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Conquering Cybersecurity Problems: Managed IT Services Can Help

Managed Security Service Provider - Quest

In my last post, I described some of the key ways Managed IT Services help monitor networks and applications, conduct real-time analysis of security alerts, and streamline management of security reporting and policy compliance.

Important as these Managed IT Services are, however, the IT-centric capabilities they provide are just part of a larger IT security picture. Unquestionably, these capabilities are necessary, but they are by no means sufficient – especially if your goal is (as it should be) to create and sustain multiple security layers that are proactive and preventive.

Time for social cybersecurity

When a security issue shows up on an IT operations center screen, it’s usually due to human error or a hacker. This is why social engineering and managing BYOD top this list of SMB security challenges in 2015:

Top Managed IT Services Security Challenges

Source: The State of SMB Cybersecurity in 2015, Spiceworks Voice of IT

It’s also why, in the same survey, 53% reported that employee use of cloud-based applications makes their company more susceptible to threats.

It’s worth noting that a properly run cloud environment is inherently more secure than traditional on-premise IT environments. The security dangers don’t lurk in the cloud, but rather among those who access it.

Yet cloud computing and BYOD are quickly becoming business essentials, so as you create a plan for instructing employees on the dos and don’ts of security awareness, you’ll also need cyber defenses to address what I call the “front end” of the enterprise.

Of course, you’re not alone, but the lack of available cybersecurity expertise has become a serious problem:

Cyber defense obstacles that hinder Managed Security Services

Source: 2015 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity, Ponemon Institute

Even so, you can overcome the challenge by choosing the right provider to help you deploy your particular set of Managed IT Services.

What to look for in a Managed Security Services Provider

Since every enterprise is different, the best Managed Security Services Providers have to be versatile enough to meet customers’ needs. I interpret such versatility to include:

  1. A range of Managed IT Services that include more than basic security capabilities such as firewalls, IDS, network and application monitoring, SIEM, email threat management, security policy auditing, configuration/patch/vulnerability testing and management, forensics, and physical security. In addition to these, you’ll also want to look for “bedfellow” capabilities like data backup and restoral management, business continuity/disaster recovery, mobile device management, DaaS, and more.
  2. The ability to customize these services in a granular way to meet a customer’s particular needs and budget.
  3. The know-how to conduct speedy yet thorough assessments of a customer’s security stance to locate vulnerabilities and propose viable, vendor-neutral solutions.
  4. A deep commitment to responsive service, because the right Managed Security Services Provider understands the critical importance of trust – and how to earn and keep it.

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