Best Practices for MSSPs: Deliver the Highest Level of Security for Customers

Today’s evolving threat landscape makes it even more important for MSSPs to remediate compromised systems quickly.

5 Min Read
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For managed security service providers (MSSPs), thwarting cyberattacks and breaches against their customers has increasingly become an endless battle. As major events of the past few years disrupted the world order, attackers became savvier and more aggressive. Multiple high-profile attacks overwhelmed numerous organizations, forcing cybersecurity firms, including MSSPs, to dramatically transform their efforts.

According to the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report, it took e-crime adversaries as little as 1 hour and 38 minutes to compromise a host and move to their target, compared to more than n hours in 2018. This pace gave defenders very little time to respond. Amazingly sophisticated attacks, such as Sunburst, roiled the nation, and organizations rushed to protect supply chains and interconnected systems. Foes played on zero-day vulnerabilities, and architectural limitations further devastated security experts.

The same nation-state adversaries responsible for the Sunburst campaign continue to wreak havoc across eastern Europe, as these adversaries engage in hostile attacks against eastern European and western nation-critical infrastructure targets — including energy, financial sector, telecom, government and other technology providers. Simultaneously, e-crime syndicates boosted their big game hunting (BGH) ransomware attacks to ravage numerous industries, causing havoc and highlighting how vulnerable IT infrastructure really is.

Adversaries Are Sophisticated: What Does This Mean for MSSPs?

MSSPs must fully understand these events so they can gain insight into how adversaries are

changing up their games and have the necessary solutions to stay at the forefront of present — and future — threats.

Given the number of cyberattacks making the news, it’s a safe bet to say that customers are coming to MSSPs concerned about how to thwart cyberattacks and prevent their data from being stolen. But customers have very complex IT infrastructures. Can MSSPs handle that?

It’s also quite likely that an MSSP’s customers are grappling with a lack of resources to keep up with threats, or they are bogged down by trying to stay on top of all the security solutions and services available. They are looking to MSSPs to help them directly seek out, identify and deal with threats. And with enterprise customers, there are additional challenges of seamlessly responding to and effectively managing security posture, visibility and threats at scale in real time — all in a multi-tenant environment.

What Can You Do to Deliver the Highest Level of Security for Your Customers?

Today’s evolving threat landscape makes it even more important for MSSPs to contain, investigate and remediate compromised systems for customers quickly and effectively. This requires selecting a solution that enables MSSPs to adhere to the following best practices:

See It:

  • Understand the customer environment: MSSPs can get a holistic view of each customer’s security environment using a single console to understand specific requirements and integrate the newest security assets with the latest patches, configuration changes and security policy updates.

  • Use data and visibility to seek out threats: MSSPs need to correlate customer data against a database of threat intelligence feeds, proactively identify any malicious activity and respond effectively to all types of attacks. They also need to ensure access to real-time visibility to rapidly determine the nature and extent of a threat and immediately respond to an incident.

  • Configure, monitor, alert and capture: MSSPs should implement and properly configure endpoint, cloud and identity solutions tailored to each customer’s security needs to protect against the entire spectrum of attacks without requiring daily updates. MSSPs need alert aggregation to gain full visibility of incident data across an entire customer base, automatically starting this process when an alert storm is detected to limit the number of notifications paging out. Also, they need to prevent silent failure by capturing raw events for automatic detection of malicious activity, providing visibility, proactive threat hunting and forensic investigation.

Secure It:

  • Protect with cutting edge tools: Defend customers’ perimeters from edge to cloud to identity. The use of next-generation antivirus (NGAV) and next generation firewalls (NGFWs), as well as integration of advanced malware protection (AMP), application visibility control (AVC) and URL filtering, will provide a multilayered approach. Improvements must be made in mobile device security with virtual private networks and user verification/authentication. Installation of advanced and efficient network security analytics and visibility to identify all network interdependencies is required. Finally, MSSPs need to have the ability to effectively secure many customers in a true multitenant environment.

  • Set policies and standardization: MSSPs need seamless on-boarding and provisioning of new customers with granular policies to simplify policy management for customers. At the parent level, policies must be set across all customers to achieve operational efficiency. These should be automatically updated to eliminate the need to manage customers’ unique interfaces. MSSPs need to standardize on a single platform instead of following different standards for different types of assets and access points. Protection of customer environments can be made with the latest code offering industry-leading catch rates for known and emerging threats.

Remediate It:

  • Time is of the essence when it comes to remediation. To respond in a timely manner, MSSPs require automated workflows with integrated cyberthreat intelligence directly observed from the front lines.

  • Employment of a solution using automation, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will enable early indications of active threats to prevent data leak points and costly ransomware attacks.

  • Human error can be eliminated by leveraging indicators of attack to quickly detect and remediate malicious patterns of behavior.

Learn more on how you can effectively protect your customers by downloading our e-Book here.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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