Some of the largest data breaches in history have been caused by human error. These events include inadvertent losses caused by employees activating malware by clicking on malicious links or opening unknown email file attachments, as well as intentional actions by disgruntled individuals leaking private information.

The challenge of preventing and detecting a data breach or other cybersecurity event is amplified by a severe shortage of qualified individuals. With over 3.5 million open cybersecurity job openings projected to remain unfulfilled in the next few years, finding qualified staff to identify and block breaches is a problem.  Even if a business can find and retain cybersecurity professionals with the necessary skills and experience, building and running a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) is costly.

Increased exposure to risk due to human error, a lack of skilled cybersecurity staff, and a rapidly growing and shifting threat landscape all make protecting data, infrastructure and applications increasingly a people problem.

To tackle the problem, businesses are investing in tools—namely machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)—to try to address the lack of cybersecurity experts. But an overwhelming volume of alerts, false alarms and general ambiguity can bring on more people problems—forcing security analysts to chase false positives and eventually causing alert fatigue.

What Does Managed Security Services Mean?

This is where managed security services (MSS) can kick in to help solve the people problem. Managed security services mean enlisting the support of a trusted third-party to conduct monitoring and management of cybersecurity functions for your networks and devices. Organizations can engage with an MSS to fill a headcount gap or provide an outsourced SOC, and leverage tools, security experts, security analysts and a wealth of experience gained from real-world incidents. An MSS typically offers an SLA (service-level agreement) for incident detection and response. Incident containment is provided onsite or remotely leveraging full management of security controls, managed for a customer, leveraging scripts and APIs to programmatically make changes. Security experts can provide a high-touch service, making changes and monitoring availability 24-hours a day.

What are MSSPs?

Companies that provide managed security services are called managed security service providers—or MSSPs. These providers work with their clients to provide effective 24/7 cybersecurity protection or augment existing, internal cybersecurity efforts. MSSPs act as a day-to-day trusted advisor for infrastructure management and major incident response professional services. MSSPs leverage expert incident remediation guidance and can actively take response actions on behalf of the organization.

Enlisting the support of managed security services helps organizations implement and maintain effective cybersecurity. Working with a trusted MSSP can, therefore, help solve the people problem caused by attacks, and the fatigue and overload caused by too many alerts and a lack of threat intelligence.

To learn more about the managed security services Alert Logic offers and how partnering with Alert Logic helps you fill the skills gap and respond faster to cybersecurity events, visit the Alert Logic Managed Security Services web page.

Tony Bradley
About the Author
Tony Bradley
Tony Bradley worked in the trenches as a network administrator and security consultant before shifting to the marketing and writing side of things. He is an 11-time Microsoft MVP in security and cloud and has been a CISSP-ISSAP since 2002. Tony has authored or co-authored a dozen books on IT and IT security topics, and is a prolific contributor to online media sites such as Forbes and DevOps.com. He has established a reputation for effective content marketing, and building and engaging a community and social media audience.

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