How to Find the Best Managed Security Service Provider

Businesses are constantly under security attacks. Cyber threats can be a big menace to businesses of all sizes. What can set you apart from a company that is at risk of a security breach are the security measures you have in place.

Your business needs managed security service providers (MSSP) to provide adequate monitoring of your data and networks and protect you from potential cybercrime. The professionals monitor breaches, attacks, and other security threats so your business can have maximum security.

Managed security service providers can be a great benefit to your business. Without them, it can be hard for your business to survive the online world. However, not all MSSPs are the same regarding their service delivery.

So, how do you find the right MSSP for your business? Here are some tips that can help you select the right one.

What Is a Managed Security Service Provider?

MSSP is like an extension of your IT department that only deals with matters concerning security. They provide round-the-clock monitoring of your security system to ensure there are no potential threats, breaches, or security attacks. They safeguard your system and improve your security as a whole.

The scope of work of managed security service providers ranges from detecting and blocking spam or viruses, managing virtual private networks (VPN), and firewalls, to timely intrusion detection. Depending on your agreement, the MSSP can provide additional services such as system modifications, changes, and updates.

Benefits of Managed Security Service Providers

Your business will benefit a lot from the services of MSSPs. Here are some of the benefits they provide:

  • Round-the-clock monitoring: MSSP will monitor and protect your business 24/7. They safeguard your network and data keeping them from any breaches or attacks.
  • Improve security: With the services of MSSP, you’re assured that your security posture is well-taken care of. They’ll recommend and enforce security measures that help keep your security checked.
  • Cost saving: Hiring MSSPs is cheaper than hiring in-house staff to take care of your security. Their services and products are also quite economical.
  • Unmatched expertise: Managed security service providers dedicate all their life to providing services to businesses of all types. They have learned and mastered the trade and are sure to employ their skills and experience in protecting your business.
  • Resources: MSSPs invest a lot in resources, tools, and technologies that help fight threats and cyber attacks. Some of these resources are too expensive for businesses to acquire for themselves.

What to Look for in a Managed Security Service Provider

Not all MSSPs can provide the above benefits. Therefore, you need to ensure you only work with the best to keep your business in the right hands. Here are some of the features you should look for in a managed security service provider:

1. Provider Reputation

Before working with MSSPs, check their reputation to evaluate their past performance. Check the history of their work and see which companies they’ve worked with before and if they managed to solve their problems. Check if they have a good reputation and are recognized by organizations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The reputation of the MSSP you need to work with is an important aspect in determining whether they’re up to the task or not. They should not be afraid of sharing their website and social media pages with you. Check out their reviews and ratings to know what their past customers have to say about their work.

2. The Services They Offer

The security needs of every business differ, and the MSSP you choose to work with should match those needs. Check out the services they provide and compare them with your specific needs.

Some services that MSSPs provide include threat intelligence, computer security, forensic analysis, and more. You can’t hire different companies to handle every part of your security needs, as this will not only waste your time but also be quite expensive.

A good MSSP has a team that will handle every aspect of your security needs without asking for a helping hand from the outside. They have all the resources and skills that they can integrate and provide a real-time response in case of a threat.

3. A Dedicated Team

Your managed security service provider won’t do much for your business if the team they provide isn’t dedicated enough. If you’re going to pay them for their services and resources, then you’ll need to see value for your money. Your business needs round-the-clock monitoring, and your MSSP should be able to provide no less than that.

If your chosen MSSP is working with untrained or outsourced staff, there are many chances of mistakes, and that means your business is at risk. Full-time staff will be available 24/7 to handle alerts from your technology and mitigate threats before they become security attacks. They’ll probably reduce any chance of error that can lead to a costly mistake.

4. Availability and Preparedness

Cybercriminals are working around the clock looking for businesses they can target. If your MSSP is not available to protect you all the time, your business will be left vulnerable.

Besides providing round-the-clock support, your MSSP should be there when things get rough. They should be there to provide support in case of a natural disaster, theft, outage, or pandemic. The security team should always have your back and provide support whenever things get rough.

They should also have contingency plans in case they experience a disaster themselves. They should be prepared to handle any disaster and ensure that things run normally. They need the best resources and infrastructure, such as disaster recovery, high availability, and Tier-3 Data Centers to keep themselves running amidst a disaster.

5. Features and Benefits

What is unique about the MSSP you choose to work with? Your chosen MSSP should have a robust and comprehensive security performance.

Before you hire them, they should define the features and security processes unique to your business. They should give you a detailed risk assessment analysis of your business before they can get started.

Some of the features your MSSP should have included were technology, compliance, management, and adaptability. Understand each of these features and evaluate them in relation to the needs of your business. If none of their features align with your organization’s goals, you’ll be better off looking for another provider.

6. Their Working Timeline

You need to understand that the typical timeline for engaging an MSSP is between a couple of weeks and three months. Your MSSP should clearly define what they’ll do for your business within this time. They should define their work process and help you understand how they’ll gain in-depth knowledge of your business.

A good MSSP should take the time to analyze and understand your business from A to Z before they start working. They must understand that every company has unique cyber threats and work out a cyber security strategy that will work for your unique security challenges.

They should also understand that they must be up to speed with their security management system. You know that even a minute wasted can lead to disaster. They should have ways to integrate automation so they can provide faster and more efficient security systems.

7. Their Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) fosters the relationship between the MSSP and the client. Before choosing your MSSP, you need to understand who will create the SLA and whether it can be changed at any point.

An SLA outlines the level of service that your MSSP will provide for your business. Your MSSP should break down the SLA into different categories, including service priority level, minimum response time, and time to resolve value.

The SLA should outline realistic performance metrics that are easy to quantify and specific to your business needs. The MSSP should understand that clients are different in terms of security needs, incident response, and so on. Your business may not need an SLA in all areas.

8. The Costs Involved

While you don’t expect cheap services from a reliable MSSP, the cost should be realistic. However, there’s no standard pricing, and your business needs will determine how much you’ll pay. Don’t be quick to sign a contract if you don’t understand it well.

Setting aside a constant budget for your security needs is not easy because of the ever-changing nature of technology. You need to work with an MSSP that will sit down with you to discuss your security needs. They’ll come up with a realistic cost after looking at your workforce and projecting what your yearly planning looks like.

Average pricing for your MSSP should range between $90 and $250 per user per month. This will also depend on your needs and the size of the business. They may also provide tier planning, depending on the number of users and services.


Finding a reliable Managed Security Service Provider is the best thing that can happen to your business. You need a robust system that you can rely on in this age where data breaches and security attacks are on the rise. You need to work with an MSSP that understands your business needs, works with a dedicated team, and offers a realistic quotation.

author avatar
Ali Allage CEO
A visionary leader in cybersecurity, with expertise that encompasses a deep understanding of the latest cybersecurity trends, technologies, and best practices, making a significant impact on enhancing organizational security postures in the digital age.