Finding the Right Managed Security Solutions Provider
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Author:CSC Town Hall
Finding the right Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) can be challenging. As research firm IDC recently found in a MarketScape report, leaders will be differentiated by their service capabilities across the MSS life cycle, their ability to enable cloud security, their ability to use big data to thwart adversaries, their support for customers after a breach, their forensic capabilities, and their security operations center (SOC) model, among other factors. IDC's Christina Richmond and CSC's Graham Logsdon discuss what you should look for in an MSSP and why CSC was named a Leader.
- Christina Richmond, Program Director of Security Services, IDC
- Graham Logsdon, General Manager, Managed Cybersecurity Services, CSC
- Jeff Caruso, Senior Managing Editor, CSC
Managed Security Services: Finding the Right Provider
Managed Security Services Providers (MSSP) are differentiated by features such as cloud security, threat intelligence, breach support, forensics and more. This CSC Town Hall explored what MSSPs can offer and how to determine a best fit for your company.
Christina Richmond, program director of security services at IDC and author of a recent study on MSSPs, says there are three major areas for evaluation as a company considers an MSSP. "First, you have to ensure they have all the basics. They do the managed, monitored firewall - IDS, IPS, UTM," Richmond says. "Business factors matter as well. How much do they partner for those services, and what is the quality of their relationship with those service providers?”
Richmond says it's also important to get a sense of the internal work environment. "How many are in the security operations center (SOC)? If you can get a sense of it, how happy are they? Look at their on-the-job and off-job training."
Companies should understand where an MSSP has SOCs and how they are managed. Advanced MSSPs typically maintain multiple SOCs and use a combination of centrally managed and follow-the-sun workflows to minimize gaps or handoff errors in customer monitoring.
The second area goes further up the stack. Advanced MSSPs are applying big data analytics to cull through the volumes of logs generated by servers to get a sense of what's happening in the environment. "Attacks are only going to increase in their frequency and you need reliable predictive intelligence combined with an experienced team to give you some idea of what's really going on," she says.
Lastly, customers should evaluate the current versus future state of an MSSP's cloud adoption strategy. Security services, like many applications, are moving to the cloud. Web, email, log management, even many aspects of DDOS mitigation are done in the cloud. "You want assurance that your provider is looking at that trend. And you should also study the customer portal that will provide you a view into what's going on. That's an important differentiator today," Richmond says.
Graham Logsdon, general manager for managed cybersecurity services at CSC, says it's important to thoroughly vet service provider claims. "A provider may make a claim about their threat intelligence capability that a customer can't verify in the moment, and the time to find out isn't when you have a breach." Logsdon says a provider should be able to cite several scenarios where their threat intelligence provided unique value, and should be able to demonstrate the returns in terms of prevention or loss mitigation derived from that intelligence.
Richmond says the job of corporate cybersecurity departments has gotten tougher in last few years as attacks increase and public scrutiny grows.
"It's not that companies don't get security right. The bad guys only have to be right once to succeed. We have to be right 100 percent of the time," Richmond says. "Enterprise cybersecurity can't go it alone anymore. The right MSSP can provide tools and resources an enterprise might not otherwise have at their disposal."
Other topics discussed include:
• How big data analytics improves threat intelligence
• How MSSPs improve compliance
• IDC's Marketscape Report
• CSC named in MSSP leader category