security needs, which includes managing firewalls, detecting security breaches, scanning for viruses, and maintaining compliance for security and privacy regulations across the globe.

IT security is a full-time job, but if you're looking to streamline your defense and safeguard your business with wholistic protection, then here are a few things you should look for before hiring an MSSP:

Why Do You Need an MSSP?

An MSSP, by definition, is a Managed Security Services Provider, outsourcing your IT security to an outside, secure, and experienced provider. Along with reviewing the integrity of your business and enacting necessary updates, an MSSP helps you generate new policies and programs to stay current with the latest compliances. They also test for possible solutions to your existing IT struggles, execute new solutions, and oversee your entire performance with 24/7 monitoring.

For many businesses, handling IT responsibilities is more than a one-person job. Not only are you dealing with a lack of manpower, but additionally, you're interrupting your IT teams with nonstop security tasks, which prevents them from completing other innovate projects. A study done by the University of Maryland claims that a hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds, so you image how much time your workers lose dealing solely with security management?

95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, so rather than making yourself vulnerable and bogging down your success with constant maintenance, let an MSSP shoulder the burden.

What Type of Plan Do I Need?

Typically, MSSPs offer a suite of functions and capabilities at an affordable monthly rate. For example, self-managed security information and event management tools (SIEM) for an average company size of 20 employees with 1 full-time IT staff and 2 servers costs roughly $364,965 annually. On the other hand, an MSSP may offer the same services with better protection for less than $8,000 a month. That equals to yearly savings of nearly $272,800.

Finding a plan that frees up resources and thwarts cybersecurity threats is key. Ideally, a formidable MSSP allows you to scale your business, maintain your compliance, provides widespread visibility into security threats from multiple channels, and stay on top of current trends to maintain a competitive edge. With those factors in place, you can then research what features an MSSP includes and how they can alleviate your concerns.

What Features Should I Look for?

In order to select the best MSSP for your business, it's essential to create an MSSP evaluation checklist that targets your concerns and compare them to the features provided. To help you get a sense of what to look out for, there are several solutions that a quality vendor should provide:

•    Threat Detection & Response: Identifying and mitigating network threats in real-time.

•    System Performance Monitoring: Oversees IT performance across the entire network.

•    IT Incident Management: Ensures network security and maintains safe operating levels.

•    Real-time Event Correlation: Instantly identifies potential threat risks to a business.

•    Event Log Management: Stores and organizes event logs and usage data across the network.

•    User & Entity Behavioral Analysis: Pinpoints odd user behavior to stop malicious activity on the spot.

•    Compliance Reporting and Management: Quickly find reports and set reminders for important compliance and regulation dates at all times.

•    Automated Asset Discovery: Detect and monitor endpoints connected to the network.

•    Security Automation and Orchestration: Have total control of your security efforts through a one-stop platform.

How Can I tell if an MSSP is Compliant?

Furthermore, you should select an MSSP with third-party certifications like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 to ensure compliance. The maturity and success of an MSSP come from their standing in the marketplace, as well as market validation from stellar reviews, annual rankings, and awards of service, so run a thorough check on a provider to ensure compliance before moving forward. If you're unsure of what credentials to look for, here are a few accolades or additional certifications that a trusted MSSP should have:

•    Experience as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

•    Experience as a Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)

•    Service accolades that include Gold Certified Partner, Mid-Market Specialist, Partner of the Year, etc.

What is a normal price for an MSSP?

The tricky thing is that coming up with a ballpark figure for hiring an MSSP depends entirely on the size and needs of the business. Consider a global corporation who wants to outsource their entire IT security team. They'll require total support across many networks to scale their services, whereas a small business may only want to keep credit card transactions from getting stolen.

That being said, you have to gauge your total needs in order to calculate an average price range. In addition to the cost figures mentioned earlier, here is another rundown from Proficio that explains that price differences between building your own SIEM and hiring a third-party provider:

                                      In-House Costs                                                                    Third-Party Service

    Annual Personnel, Operations, and Equipment Costs:     Annual Personnel, Operations, and Equipment Costs:

                                $1.1 million for the first year                                    $476,650 for the first year

                                $3.2 million after 3 years                                              $1.4 million after 3 years

With third-party providers like an MSSP, you eliminate the need for personnel and operational costs, instantly cutting down your IT security expenses by half for the first year. Not to mention, the rate can get even lower by dispatching your self-managed SIEM platform to a monthly service provider like ArmorPoint.

Get Protected with ArmorPoint

By creating a three-fold approach to NOC, SOC, and SIEM management, ArmorPoint protects your security operations across all channels without you having to pay a fortune. In addition, outsourcing all of your managed IT and security needs through ArmorPoint provides you with expertly managed security initiatives, 24/7 support, freeing up resources for other projects, and reduced costs through OpEx pricing models.

Most of all, you won't have to feel confined to exorbitant costs and subpar IT defenses. ArmorPoint puts you in your control without weighing you down with more responsibilities. You receive one solution from one vendor at a flexible rate designed to keep your business thriving. If you're ready to cut ties with your current strategy, then request a quote today and see what ArmorPoint can do for you at the price that you want.

About ArmorPoint

ArmorPoint is a security information and event management solution that provides a cost-effective and reliable way to continually protect your business from emerging threats. Through its customizable service pricing model, ArmorPoint’s cost-effective packages and dynamic levels of expert management support the security strategies of all companies, regardless of available budget, talent, or time. And since ArmorPoint offers 24/7 security support with a team of dedicated specialists, they can provide you with the manpower you need to expertly manage all of your cybersecurity initiatives. See how ArmorPoint can make a difference in your security posture with a risk-free 30 day free trial.