Advantages of Managed Security Services vs. In-House Security

Every time an organization reports a data breach, it underscores the need for companies to take their data security seriously. If your company hasn’t been the victim of a data breach, it’s not an indication that it won’t happen in the future. A recent study showed that more than two-thirds of organizations that have never experienced a data security incident believed their company was unlikely to be hit with a breach in the future. At the same time, nearly half of businesses reported they have experienced a security breach.

It is now more apparent than ever that companies must make protecting their systems a priority. Today’s cybersecurity landscape provides attackers with an advantage as they need just one entryway into a system to compromise the network. Security professionals, on the other hand, must find and fix every security vulnerability that can leave their system open to attackers. Additionally, the amount of time between a system break-in and a total compromise could be seconds, which underscores the need for continuous security monitoring.

The eternal question remains whether to use a managed security service provider (MSSP) or an in-house security operations center (SOC). We will examine both approaches and determine which offers more advantage to businesses.

Managed security service provider

An MSSP is a company that provides outsourced security monitoring and management of the organization’s systems and networks. This can include managing intrusion detection, firewall, the company’s virtual private network (VPN), anti-virus configuration and vulnerability testing. MSSPs provide enterprises with 24/7 monitoring services thus eliminating the need to hire and train a large security staff.

Disadvantages of MSSP

MSSP’s disadvantages essentially boil down to an increased risk factor and a lack of control. Pricing is also a major factor with some MSSPs.

No dedicated IT team: This is a factor with most enterprises. Your dedicated IT team knows the nuances and priorities of your business. An outsourced MSSP might not know your business as well as you and your employees. However, it’s also a possibility that your in-house team might not have the resources to solely dedicate all their time to it.

Lack of flexibility: An MSSP might not be flexible enough to work within the parameters of your IT procedures and technologies or willing to try new things with your IT team.

Lesser control: Handing over your security concerns to an external vendor also means passing over a large extent of control. For businesses that prefer to maintain full control over security, outsourcing could be a difficult proposition.

In-house security operations center

SOC is a department within a company dedicated to monitoring the network to identify and respond to security breaches. While this group is usually part of the IT department, the SOC staff doesn’t perform in-house customer services as the rest of the IT staff.

Disadvantages of SOC

Companies need to keep their information confidential, so many executives are hesitant to outsource their valuable data. But setting up a SOC can be more expensive and less secure than using a MSSP. Here is a lowdown on the costs associated with in-house security.

  • Staffing: An effective SOC requires at least seven full-time employees. In addition to the costs associated with hiring a SOC staff, keeping up with the ever-changing nature of cybersecurity requires periodic training, which can mean an additional outlay of thousands of dollars per employee. Additionally, it takes time and expense to locate and hire qualified personnel for this role. If a SOC staff member leaves the company, there will be a performance gap while the organization attempts to fill the position, as well as a lapse in productivity inherent in training a new employee.
  • Software Licensing: Enterprises that elect to operate in-house security operations must pay initial licensing fees for SIM software that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars with an additional annual fee of between 10 and 25 percent. Most SIM software solutions require the purchase of agents to monitor the SIM system. Changes in the organization’s infrastructure necessitate additional cost.
  • Hardware: Companies that manage a SOC should have a mirror test environment set up to create and test correlation rules to prevent the unanticipated effects that would result from turning on a rule in the production system. Creating a mirror can mean double the hardware costs.
  • Implementation Costs: Implementing SIM software is complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Deploying the SIM software can take up to 18 months and the organization will need to hire consultants.
  • Management Costs: Managing a SOC requires several resources, including database administrators and SIM managers. These employees must be familiar with the various systems, their interactions and how to deal with changes in the monitored devices and the agent.

Finding the balance

While there are some valid reasons to create an in-house security operations center, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. A managed security service provider is staffed with a team of professionals who are experienced in a range of security issues and can be counted on to resolve the problem quickly.

Whoever you choose to work with, take ample time to ensure that agreed SLAs meet your needs and that you can trust the provider with your sensitive data.

Trianz, an industry acknowledged managed security provider, provides 24/7 monitoring, detection and threat response, as well as a host of security consulting and testing services. Contact us for all your security service needs today.

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