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We’ve discussed choosing the right managed security service provider (MSSP) in the past. However, understanding the inherent value of shifting to a hybrid approach to security with an MSSP is only half the battle.
The reality is that the same vendors that have sold you in-line security appliances for years are starting to become MSSPs themselves.
If you’re just starting to shop for managed security services, you should understand the path vendors are taking to transform their business models.
The increasingly complex threat landscape is causing a shift in the cyber security community from solutions sales to managed security services. Intel Security, in particular, has redefined its entire channel partners strategy to eliminate siloed endpoint solutions and has started offering protective services for the full threat-defense life cycle.
As cyber attackers continue to prove they are two steps ahead of security efforts, the need for vendors to shift toward managed services will amplify. However, this shift won’t necessarily be an easy one.
Commenting on the shift from traditional solutions sales to managed services, President of Information System Architects Ken Dawson said, “My belief was that I could take any extra capacity in my professional services team and throw them at my Security Operations Center and staff if that way.” Dawson and other security vendors are running into problems throughout the transition.
There is a stark contrast between the relationship a security vendor has with its customers and the relationship an MSSP has with its clients. Security vendors build relationships on the promise that they can prevent cyber attacks or detect them quicker than competitors. MSSPs, on the other hand, have an intimate relationship with their clients as they experience the days of crushing data breaches and the days of successful prevention.
Aside from having to get used to a new type of relationship with customers, vendors looking to become MSSPs also face the following 4 challenges:
When you’re shopping for an MSSP to partner with, consider these challenges they may have faced (or may currently be facing) if they were once a solutions vendor. The more questions you ask, the better your eventual decision will be.
While many of the points made here are focused on the business perspective of shifting from security vendor sales to managed security services, there is a deeper level of technical expertise that MSSPs must adhere to if they want to succeed in the market.
One fundamental aspect of this technical expertise is ensuring the services you’re provided with have guaranteed visibility into all network traffic. If your MSSP can’t offer visibility into every bit, byte and packet®, their higher-level business strategy won’t matter much.
Chris Bihary, CEO and Co-founder and of Garland Technology, has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance and security through the integration of network TAP visibility.