How Security Operations Solutions Bring Value to Managed Service Providers

Credit: Pixabay

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) now confront the types of advanced cyber threats that previously targeted only the largest and most sophisticated enterprises. Unfortunately, SMBs typically lack cybersecurity experts on their IT staff. What’s more, they lack the budget necessary to fully secure their organization with an in-house security operations center (SOC).

Without security operations capabilities, SMBs are unable to monitor their environments 24x7, leaving them incapable of rapidly detecting and responding to advanced threats before they do damage, opening their organizations up to cyberattacks.

As more SMBs turn to managed service providers (MSPs) to proactively and remotely manage their IT infrastructure and end-user systems, they gain a degree of protection. However, while MSPs typically provide remote device configurations, network monitoring, and resell endpoint and perimeter defense tools, they often lack the in-depth security expertise and capacity required to hunt down threats, perform forensics analysis, and mitigate and contain any potential impact.

That’s why savvy MSPs, those who seek new ways to bring value to — and engage with — new and existing customers, team with a managed security operations provider. This allows them to provide 24x7 eyes-on-glass coverage by a team of experts, rapidly deliver in-depth security services focused on managed detection and response (MDR), and address the advanced cyberthreats impacting SMBs.

What MSPs Offer

As far as security services, MSPs are generally responsible for user provisioning and deprovisioning, password resets, remote configuration, and endpoint and perimeter defenses such as antivirus, endpoint agents, network firewalls, and email or web gateways.

MSPs rarely provide continuous network and system monitoring that can discover malicious activities. Even when they do, they lack the in-depth skills to hunt down threats, perform forensics analysis, apply threat intelligence, and detect high-priority incidents that require an immediate customer response.

MSP with Security Operations: The Key to Advanced Cybersecurity

To reinforce and augment their existing services with a comprehensive security solution, MSPs can offer customers managed detection and response (MDR) services by partnering with a cloud-based, turnkey security operations provider and avoid the expense and difficulty of building their own SOC.

A security operations partnership gives MSPs an opportunity to sell advanced threat detection and response services. It also enables MSPs to offer remote or onsite response services, by way of mitigation/remediation actions performed by the MSP as a value-added offering based on pre-defined SLAs with customers.

What’s more, it allows MSPs to provide comprehensive visibility into their customers’ security postures, so they can recommend required policy changes, security tools, and other improvements, while the partner supports them 24x7 at the backend.

A security operations partnership enables MSPs to deliver the following value-added cybersecurity services:

Vulnerability Assessment

  • External vulnerability scans at regular intervals

Continuous Network Monitoring

  • Network flow analysis, intrusion detection/ prevention services

Threat Detection Services

  • Suspicious event investigation
  • Event correlation from multiple event users
  • Prioritized alert notification
  • Suspicious user and entity behavior identification

Expert Investigation Services

  • Root cause analysis
  • Analysis and triage of malicious code

Incident Response Services

  • Containment and remediation

Compliance Reporting Services

  • Customized reporting to meet compliance mandates — PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc.

Choosing the Right Partner

When deciding which security operations vendor to work with, MSPs must ensure prospective partners deliver the following capabilities to provide a joint, streamlined solution:

  • A named security team that provides your MSP with 24/7 coverage and expertise
  • Hybrid AI (human-augmented machine learning) that provides better threat detection with fewer false positives
    • Trouble ticketing integration for seamless handoffs of cybersecurity alerts
  • A solution that enriches telemetry collected from your customer’s existing systems with data from multiple sources to add context without needing to rip and replace their existing products.
  • A customizable rules engine that enables services tailored to specific customer needs

Cloud monitoring, including:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-service environments, like AWS and others
  • Software-as-a-service environments, like Office365 and others
  • Security-as-a-service, like Okta and others

Improve Cyber Protection while Boosting Revenues

Partnering with a security operations partner lets MSPs deliver advanced cyber protection to their customers. A strategic partnership can quickly and seamlessly bolster existing services and offer new cybersecurity services — like rapid threat detection and response — that grow your revenue and bring new value to customers.

Guest blog courtesy of Arctic Wolf. Read more Arctic Wolf guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.