The Top 3 Questions To Ask Your MSP and MSSP If You’re Concerned About Cyber Security
January 10, 2023
Managing cyber security in-house can be an inefficient and expensive endeavor for businesses. Because of this, many organizations turn to trusted partners and service providers for not only cost-effective solutions, but access to a deep bench of technical experts who have an advanced level of security expertise.
The cyber security space is saturated with security solutions and service providers and with so many options, it can be difficult to know which tools and advisors are best for your business’ unique needs and will help you meet your security goals.
Choosing the wrong managed service provider (MSP), managed security service provider (MSSP), or eXtended Service Provider (XSP) for you can be detrimental to your organization, so it's important to find a provider that offers services that align with your objectives and values. Here are some of the questions you can ask to find the right MSP, MSSP, or XSP for your business.
1. How will you help me achieve my cyber security goals?
Your service provider should be able to articulate how they plan to not only keep your organization safe from threat actors, but how their services will support your greater business goals. One of the first things a reliable provider will do is supply you with a clear understanding of your current IT infrastructure and make recommendations to improve your technology and security. A major red flag is if they try to upsell you on services you may not need and if they’re focused more on the sale than finding the right solution for you. Keep in mind, improving your security posture often doesn’t require new bells and whistles, but focusing on improving internal processes.
Your provider should be focused on protecting your business and helping you achieve more productivity with your tech stack. Look for an MSP, MSSP or XSP that can provide you with wholistic protection, including 24/7 managed detection and response (MDR). Your service provider should be a reliable partner who wants to build a lasting and meaningful relationship with your organization. If they can’t provide a clear roadmap to meet your cyber security goals from the beginning, move on.
2. Can you tell me about your staff’s security experience and credentials?
A service provider is only as strong as its people. It’s important to learn about your provider’s background and expertise, validate that they’re reputable, and ensure they have an “always learning” mindset. Things to look for include years of experience, whether they’ve worked with your industry, any listed credentials and specializations, whether they invest in training, and how they stay aware and ahead of industry best practices.
Ask the service provider to supply references from companies they have a long history of working with. All reliable MSPs, MSSPs or XSPs should have long-time clients who can attest to the quality of their services, so don’t just ask for the references but contact them to confirm they are satisfied with their service. Reading online reviews is also a good way to get a sense of how trustworthy the potential provider is.
3. What are your security policies and procedures?
Now that you know a little more about who the organization is and what services they provide, investigate how they work. Documented policies are not only a requirement of some regulatory compliance standards but are also crucial to ensure that security incidents are handled efficiently. Ask your service provider what security framework they adhere to, how they maintain their infrastructure, if they have an incident response plan, how they manage privileged accounts, and what kind of reporting you can expect.
It’s important to have a security vendor who is as concerned about securing themselves, as they are for your business. Adding additional access in the form of a service provider is a necessary security risk, so investigating the service provider’s security posture is pivotal to ensuring the cyber safety of your organization. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
Entara: Your Partner For Both IT And Cyber Security Solutions
One of the benefits of working with an eXtended Service Provider (XSP) is that instead of searching for two service providers in an MSP and MSSP, you are able to work with one trusted partner for both your IT and cyber security services.
As an XSP, Entara employs a range of security integrations and technology services to better protect your system, network, and data. Connect with us to ask our experts these questions and see why an XSP is right for your business.
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