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Managed Security Services

A Complete Guide to Managed Security Services

The demand for managed security is continuously growing. It seems that many small and medium-sized businesses love this particular business model, and there are a few good reasons why.

Business owners expect specific benefits when they choose a managed service model to make their job easier. But, what does it mean to receive managed security services? What do manage service providers do for you and your business?

In this article we’re going to explain everything you need to know about managed IT security, so let’s start by explaining the meaning of this term.

What Does Managed Security Mean?

Managed security services is entrusting a business’ IT operations to another organization that specializes in handling such responsibilities. The third-party organization is responsible for some or all IT needs of the business as agreed upon in SLA or Service Level Agreement. This type of organization is known as MSP or Managed Service Provider.

As Wikipedia puts it, it’s outsourcing the responsibility for maintaining different functions and processes to improve operations and reduce expenses. Managed services is an alternative to the on-demand outsourcing or break-fix model where the MSP performs on-demand services and charges a single fixed fee for a service over a set period of time.

Simply put, managed services handle the day-to-day operations of a business’ specialized applications ensuring the capability of the business’ end users and letting in-house IT deal with strategic IT programs, at the same time allowing the team to focus on the company’s core competencies, BMC Blogs explain.

managed services

What does managed security services mean?

  • MMS or managed security services is a systematic approach to manage a company’s security needs.

What are IT security management functions?

  • IT security managementconsists of processes to enable business structure and technology to protect a company’s IT operations and assets against internal and external threats

What is managed detection and response?

  • Managed detection and response(MDR) is an outsourced service that provides businesses with threat hunting services and responds to threats once they are discovered.

Why Do We Need Managed Security?

Nowadays, IT managers are under higher pressure to meet the operational expectations, performance, and security needs of the company while trying to provide an affordable service.

Some companies may also notice a lack of knowledge or quality of their IT service, in which case they usually reach out to managed service providers. Other reasons why companies may need managed IT security service include:

  • Lack of service and support that prevents them from achieving everything they want
  • Lack of experience with a new technology or inability of the IT staff to maintain new apps or services
  • Too many service downtime and outages
  • Overspending their budget on changes to their business apps that damaged their performance
  • Data loss because of inability to protect against cyber threats
  • Issues related to the quality of service, cost, and risk

What Is Included in Managed IT Security?

mssp

Managed security usually include the following services from a MSSP:

  • Security and compliance – keeping your data secure, prevention and detention of intrusion, reducing the risk of data theft, hacking, and ransomware, ensuring your business is complying with regulations.
  • Networking and infrastructure – ensuring your uptime is maximized and the infrastructure is able to run the business efficiently.
  • Cloud services – preventing data loss, cutting hardware costs, offering SaaS and IaaS which allow you to access infrastructure and software through the cloud and cut storage and upfront costs and energy consumption.
  • Disaster recovery – keeping the downtime to a minimum and providing disaster recovery features.
  • 24-7 monitoring and management of your security system and devices including intrusion detection systems and firewalls

What Is the Main Objective of IT Service Management?

IT service management makes up of all the activities performed by an organization for a client or customer. Its main purpose is to ensure that the right technology, processes, and people are put in place so that the organization can accomplish the business goals.

According to Invensis, the most important objectives of IT service management include:

  • Analyzing and determining the momentary IT processes, services, and infrastructure
  • Creating futuristic management practices
  • Formulating a roadmap to improve the business
  • Creating steps for the roadmap
it service management

How Do You Manage Managed Services?

The customer shouldn’t manage or co-manage the activity but let the service provider do the job in a fully managed service. In that way, they can focus on outcomes and be sure that the services will be delivered, as stated in the managed services agreement.

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What Is a Managed Services Agreement?

Managed Services Agreement

In order to reach a common understanding of what’s expected from the MSP (managed service provider) and the customer, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is made. This agreement defines clearly what services will be offered from the MSP and their availability.

According to the UK Practical Law, Managed Service Agreement consists of the integrated management of materials, equipment, personnel, software and telecom services provided by the supplier.

Benefits of IT Managed Services

Thanks to managed services, companies can identify and address technical problems before they can negatively affect their business, says Consolidated Technologies Inc. Along with preventing disasters from happening, other benefits of IT managed services include:

  • Cost reduction – establishing a long-term partnership with a professional managed service provider can save you money over time. The service provider can offer their services at a fixed monthly rate, so you won’t have to worry about additional costs.
  • Increased accessibility to company data – system centralization allows the entire staff to have better and quicker access to company data no matter the location, and work on the go.
  • Continually upgraded IT systems – you’ll have as current IT systems as possible at no additional cost.
  • Minimized system failures and shutdowns – thanks to advances in network security and the service provider addressing potential risks, you’ll ensure minimized downtimes and a higher level of productivity.
  • Peace of mind – MSP protects your data and monitors systems to address a certain problem as soon as it appears, so you won’t have to worry about security and efficiency and focus on running your business.

What Are Cloud Managed Services?

Cloud managed services is about outsourcing daily IT management for cloud-based services and tech support to perform and improve business operations, says Agile IT.

Sometime, in-house IT can’t monitor and maintain a cloud environment, so companies hire a third-party organization to manage cloud security, storage, computing, application stacks, network operations, vendors, etc.

Cloud managed services can also include performance testing, monitoring and reporting, backup, recovery, etc. Often, hiring a cloud MSP is more cost-effective than an internal team.

cloud managed services

What Is a Managed Service Provider Platform?

It is a computer framework that provides network-based apps, devices, and services to enterprises, residences, and other service providers.

This managed platform allows IT organizations, consultants, or value-added resellers to remotely track active directory servers, servers, firewalls, exchange servers, routers or switches from a centralized location.

The implementation of this platform helps to offload the standard infrastructure administration and allow business owners to focus solely on running the business without worrying about IT issues, explains Techopedia.

What Is a Managed Services Model?

managed service module

It’s a specific type of outsourcing that covers all IT functions, says Medium. Here, the service provider is responsible for all the technology decisions provided that they are within the parameters the company has set. The company or customer has only one job – to review the processes.

What Is Managed Capacity Model?

In this model, customers buy a specific quantity of person-days or person-hours from the vendor at a pre-negotiated rate. A managed capacity model has a maximum limit on the amount charged.

What is a Technology Service Provider?

It is a provider that offers SaaS (Software-as-a-service) and other technology services to specific industries or market segments serving thousands or millions of customers every year. Technology services usually include document-based transactions that need to be signed by the end customer.

What Is Outsourced IT Support?

Outsourced IT support or outsourced service provider is an IT company that offers some or all IT services of a business such as directing strategy, managing infrastructure, and running the service desk.

When a customer is using IT support to run their IT department fully or partially, they are making use of outsourced IT support services.

Advantages of Outsourcing

Some of the benefits of outsourced IT supports include:

  • Lower running costs – all costs of IT outsourcing are packaged into one cost-effective monthly payment without additional costs. This is especially beneficial for small businesses which can’t afford an in-house IT manager, recruitment, insurance, company benefits, taxes, and training.
outsourcing it
  • More time to focus on running your business – instead of spending your time managing your IT infrastructure, you can use outsourced IT support and use this valuable time on more meaningful business strategies.
  • Taking advantage of the latest technology – outsourced service providers know about the latest and greatest IT developments, thus helping your company take advantage of them.
  • Improved productivity – let your existing IT stuff focus on their roles by allowing an outsourced IT provider to give you quick expertise to fix problems asap.
  • Help during restructures – an outsourced IT provider can be really helpful during restructures. It can help you navigate transition periods more easily without affecting important functions.

Difference Between Managed Services and Outsourcing

managed services vs outsourcing

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same, Visionet explains. It’s true that both of these services involve hiring an external company or organization, but there are some differences between them.

Outsourcing organizations are responsible for specific business processes that are narrowly defined. For example, taking care of document scanning, data entry, or another non-IT task. Basically, the customer asks the organization to help address certain business needs.

On the other hand, managed services include a large team of IT professionals that provide a comprehensive range of technology services within a single or multiple technology domains. The managed service provider offers operational support and improvement for different IT services and applications, ensuring a maximum end-user experience.

Difference between Managed Security Services and Professional Services

The scope of work and time frame are the main differences between these two types of services, Morefield says. Professional services are based on one project and typically address a particular challenge or problem.

Managed services, on the other hand, are on-going and usually last as long as stated in the contract. They are covering different aspects of a company’s IT needs every day.

Difference between Shared Services and Outsourcing

Outsourcing is hiring a third-party organization to perform some service. Shared service is the delivery of processes or functions which can be delivered to the company from a shared delivery model.

The latter service represents sharing of responsibilities and accountabilities between the customer and the shared service provider, according to SSON.

Managed Security Services Pricing

The cost of managed IT services depends on several factors, such as the level of management you require and the level of technology of the business. In general, you could pay between $75 and $300 per user, per month.

What's Next?

How to Choose a Managed Service Provider for Managed IT Security?

When searching for the best managed IT security company or managed service provider for you, make sure it offers the following expertise:

  • Up-to-date technology
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Business applications
  • Proactive stance
  • Visibility into your IT environment
  • 24/7 support
  • A dedicated account team
  • Good financial strength
  • Business-class service level agreements
  • Security
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