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Here’s How Managed Security Services Works

Here’s How Managed Security Services Works

More and more organizations are investing their security budgets into managed security services. An evolving threat landscape requires skilled security talent and expertise yet there is a major imparity in finding qualified talent and a need to monitor and manage security events on a 24/7/365 basis. In this blog, we share how managed security services work as well as some key benefits of using a managed security service provider (MSSP).   

What is Managed Security Services? 

Managed security services include outsourced monitoring and management of your security systems and devices. An MSSP manages your Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) tools, Intrusion Detection Systems/Intrusion Prevention Systems, firewalls, anti-virus, vulnerability and compliance management, and more. 

How Managed Security Services Works

Organizations use MSSPs to offload the tedious work of managing and monitoring hundreds if not thousands of security incidents and events a day. If your organization lacks in-house security resources, the expertise, or the time to monitor and manage your security environment continuously then managed security services is a beneficial choice. 

Fully- Managed vs. Co-Managed Security Services 

There are two types of managed security services: Fully-managed and Co-managed security services. 

Fully-Managed Services – the security services provider owns the security technologies and manages and monitors the security events generated from these tools and technologies. If your organization is budget conscious or if you don’t have internal resources to learn and manage an array of the latest technologies, then fully-managed security services are most likely a good fit. 

Co-Managed – If your organization owns an array of security technologies and is short on internal security resources required to manage these solutions on a 24x7x365 basis, then co-managed security services are beneficial. You can eventually bring the monitoring and management of technologies back in-house as your organization scales and you build a Security Operations Center (SOC).  

An MSSP can educate and inform you about each tool’s features, functionality, and set up the best configuration. In addition, co-managed security services allow your staff to focus on other strategic security projects and offload the intensive job of monitoring and managing events during non-business hours. Hence, why many MSSPs offer 24x7x365 coverage. 

Managed Security Services how it works

Threat Monitoring & Management 

Today’s security landscape requires continuous monitoring and investigation of threats. Security data is collected from a variety of sources, and an MSSP can use this to identify correlations in your security incidents, ultimately, pinpointing anomalies and malicious activity. 

A team of security analysts at an MSSP will evaluate your security data and determine if these incidents should be turned into security events with alerts.  If so, tickets are opened and notifications performed per a collection of escalation profiles, which set a priority and notify appropriately, forming an incident response playbook for your organization. 

A managed security services provider should also have security analysts trained to threat hunt. According to Carbon Black, a leading provider of Next-Gen Endpoint Protection, threat hunting is: 

“The active pursuit of abnormal activity on servers and endpoints that may be signs of compromise.” 

A common approach for many organizations with in-house security teams is to simply wait for an alert. With threat hunting, the security provider actively looks for network activity, Indicators of Compromise, and unusual endpoint activity. The analysts at the MSSP will not wait for alerts or security incidents but rather proactively look for anomalies and malicious activities. 

Incident Response and Event Investigation 

Managed Security Services find out how it works

Once a security alert is created, the MSSP team will work on remediating the incident. Your internal team may be overwhelmed with other essential security tasks. Offloading incident response to a provider allows your organization to accelerate handling incidents that before could require multiple shifts or even days to fix. 

Consider the time it may take to patch software, push out new AV signatures, investigate all aspects of the security event, and communicate a security breach to your employees and customers (if necessary). A third tier IR team can contain threats and minimize the duration and impact of a security incident by employing a team of skilled analysts that have worked on multiple customer environments. 

Security Intelligence 

Security intelligence can come from open and private sources and helps an organization improve its detection and response activities. If your organization is unable to dedicate full-time staff to threat intelligence gathering, then managed security services is beneficial. 

A leading MSSP can offer relevant threat intelligence for enabling security technologies, monitoring and reporting to your organization. Threat Intelligence provides the security team the insights needed to proactively hunt threats.  

For small to large organizations, the benefit of threat intelligence from an MSSP is that it’s based on a wide variety of scenarios across its entire client base, to have it analyzed by knowledgeable security specialists that can determine how it may impact your organization in the short term and long-term. 

Also, with a full array of security technologies and clients in-house, the managed security provider offers your organization insights into global threats in real-time. An MSSP gives your organization an advantage when defending against zero-day threats, new vulnerabilities, and ransomware that can easily evade detection. 

Perhaps this year you might consider fully-managed or co-managed security services and offload your strenuous workload of security tasks to an MSSP. 

Did you enjoy this blog article? Comment below with your feedback, or feel free to contact us to learn more about our IT solutions. 

Cyber101 Managed SIEM vs. Managed Security Service Providers

Cyber101: Managed SIEM vs. Managed Security Service Providers

What is the difference between Managed SIEM and Managed Security Service Provider?

A reader recently asked “What’s the difference between a Managed SIEM Service and a Managed Security Service Provider?” . It’s a question that doesn’t get asked often enough, and the differences can range from “pretty big” to “insanely different.”  Let’s dive a bit deeper and see what sets these two types of services apart: 

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems are designed to collect and analyze security and other logs from networking devices (like firewalls) as well as servers, appliances, VM’s and other infrastructure.  In many cases they can also report on whatever they find.  While a SIEM is an invaluable tool to have as part of your security protocols, they can be difficult to manage and require specialized training to use effectively. 

Managed SIEM vs. Managed Security Service Providers

A Managed SIEM Service (MSS) is a company that does what it says on the tin.  They coordinate the collection of logs into the SIEM and handle data integrity, storage, and reporting operations.  However, it’s important to note that how much of each of those a particular MSS does can vary wildly.  Some simply coordinate gathering the logs and managing the actual SIEM platform itself; reporting on the raw data but not giving insight into what it means.   

Others handle storage and data management, but expect that the customer has one or more employees who will run reports and keep an eye on what’s actually going on.  Still others may do analysis, but report on all anomalies they find – including those that aren’t actual threats.  If your organization has cybersecurity personnel on the payroll, this service can be added into your overall security program, but probably isn’t sufficient to be a security program on its own. 

Managed SIEM: Centralized or Individual?

Managed SIEM Service providers may manage a centralized SIEM for multiple customers, or may set up and manage individual SIEM platforms for each customer.  Both methods are valid, so long as proper multi-tenancy restrictions are put in place so that customer data does not mix; and typically both types of solution sets can get the MSS job done. 

MSSP Solutions That Stand Out

Managed Security Service Providers

A Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) will do what an MSS does as part of their package of services, but most often goes beyond that by a good measure.  MSSP will analyze the data that the logs represent to look for anomalies that may or may not be threats.  They will then analyze those anomalies to determine if a threat exists, and what impact that threat could have on the customer’s data and systems.  MSSP also has established methodologies to notify the customer of actual threats, and typically will also provide remediation guidance to help fix whatever security issues led to that threat event. 

Added to this, the majority of MSSP’s offer extended services – either as part of the base service or as add-ons purchased as bundles or a-la-carte.  For example, MSSP’s offer endpoint protection (anti-malware, Data Loss Prevention systems, etc.), email protection to stop phishing attacks and email fraud, vulnerability scanning to identify potential security issues before they become actual security issues, etc.   

MSSP Keeps You Informed On Regular Basis

MSS Providers

Since the MSSP handles so many of the individual security concerns of a customer, they also routinely set up regular briefings or meetings to relay new information to the customer and gather information about changes (upcoming or already in-place) to infrastructure, applications, etc.  This allows the MSSP’s services to best suit the changing reality of the IT landscape as more core applications move to Software as a Service, new technologies for networking are brought into play, etc.  

All of these services go beyond what would be expected of an MSS provider because they involve more than just the SIEM and the reports a SIEM can produce.  They require analysts to differentiate between anomalies that are benign and threats that need to be addressed.  These analysts are also trained in determining how significant a threat is in order to advise remediation over time or immediately.   

MSSP is also maintaining threat intelligence services to know what threats are out there, which are seeing growth and which are the most dangerous, and which are most likely to impact their customers at any given point in time.  And, of course, systems that handle vulnerability scanning, email, and endpoint protection are totally outside the scope of a SIEM, and wouldn’t be expected of an MSS; but are standard offerings for an MSSP. 

Conclusion

In short, an MSSP will offer MSS as part of their overall service packages, but typically an MSSP will go far beyond just managing the SIEM for a customer.  Which is the best fit for you depends on what IT and Cybersecurity talent you have on staff, if they can be used 24/7, and what hardware and/or software you have or are willing to acquire and manage from a security perspective.  You also need to know if you have the skill-set and tools to go beyond what a SIEM can offer.  If any of those points aren’t already part of your organization, then an MSSP is the way to go as they can supplement your staff, work with your IT partners, typically offer 24/7 services, and bring all the tools and skills required with them.

If you are looking for best IT solutions for your company, be free to contact us at Demakis Technologies.