What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?
In 2018 business, regardless of size or offering, you are vulnerable to the ever-evolving security threats and attempts to steal data and most likely, put you out of business. You need strong security leadership and have a moral and ethical obligation to your clients to do everything in your ability to keep their data safe.
Most businesses cannot afford a dedicated, high-level security expert who can optimize business processes and cybersecurity within an organization. Even more, you can bet that a small business is probably not going to want to pay what Forbes estimates is a salary range of $154,000 up to $380,000. That’s why many businesses are turning to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) as an alternative to a Chief Information Security Office (CISO) to fulfill that role.
What Does a CISO Do?
The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of an enterprise has a major responsibility: to help shape and manage the company’s cybersecurity policies and tools to minimize the risk and impact of a data compromise event. CISOs have to be constantly vigilant of new cyber threats and aware of potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the business’ network.
What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?
A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is a Managed Service Provider that focuses on IT Security as a virtual, or outsourced Chief Information Security Office (CISO).
Using a virtual c-level security expert gives your enterprise near-instant access to a team of experienced cybersecurity experts who are old hands at balancing the demands of network security against the user experience of everyone on your business network to deliver the ideal blend of performance and security.
Simple enough, but why should you care about another “As-A-Service” offering?
Your business probably won’t fold if you don’t move from your old version of Microsoft Office to managed Office 365, but your business might well fold if someone on your team clicks an email link that kicks off a ransomware attack, encrypting all of your client data – to be un-encrypted, maybe, for a fee.
Some important numbers:
- Ransomware attacks were up 90% in 2017;
- A ransomware attack might cost your business anywhere from $133,000 to $1,000,000.
And these numbers only speak to ransomware, not the potential cost of other malware attacks or of the potential cost to your business not being in compliance with city, state, and federal IT/data security regulations.
So It’s the urgent nature of the threat and the magnitude of the potential downside of an IT security breach that makes managed security services different from the services that a standard MSP provides.
What Does an MSSP Do?
At a basic level, an MSSP will:
- Implement and manage your corporate firewall;
- Implement and manage the corporate anti-malware software that runs on your servers and PCs;
- Keep firewall and anti-malware systems up-to-date.
For many small and medium-sized businesses, simply keeping on top of these tasks can be too much to handle as daily business operations dominate the bulk of our time (I know, I run a business myself), and it can be easy to neglect our IT security.
This is why partnering with an MSSP makes good business sense. Small business owners face IT security threats that have the potential to put them out of business, but they don’t have the time or expertise to protect their data and IT systems against these attacks.
Another more important point, that if considered, makes a lot of sense. It’s this: CISOs are difficult to find. Having both a unique mix of business, technical and security acumen put them in high demand, not to mention that are expensive hires. But a CISO is just one person and it’s impossible for one person to be an expert of all things at all levels. When you invest in an MSSP, you are investing in a team of experts, not just a person. Simply put, you now a team of security experts that manage your network and provide insights 24/7. You have a continued leadership resource at the c-level that stays current with evolving security threats and can consult and create policies that ensure you are continuously compliant.
What Makes Link High the MSSP of Choice for New York and New Jersey
While the partnering with an MSSP to manage your corporate firewall and anti-malware software is a good start, it might actually give you the false sense of security because these steps are only part of a holistic cybersecurity implementation.
Any MSP can offer firewall and anti-malware management and call themselves an MSSP.
At Link High Technologies, we’ve made cybersecurity a central component of our managed offering,
But, as we noted above, failing to keep your basic corporate IT – firewall and anti-malware software – systems up-to-date can put your business at risk of going out of business.
And beyond these basics, there are state and federal regulations that require additional security steps.
Recently, the state of New York mandated new cybersecurity requirements for businesses in the financial industry with its issuance of the “Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies” set of regulations, known as “23 NYCRR 500”.
The first requirement outlined states:
“Each Covered Entity shall maintain a cybersecurity program designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the Covered Entity’s Information Systems.”
The regulation goes on to explain that:
“All documentation and information relevant to the Covered Entity’s cybersecurity program shall be made available to the superintendent upon request.”
I point this particular set of regulations out to make that point that, more and more, small and medium-sized businesses are going to need help regarding their cybersecurity – not just with implementation and maintenance of systems, but with everything around cybersecurity, including regulatory compliance.
And the ability to give our clients comprehensive guidance on all matters cybersecurity is what makes Link High the MSSP of choice for the New York/New Jersey region.
Is Your Cybersecurity Program Where It Needs to Be? Do You Have a Cybersecurity Program?
If you’re like many New York and New Jersey companies that don’t have a cybersecurity program or if you’re not sure whether your program is where it needs to be, we’d love to talk to you about your cybersecurity needs. You can call us at 973.659.1350 or drop us a note and we’ll contact you.
Thanks and all the best!
Victor is a 25-year veteran of the IT industry. Previously President of Global Villager, Victor joined Link High Technologies as President in 1992 and used his skills as a visionary business leader to quickly transform the company from a computer repair shop to an IT consulting firm. Victor has a passion for learning, holding a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School in Newark, and certifications in Citrix, Microsoft, and Novell Technologies. He is also a certified HIPAA Security Professional. Victor also supports a number of local charities and nonprofit organizations including the Spina Bifida Resource Network.