Protecting against cyberattacks starts with the right help

Last year, organizations collectively faced over 3 billion cyberattacks. The bad actors executing these attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated. As a result, the standard cybersecurity stack is no defense against these threats.

Making matters worse, small and mid-ized businesses are frequent targets for cyberattacks.

“That’s typically because the leaders in these companies don’t feel what they have is worth stealing, so they don’t have the necessary cybersecurity platforms with good processes and protocols in place, and the hackers know it,” says Joe Hesske, Manager – Managed IT & Cybersecurity Solutions, Blue Technologies, Inc.

He says all businesses, large and small, should have a full cybersecurity strategy in place. Those companies that aren’t able to execute such a strategy effectively on their own should consider working with a Managed Local Services Security Provider (MSSP).

Smart Business spoke with Hesske about MSSPs — what they are and how they help companies mitigate their cyber threat exposure.

What’s the difference between a Managed Services Provider and a Managed Service Security Provider?

A Managed Services Provider (MSP) is focused on usability and performance. A Managed Local Services Security Provider (MSSP) is focused on security. The MSP monitors the health of an organization’s network. An MSSP is responsible for preventing, detecting, and responding to threats before they cause serious issues with an organization’s data and network environment.

Most MSPs will utilize a baseline security technology stack with anti-virus, anti-malware, and patch management. However, an MSSP will go much deeper with advanced endpoint protection, including Security Operations Center (SOC) monitoring and remediation, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms.

In most cases, what would be considered a higher layer of cybersecurity is above and beyond the standard cyber technology stack. Both layers of security are needed to be effective. However, the advanced security services can be implemented as a separate, over-the-top solution by an MSSP, even if they are not the actual MSP.

Packaging and bundling cybersecurity solutions are typical and should include other services, such as Employee Security Awareness Training, forced multi-factor authentication, and dark web monitoring.

How can MSSPs insulate companies from cybersecurity issues?

A deep-dive cybersecurity risk assessment scan of a company’s network environment is always the best starting point. When these scans are performed, they will uncover security gaps. These gaps can include unsupported operating systems such as XP or Win7, passwords set to never expire, and former employees in active directory who still have network access, just to name a few. Once this information is obtained, the MSSP will design a solution to address all the potential security gaps.

What should companies look for in a Managed Service Security Provider?

When searching for a MSSP, companies should look for one with:

  • The ability to provide advanced protection using best-in-class applications, such as SIEM platforms, Security Awareness Training (SAT), and dark web monitoring.
  • SOC monitoring and remediation as a service.
  • A high-level of communication through an account manager, and quarterly business reviews.

An MSSP should be a company’s trusted technology adviser — one that can navigate through the complex cybersecurity ecosystem, which includes legal, insurance, regulatory and compliance, breach forensics, and reputation management in the event of a cyber breach.

Today, it’s not a matter of if, but when an attack will happen. Good cybersecurity practices, internal protocols, and platforms are the best way to mitigate a company’s risk. Further, having the right cybersecurity program in place can lead to substantial discounts for cyber liability insurance.

Insights Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.