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How Managed Security Services are Different to Managed IT Services

Posted by Sean Houghton | 29-Dec-2020 16:53:15

There is no shortage of buzzwords and acronyms in the world of IT to describe various new or emerging models, solutions and technology. It is easy to get lost in the terminology and dismiss new services, solutions and technology as just another buzzword that will fade away - often to the detriment of the organisation. That has sadly been the case with Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).

A report published on Entrepreneur has identified IT security as a prime concern for businesses in the next decade. As a business owner and business leader, you care about the security of your organisation and its data, but also appreciate the need to work with professional IT support. Therefore, you source for a reputable Managed IT Services provider that will provide you with comprehensive IT support services including security services. As a busy professional, it can be hard to contextualise why you need a dedicated security services provider when you already have, by all accounts, a reputable and capable Managed IT Services provider. It does not help that the lines between Managed IT Services and Managed Security Services are blurred. So, do you need both services and is it prudent to pay for both services?

This article takes a closer look at the key differences between Managed Security Services and Managed IT Services and explores if/what your business can benefit from when sourcing Managed Security Services on top of your existing Managed IT Services arrangement.

The Fundamentals of Managed IT Services

At their core, Managed IT Service providers ensure that your business has the right IT infrastructure to operate effectively and efficiently. They're the professional you call in for basic network requirements - they'll also help you migrate to the cloud to boost the efficiency of your operations and storage. Depending on the unique needs of your business, you can also task the MSP with other projects including system monitoring, analysis, update, as well as ensuring that your data is safe and secure. An MSP will help you solve usability and performance issues to boost your business productivity.

Today, you can find MSPs that offer a holistic approach to IT management services including helping you with your corporate IT strategy that can help you cut your costs significantly. Some MSPs offer general services while others specialise in specific industries such as, law and healthcare, that have stringent rules and regulations. On top of all these services, most MSPs will also offer fundamental security solutions such as firewall installation, access management, antivirus, and network security support activities. However, they are not the end all be all for your security needs, particularly moving into the future.

Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP)

The increased reliance on IT infrastructures has helped many businesses of all sizes to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. However, it has also bred a new class of risks for businesses including data theft, ransomware attacks, hacking, and network breaches just to name a few. Security experts predict that the cost of cybercrime and other IT security threats will continue to rise. This has rightly increased allocation of resources towards IT security. However, the complex and rapidly evolving nature of the threats means that the traditional managed services providers find it hard to keep up in addition to the other services they are expected to provide - and that is the gap that managed security services providers fill by providing ‘Security-as-a-Service’.

A Managed Security Services Provider takes up the responsibility of supporting and assisting in the safety of your network systems. Think of it like this; if your MSP is the mayor of your IT infrastructure, an MSSP is the fortress surrounding your company. An MSP can go a long way in ensuring that your team can access, use and store data, and other systems effectively, as well as efficiently, but an MSSP ensures that they have a secure environment to do all these things. They are responsible for preventing, detecting, and responding to threats on a micro and macro scale, which also extends to your integrations with 3rd party systems.

In this day and age, it is not an overstatement to say that a single data breach could mean the end of ANY organisation. Working with an MSSP gives confidence and assurance to your customers, vendors, and partners that they are safe when working with you, which is invaluable. In addition to the plethora of technologies that MSSPs deploy and manage, they are also experts at ensuring that your business meets all security and privacy regulations set out, which then frees up your IT and legal team to focus on other growth oriented tasks.

Services Offered by MSSPs

• Risk assessment and gap analysis
• Management of security systems
• Risk management and policy development
• Solution scoping
• Solution/tool research and requisition
• Solution implementation
• Security updates
• Configuration management
• Training and education
• Reporting, auditing and compliance


Finding the Right IT Security Solution for Your Business

Most SMBs are not adequately prepared for the rising cyber security threats, and even the ones with in-house IT teams and Managed IT Services Providers are finding it hard to keep up. When you consider the drastic changes that are happening in the whelm of Digital Transformation, investing in Managed Security Services (in addition to general IT support), is a smart decision for businesses looking to flourish in the next phase of IT technology.

Contact us today to book a Free IT Security Assessment or to learn more about our services from our award-winning experts.

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Topics: IT Security, cybersecurity, Managed Services

Written by Sean Houghton

Commercial & Operations Director at Aztech

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