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MSPs, MSSPs Gain Security Operations Center (SOC) Partner Options

Chris Pace
Chris Pace

It's a big math problem. Simply put, most MSPs can't afford to build their own security operations centers (SOCs). Amid that reality, MSPs have a growing list of third-party SOC providers with whom they can potentially partner.

The latest example is Arctic Wolf Networks, which now offers SOC as a service to MSPs. The service, called AWN CyberSOC, includes security engineer support; incident response and compliance support; and fixed monthly pricing, the company says. That fixed price includes the following services:

  • Managed detection and response (MDR)
  • SIEM replacement
  • Regulatory compliance support
  • Behavioral analytics
  • 24×7 Real time alerting
  • Unlimited log analysis with machine learning
  • Regular vulnerability scans

Nick Schneider, head of sales at Arctic Wolf, is driving the MSP partner engagement push. True believers include Chris Pace, CEO at Centre Technologies, an MSP that has embraced the service, according to the news announcement.

SOC Outsourcing: More Options for MSPs

Amid the cybersecurity boom, multiple companies are moving into the SOC market for MSPs. Additional providers and potential partners to know include:

MSPs: Build Your Own SOC?

In some cases, MSSPs are spending big dollars to build SOCs on their own. But this isn't for the faint of heart. Consider these quick factoids:

Meanwhile, it's getting more difficult to build out a cybersecurity operations team, according to ESG research. Among the reasons: The cybersecurity skills shortage is making it difficult to find analytics and operations talent, ESG asserts. Not by coincidence, most mainstream MSPs are struggling to find cybersecurity talent, a recent Kaspersky Lab research report finds.

Amid those financial and talent realities, we firmly believe most MSPs and many MSSPs will need to partner up for SOC services.

Choosing a SOC Partner: Big Challenge

Alas, SOC providers come in various shapes, sizes, technology, business and financial. It's some what akin to the car industry. Tesla, Lamborghini and Chevy are all car makers -- but you'd never lump them together in a head-to-head product comparison.

The situation is equally challenging in the SOC  market, where numerous players say they can assist MSPs with their cybersecurity needs. But you really need to get under the hood -- studying a SOC provider's business model, funding, current customer base, track record and commitment to innovation -- before signing on the dotted line for such a service.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.