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Managed Security Service Providers: Making the Cloud Safe for Everyone

Rather than paying for in-house cloud security personnel and solutions, organizations have begun outsourcing these security functions to third-party MSSPs.

The cloud has both extended and complicated the cybersecurity landscape, meaning that guarding endpoints and the perimeter of your network is no longer enough to protect your systems or your data. Security in the cloud requires a patchwork of solutions, including identity management for mobile workforces, threat intelligence, DNS filtering, next-gen firewalls, and advanced endpoint protection. 

Synopsys recently conducted a poll of 400,000 members of the Cybersecurity Insiders community asking participants how concerned they were about cloud security today. Eighteen percent said they were moderately concerned, 37% said they were very concerned, and 38% said they were extremely concerned. In other words, 93% of information security professionals were concerned!

But even as justified security concerns grow, the fact of the matter is full-time, in-house cloud cybersecurity staff is expensive. What’s more, few companies have the resources to monitor their networks and services 24/7 or continuously update older infrastructure with patches and security fixes. Despite increasing awareness of the need for more advanced cloud security measures, many organizations put off securing their cloud architecture until they suffer a cyberattack. 

Rather than paying for expensive in-house cloud security personnel and solutions, many organizations have begun outsourcing all or some of these security functions to third-party managed security service providers (MSSP). MSSPs provide outsourced monitoring and management of a company’s security solutions, systems, and processes via the cloud. They usually charge for their services on a subscription basis, with clients paying a fixed monthly or yearly rate for ongoing service and support. Some MSSPs specialize in certain areas of IT security, while others fully manage all cybersecurity for an organization. 

MSSPs can perform some or all of the following services:

Risk Assessment 

Risk assessment services comprehensively evaluate your IT architecture and detect areas of potential security risk in your technology, policies, and procedures, as well as in your information sharing practices with outside vendors. Risk assessment may also include on-site mitigation support after a data breach has occurred, including emergency incident response and forensic analysis. 

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is the continuous monitoring and interpretation of all activity that takes place daily on the network with the goal of detecting potential threats, including unauthorized or anomalous behavior, data breaches, and denial of service (DoS) attacks. Remote monitoring also analyzes ongoing security developments as systems and technology change so as to identify potential weaknesses before they become major problems.

Perimeter Management 

With perimeter management services, an MSSP will install, upgrade, and manage your company’s firewall, email, virtual private network (VPN), and intrusion detection hardware and software. They will also continuously provide intrusion detection management, and make sure your systems are current with the latest patches to keep up with ever-evolving security threats. The MSSP will provide you with regular reports on intrusion attempts and activity. They may also provide content filtering services. 

Penetration Testing 

Penetration testing involves random, periodic testing to find vulnerabilities in your company’s network. It could involve a software scan or an attempt to hack your systems to test the robustness of your security measures. Penetration testing helps organizations evaluate their IT infrastructure and get an honest assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. 

Compliance Monitoring

When systems are updated and new technologies are implemented, it is very important to ensure your existing compliance protocols are still sufficient. Compliance monitoring tracks event logs and changes to systems that may inadvertently violate a law or regulation. Many MSSPs have very specific industry knowledge and experience and know-how to avoid risk and maintain compliance in their areas of expertise. An online retailer, for example, could partner with an MSSP to ensure PCI security standards are always maintained. Or a healthcare provider could leverage an MSSP’s expertise to audit all of their security practices to ensure HIPAA compliance. 

As cloud adoption continues to grow and more and more workloads are migrated to cloud architectures, cybersecurity is only going to become more complicated. While it’s far too expensive and cumbersome for many businesses to handle all of their security in house, MSSPs provide organizations with robust, affordable cloud security without having to hire additional staff or purchase and update expensive solutions. Because of MSSPs, businesses of all types and sizes can leverage the benefits of the cloud without compromising security. 

Netrality is a natural ecosystem partner for MSSPs. Our interconnected colocation data centers are located in close proximity to cable, ILEC and cellular networks in major markets, and provide a constellation of connectivity to networks and cloud on-ramps that MSSPs need to provide the cloud security organizations today require. MSSPs can leverage Netrality’s extensive ecosystem of network providers and direct cloud on-ramps to ensure the highest performing and most cost-effective solutions for their customers.

To learn more about providing the best, most worry-free service possible to your customers by joining a first-rate connectivity ecosystem, contact us