We’ve written over and over again about the cybersecurity staffing crisis, almost ad nauseum. However, it’s perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing enterprises in the 21st-century marketplace—it bears repeating.
By 2022, there will be nearly 2 million unfilled information security jobs. Adding to the anxiety, this may prove a conservative estimate. In fact, enterprises may face the absence of as many as 3 million InfoSec professionals.
Machine learning and other forms of cybersecurity AI can help mitigate this lack of human talent, but in its current form such AI can’t replace genuine human ability. It can facilitate the process of your cybersecurity professionals and take some of the stress off of them, but you need humans to make it work optimally.
In other words, enterprises face a significant manpower problem—one that puts them at a serious disadvantage when facing their digital threats. Simply finding more cybersecurity staff isn’t easy. Retaining that talent with their high rates of burnout another challenge in itself.
In order to handle this crisis, enterprises—SMBs and large enterprises alike—have turned to managed security services providers (MSSPs) to manage the deluge of digital threats they face every day. MSSPs allow enterprises to outsource their cybersecurity talent and provide threat intelligence, assessment, and remediation.
In order to learn more, we consulted two whitepapers on MSSPs: The “Use of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs): Benefits, Challenges and Trends” 2017 Spotlight Report presented by AlienVault and “10 Tips for Selecting a Managed Security Services Provider” provided by AlienVault.
Here are our key takeaways from both:
What Drives Enterprises to MSSPs?
According to AlienVault’s research, the lack of security expertise freely available is the main driving factor for enterprises seeking out MSSPs. 39% of enterprises surveyed say they lack their own internal security resources and expertise, leaving them otherwise vulnerable. 71% of enterprises seeking out MSSPs say that the most critical factor in their selection process is security expertise.
However, this is not the only factor in selecting an MSSP. Just over a majority of enterprises look to MSSPs to conduct their security monitoring or event correlation and alerting. Just under a majority seek them out for intrusion detection and prevention capabilities.
Overall, 65% of enterprises believe hiring MSSPs improves their security posture. With so many enterprises struggling to find cybersecurity talent, this isn’t a surprise.
What Do MSSPs Provide?
Managed security services providers provide 24/7 network monitoring, management of security controls, overseeing patch management, and emergency response. This continuous availability is perhaps one of the most important MSSP capabilities. Digital threats can occur at any time, but your cybersecurity team is only human. Eventually, they’ll need to rest or they run the risk of burnout. MSSPs, by contrast, are always on alert: someone is always watching over your enterprise.
Other capabilities provided by MSSPs include:
- Security Monitoring
- Event Correlation and Alerting
- Threat Hunting
Additionally, enterprises look to managed security services providers to outsource their monitoring & threat detection, compromise assessment/forensics, network protection, application protection, and endpoint protection.
These benefits of hiring an MSSP are the most obvious, but their assistance goes even deeper. Enterprises say that having an MSSP both improves their security and reduces their overhead costs. It certainly helps them manage the costly endeavor of finding and training new cybersecurity talent! Further, MSSPs reportedly improve availability and business continuity, provide more flexible scalability, and increase efficiency.
For more information on MSSPs, you can download “Use of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs): Benefits, Challenges and Trends” 2017 Spotlight Report provided for free by SIEM solution provider AlienVault. You can also download the “10 Tips for Selecting a Managed Security Services Provider” whitepaper compliments of AlienVault.
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