Last updated at Tue, 09 Apr 2024 17:14:30 GMT

It’s no secret that security teams are feeling beleaguered as a result of the barrage of data, events, and alerts generated by their security tools, to say nothing of the increased budget scrutiny and constrained staff resources that continue to plague cybersecurity practitioners.

The trick is finding the right balance between how much internal teams have to accomplish themselves versus how much they can cede to managed security service providers (MSSPs).

Historically, success in security operations (SecOps) was measured by how quickly teams could react to incoming threats; but the sheer number of alerts that require humans-in-the-loop to determine the accuracy and severity of security events make it nearly impossible for teams to keep up. Additionally, the number of tools deployed in a given organization today – to say nothing of the complexity required to make those tools work in concert – means reacting alone won’t get the job done anyway.

Unfortunately, many MSSPs don’t do enough to relieve customers of noisy alerts without expensive consulting agreements, which puts the burden to evaluate and remediate incidents back on already strapped in-house teams.

Traditional approaches have the added disadvantages of being too siloed, too slow, too antiquated for cloud environments, and too convoluted to demonstrate their value. Analysts at a leading research firm predict that within the next 12-18 months, 33% of organizations that currently have internal security functions will attempt and fail to build an effective internal SecOps because of resource constraints such as lack of budget, expertise, and staffing. Analysts further expect that within the next 12-18 months, 90% of internal SecOps will outsource at least 50% of their operational workloads – which makes choosing an MSSP you trust of paramount importance.

MSSPs enable organizations to maximize resilience while minimizing complexity and optimizing staff resources. The best solutions in the market will drive greater efficiency and consolidation by unifying vulnerability management and managed detection and response (MDR) into a single, cohesive security service built by practitioners for practitioners. They will offer 24x7x365 services that “follow the sun” (meaning no one service center is responsible for 100% of support calls; the work is distributed in certified centers of excellence around the world) so that top-notch support is readily available where and when you need it. Complete coverage and end-to-end detection and response services means you can feel confident that your teams are always ready for what comes next.

But it’s important to choose an MSSP that eschews a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, look for a partner that is dynamic and flexible enough to meet the particular risk profile and business priorities of your organization, one adaptable enough to conform to changes in evolving threats and attack vectors.

Partnering with the right MSSP also allows you to optimize your SecOps for today’s distributed environments, built for the speed and scale of the cloud. Operating in the cloud means you can integrate hundreds of services with the thousands of devices connecting to them seamlessly and in real time; it also means you must protect and secure a sprawling surface with a multitude of potential entry points that threat actors can exploit.

To meet the challenge, choose an MSSP that offers complete coverage from a single, end-to-end solution so that you’re not left responding to an overabundance of events, alerts, and false positives or trying to protect an attack surface too big to contain.

Look for providers that deliver unlimited data, unlimited incident response, and unlimited intelligence so that when a forensic analysis is performed, their detailed remediation and mitigation recommendations make sure you can improve your resilience against future threats. And in the unfortunate event that a breach becomes a full-scope incident-response engagement, you want a partner that will work with you round-the-clock on the forensic investigation and deliver answers that will remove attackers from your environment as quickly as possible – without charging additional consulting fees.

Partnering with a proven MSSP will also boost your visibility across all services and devices to anticipate the most imminent risks, prevent attacks earlier, and respond to events faster. Additionally, an engagement that includes threat exposure manageability at scale through unified endpoint-to-cloud coverage can identify and respond to threats anywhere while breaking down functional and geographic silos that stall efficiency and reduce collaboration.

Critical functions like threat hunting and patch management can be automated across many tools and processes to reduce reliance on manual work. Machine learning and artificial intelligence models can be paired with internal threat telemetry data and chatbots to triage events, increase staff productivity, or produce threat reports that support more targeted and prioritized threat management across the enterprise.

Best of all, the successful use of AI and automation can help reduce the number of tools operating in your environment, which in turn decreases the complexity and cost of security operations.

It’s time to gain the edge over attackers and keep up with the fluid, ever-expanding threat landscape by eliminating threats wherever they emerge and proactively preventing breaches earlier in the kill chain. Partnering with a trusted MSSP will enable you to manage your threat exposure precisely and comprehensively, improve your signal-to-noise ratio, demonstrate tangible ROI from your security investments, and continually advance your security posture.

Learn more about the best criteria to use when reviewing the capabilities of potential MSSP partners.