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What is a Managed Security Service Provider? (MSSP)

26 October 2022

The ability to detect and respond to threats quickly and effectively is crucial for maintaining the health and security of your IT in your business.

But what if you don’t have the expertise or resources to manage your networks and endpoints environment 24x7x365?

Organisations across all sectors are considering outsourcing their security functions to save time, improve their security posture, and make the most of their resources.

One way of outsourcing cybersecurity functions is via a Managed Security Service.

But what is a Managed Security Service? How does this cybersecurity service work, and how will it benefit your business, customers, and employees?

Managed Security Service Provider

How does a managed security service work?

Broadly, a Managed Security Service (MSS) entails outsourcing, monitoring, and managing one or more security functions and, in some cases, devices.  

By combining the expertise of its cybersecurity team, industry-leading technology and processes, a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can help an organisation improve or expand its cybersecurity capabilities. 

Simply put, the work of an MSSP is to reduce the burden of managing and maintaining elements of a cybersecurity program. 

Expert analysts use specialist tools to protect businesses and help them understand and respond to threats. 

An MSSP will provide a range of solutions such as, but not limited to, Vulnerability Management, Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Security Information & Event Management (SIEM), Incident Response, cybersecurity awareness training for employees and much more. 

The MSSP will typically provide these services via a Security Operations Centre (SOC). 

What is a SOC service? 

Managed security service providers (MSSP) typically operate from a Security Operations Centre or SOC from which 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring and Incident Response is provided to an organisation. 

The Security Operations Centre’s essential function is to monitor, prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to cyber threats. The SOC combines people, processes, and technology solutions to achieve this. 

Benefits of Managed Security Services

According to the Cybersecurity skills in the UK labour market 2021 report – 

‘IT leadership lack an understanding for how cybersecurity should permeate the business’s IT functions so tended to underfund cybersecurity’. 

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Ipsos MORI, 2021 

The evolving threats mean customers, systems, and staff need protection.  

How can a business benefit from a Managed Security Service? 

1. 24/7 Monitoring and Threat Detection    

A Managed Security Service offers continuous surveillance and access to expert in-house cybersecurity professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. 

Going beyond the above statement, Managed Security Service Providers specialise in early threat detection, subsequent remediation, and improved protection. This gives MSSPs an edge over other IT providers (or Managed Services Providers) whose expertise does not lie in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. 

Real-time threat identification and Security Operations Center (SOC) monitoring improve an organisation’s visibility of threats and increase mitigation efficiency.  

With the level of damage increasing with the time it takes to identify and attack, continuous observation is necessary.   

Unlike organisations that might not have the team structure, time or resources for 24/7 monitoring, MSSPs can act around the clock to ensure your organisation is being monitored for attacks.  

However, 24/7 surveillance is insufficient on its own. MSSPs are capable of quickly and accurately responding to threats. Remediation plans are implemented immediately in case of a breach, which means they act promptly to minimise losses and contain the harm.   

24/7 Monitoring and Threat Detection   

2. The Cybersecurity Skills Gap   

The cybersecurity skills gap contributed to a staggering 80% of all breaches during the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity skills gap report released earlier this year. 

By working with an MSSP, businesses can achieve considerable cost savings. Take the issue of staffing. Investing in people and technology is needed to ensure a business has appropriate cybersecurity capabilities. Outsourcing the task of managing and monitoring systems to an MSSP means a business will save resources in hiring specialist professionals. 

One of the advantages of managed services from a financial standpoint is that it reduces labour costs and removes the need to recruit and train new IT professionals. Since most MSPs (Managed Service Providers) provide a hybrid model of resources, which lowers the average effective rate and broadens your resource base, there is a potential to have capabilities accessible on a scalable basis.   

The best part is that you will not have to worry about unforeseen service charges because service-level agreements can be customised to your organisation’s specific needs, allowing you to reinvest your money.   

3. Ability to Scale    

Organisations must optimise infrastructure and support to keep up with the growth or shrinkage of the overall organisation. It is challenging to scale up while making a profit to expand at the necessary rate and hire the right personnel.  

As a result, many MSPs and MSSPs struggle to maintain profitability while still investing in growth plans and expanding their talent pools.   

The size and mix of services that make up an MSP service package can be changed to meet the organisation’s needs. This means that MSSPs can grow with an organisation without having to complicate the organisation further.   

An internal review can establish what capacity you have, the gaps and what is required from an MSSP 

4. Prioritising Tasks and Needs  

Security will be prioritised by your MSP at every stage of your IT infrastructure, including endpoints, gateways, and the cloud.   

One advantage of managed services is that they allow your employees to concentrate on the tasks they were employed in and provide you with the flexibility to fill in any gaps.   

An MSSP can monitor user behaviour and identify any shifts in patterns that could indicate a security incident.  

In the case of an incident, organisations benefit from reducing the time to respond, saving them time and the cost of a lengthy clean-up process. 

Does my business need a Managed Security Service Provider? 

Cyber threats pose a risk to the data you hold, profitability, and ultimately reputation. Therefore, a Managed Security Service Provider is at the forefront of cyber threats, knowing what is required to detect threats and protect your business, customers, and employees. 

UK managed security service provider

Why Sapphire’s MSSP Services?  

Sapphire’s Managed Security Services (MSS) are made to help you improve your organisation’s cybersecurity proactively.   

In addition to managed security information and event management (SIEM), endpoint detection and response (EDR), vulnerability management, and security awareness training, Sapphire has expertise working with the public and private sectors.   

Our skilled security analysts connect these managed services with our threat intelligence feeds to give our customers an accurate view of the cybersecurity of their organisations and customised information tailored to their objectives.   

Our managed security service includes:    

  • UK-based Security Operations Centre (SOC)    
  • Tier 3 UK Datacentre, IL2 and IL3 Compliant    
  • Fully Managed 24x7x365 by Skilled Security Analysts    
  • Incident Assessment / Management (including forensics)    
  • Pro-Active Threat Detection and Threat Hunting    


Contact a member of our team today.

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