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Managed Security Services: The Value of Partnership

The scope and depth of cyber threats is immense and growing. Keypoint/InfoTrends’ research indicates that 64% of organizations have been the subject of some sort of cyber security breach. Without an IT security services provider on your side, your organization is essentially alone against a myriad of global threats that are increasing and changing rapidly.

Types of security breaches that have occurred

A wide variety of security technologies are in the market. There are also a variety of companies that can implement and manage these technologies for customers. That said, not all of these companies provide the same level of service.

A true managed security services provider take both a consultative and strategic approach to helping its clients. There are three benefits of this approach for the customer.

Three Benefits to Partnership

1) A professional, up-to-date risk management strategy

A 100% secure business is not realistic for the vast majority of organizations. It is either too expensive or impractically restrictive for employees. Instead, organizations should seek to develop an appropriate “risk management” strategy—through the help of a managed security services provider.

Risk management focuses on formulating a plan that incorporates an acceptable levels of risk for different types of business data, and finding the appropriate technology/service level that corresponds with the defined risk levels.

This approach requires the type of relationship where the service provider truly understands your company’s IT infrastructure and priorities, and is very difficult to achieve outside of a managed security services contract.

2) Technology adoption consulting

Determining which security technology to employ can be challenging. If you buy the solution (s) directly from the developer/vendors, they likely want to sell you the most expensive or highest-margin product. This is likely not appropriate for your budget, and may not even align with your organization’s security goals.

Your organization should seek out a security services provider with experience and focus in your company size category as well as industry, as this knowledge is indispensible. While a managed security services provider does usually act as a reseller for some security technologies, they are primarily focused on management and monitoring. They are also anticipating a longer term relationship with you, rather than a quick sale. This contrasts with other types of IT services companies that may be more focused on short-term profits.

3) Making the most of internal IT resources

Whether your IT department consists of 1 or 10 employees, managed security services providers can advise your organization on the elements of IT security still managed in house. Some providers can offer suggestions on how internal IT can best secure unmanaged components of the IT infrastructure.

Moving Forward

Whether your business is large or small, it is management’s responsibility to consider security solutions designed for the various components of your IT infrastructure, hardware, and applications. If you don’t have internal staff who can strategize and deploy the solution, consider working with a company that has expertise in implementing these technologies.

Technological expertise is very important. That said, IT security also requires a partnership. When looking for a managed security services provider, ask how they approach the issue of partnership — and see if their style fits the way you prefer to work with vendors. This is how you can ensure the success of the relationship.

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