The trend towards Managed Security Services (MSS) is becoming increasingly apparent. The reason: Many IT departments are now reaching the limits of their performance regarding security since attack scenarios are constantly changing and the handling of security tools is becoming more and more complex. Companies, therefore, call in specialists to avoid risks.
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Establish A Basic Understanding: IT Security Is Not An “Off-The-Shelf” Product.
In principle, companies today are willing to invest in sophisticated security technologies – but this is only the first step in establishing an appropriate level of protection. Because even top solutions have to be configured and integrated into operating processes. Security is one-third technology, processes, organization and interfaces and one-third user awareness. Companies can only protect themselves against cyber attacks in the best possible way if they consider all three areas equally. Security from the socket does not exist. The challenge for IT departments is to keep track of numerous security functions and applications, integrate them and constantly update them – a mammoth task that only very few companies can handle internally.
Clearly Define Internal Security Structures, Processes And Roles.
For external security service providers to »dock in« in the best possible way, security processes must be precisely defined and internal roles defined. It must be clear who is responsible for what and who takes care of things, for example, if the firewall policy needs to be changed. If this succeeds, the basis for managed security services is created. If there are no clearly defined processes, a workshop with an MSSP can help. Here the current situation is analyzed to design a best-practice strategy for IT security.
Promoting Service Affinity Among IT Employees
Employees in the IT department must develop an understanding and affinity for working with service providers and put aside the working method according to the motto “We do everything ourselves” – because that is no longer possible in our complex working world. Instead, they should see themselves as »business enablers« for the specialist departments. It is important to understand their needs and to create the necessary technical prerequisites for digitization. If the IT department cannot quickly meet this requirement, companies risk security gaps through shadow IT. This is because specialist departments often create the necessary solutions without consulting their IT colleagues. This can lead to a dangerous, unprotected patchwork of products that increases the surface area for hackers to attack.
Think About Securing Cloud Environments Right Away
IT managers who want to outsource security services should also think about cloud migration in the cloud age. Because cloud providers usually only offer rudimentary security functions. This means that applications previously integrated into a historically grown and well-secured ecosystem suddenly find themselves in a completely new environment without important security functions. For example, it is necessary to interpose firewalls or to define access and rights management. The problem is exacerbated here, too, if specialist departments or management act independently and book cloud services without consulting the IT department. In addition, securing cloud environments is complex. It requires in-depth knowledge of the provider’s technology – a major project that those responsible for IT can hardly handle in addition to day-to-day business. MSSPs are also happy to assist here and already have tried and tested end-to-end solutions with which cloud environments can be easily secured.
Become Aware Of The Principle Of Shared Responsibility
If IT security tasks are outsourced, this does not mean a loss of control for a company. Both sides must live the principle of shared responsibility. To protect the company’s IT infrastructure at a high level, knowledge of internal company structures and processes on the one hand and a high level of expertise in security tools on the other must come together. This is the only way to design, implement and continuously adapt IT security services successfully.
Put MSSP Through Its Paces.
Last but not least, care is required when selecting the MSSP. After all, who would want to give highly sensitive data into the wrong hands without being sure what’s going on? How well a provider is positioned and whether its employees are qualified can be determined, for example, by visiting the site. Typically, a good MSSP is always ready to answer your questions. In addition, he should have clearly defined responsibilities for all operational, contractual and process-related roles following ITIL best practices and be certified according to ISO 27001.
Conclusion: Good Preparation Is Half The Battle
The complexity of hacker attacks and security solutions is increasing. Companies need to be aware that risks are lurking around every corner, and the question of cyber attacks is not if but when.