As cyber threats have evolved, so too has incident management, from handling it in-house to hiring consultants to engaging Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The problem is the threats are continuing to increase in size and complexity, and they pose greater risks to enterprises. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are the logical next step, taking the successful MSP model further with additional security expertise.

Organizations still struggling with incident management and response should consider an MSSP. An MSSP can cure alert fatigue and make each incident an opportunity to learn. MSSPs can also centralize cybersecurity and provide the visibility necessary to keep you informed and your CEO happy.

But MSSPs aren’t the best fit for every organization. Some are hesitant to hand over their entire cybersecurity operation. Large enterprises, for their part, may have the in-house expertise to handle today’s threat environment, while small businesses may lack the need for such an advanced cybersecurity operation.

If you fall somewhere in between and you’re questioning whether or not you need an MSSP, below are five signs you need one:


  1. You are ignoring alerts. Enterprises ignore security alerts because they get so many and ultimately find them useless. The average enterprise generates nearly 2.7 billion actions from its security tools per month, according to a recent study. A tiny fraction of these are actual threats – less than one in one million. More than 31 percent of the study respondents admitted ignoring alerts altogether because they think so many alerts are false positives, and more than 40 percent feel the alerts they receive lack actionable intelligence. If you’re ignoring alerts, you could use an MSSP. MSSPs not only manage alerts for you and provide the added analysis you need to justify them, they will resolve the real threats.   


  1. You keep making the same mistakes. Enterprises are so overwhelmed with incident management and response they don’t have the time to debrief afterwards to analyze what worked and what didn’t. This is an important part of the process because there is something to be learned from each incident that can help inform one to come in the future. If you find yourself making the same mistakes incident after incident, you could benefit from an MSSP. MSSPs analyze every incident and provide information back to you that will help you learn from each incident and improve future response.


  1. You have disparate cybersecurity solutions. Some organizations have up to 20 different cybersecurity solutions. Most of these solutions don’t work together very well, creating data silos that are inefficient, ineffective and create additional security threats. An MSSP can centralize cybersecurity, bringing all solutions and data together for better incident management.


  1. You don’t know when or how incidents are resolved. Cybersecurity threats tend to be dumped into a vacuum, with little or no feedback on when or how incidents were resolved. An MSSP can provide complete visibility from alert to triage to resolution so you know the exact, at-the-moment status of each and every threat as well as how it was resolved.


  1. Your CEO is invested in security. A growing number of CEOs today are and it is a good problem to have, but it means that he/she must have visibility into your security posture at all times. It isn’t likely though that he/she has a background in cybersecurity.  An MSSP can ensure your CEO has a quick and easy assessment of your cybersecurity posture, when and how he/she needs it.


MSPs are practically the norm for managing cybersecurity today. Already embedded into users’ networks and systems, MSPs have become a logical extension of enterprise cybersecurity teams. Security is the IT priority, after all. The threat is so real and the stakes are too high for enterprise IT teams to manage cybersecurity on their own. But is an MSP enough?

For enterprises with MSPs not focused solely on cybersecurity, additional expertise should be considered. Enterprises are struggling to keep pace with cybersecurity threats growing in volume and complexity. What’s more, cybersecurity is now a boardroom issue. A recent study found that cybersecurity attacks have wiped at least $52.4 billion off the value of stock shares in recent years, a fall of 1.8 percent on average.

MSSPs have emerged as a viable option to address the new threat landscape organizations face. This is because MSSPs possess the expertise to  completely manage an enterprise’s cybersecurity operations in the most effective and efficient way possible. An MSSP isn’t an extension of the team, rather it becomes the cybersecurity team, providing dedicated cybersecurity professionals as well as all the most up-to-date security tools an enterprise could need. This frees scarce IT or security resources to address other pressing issues. It also frees the enterprise from worrying about software updates and new technology trends.