How Managed Security Services Providers Can Meet Modern Cybersecurity Threats
Being a successful Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) today requires staying ahead of the latest software security threats that organizations face, as well as the strategies for mitigating them. Here’s what forward-thinking MSSPs should know.
The nature, types and scale of cybersecurity threats have changed significantly over the past several years.
Those changes are the result of several factors:
- New software architectures. Technologies such as containers and serverless computing change the architecture of applications and environments. By extension, they require new security approaches.
- Outsourcing of resources. As more and more infrastructure and software tools are moved into the cloud, organizations lose control over them. With less control come new security challenges.
- New hackers goals. The goals and strategies of hackers have evolved. For example, organizations now face the threat of state-sponsored cyberattacks and DDoS attacks on an unprecedented scale.
- Increased regulatory requirements. New compliance frameworks, such as the GDPR, are increasing the stakes of keeping data secure.
Because of these changes, old cybersecurity strategies no longer work. Firewalls and perimeter-based security strategies are not sufficient on their own for keeping microservices applications secure. Anti-DDoS services can’t always protect against determined attackers. New compliance frameworks may require a whole new approach to data security and storage policies.
How MSSPs Can Meet Modern Cybersecurity Threats
What’s an MSSP to do in the face of these threats?
Keeping up with the latest tools and security policies is part of the solution, of course. When it comes to security, it’s crucial to have the most up-to-date resources at your disposal.
But MSSPs should think beyond just tools. They must embrace new security strategies, such as the following:
- Multi-cloud architectures. Among the many benefits of multi-cloud computing architectures are increased security and availability. If you host services or resources in multiple clouds, you increase your chances that they will remain available in the event that a DDoS or other attack targets one of them. Of course, managing multiple clouds also adds complexity to your security operation because you need to secure multiple environments and work with multiple cloud vendors’ tools.
- Runtime security. In the old days, organizations focused on perimeter security. They used firewalls and malware scanners to keep the bad guys from entering their networks. Those tools are still relevant, but they’re not enough on their own. MSSPs should also think about securing the application through runtime security tools and real-time intrusion detection.
- Data backups. Most people know they should back up data, but they tend to think about data backups only in the context of disaster recovery. Today, the threat of ransomware attacks makes data backups an important security consideration, too.
- User education. Security management shouldn’t be a top-down affair. End users—whether they are employees or customers—should be educated and involved in security operations. That doesn’t mean you should expect users never to make mistakes that could lead to exploits. But educating your users about security and placing responsibility in their hands is part of a healthy security operation.
- Shift-left security. The shift-left concept refers to the idea of performing important tasks early in the software delivery chain—before applications are put into production, in other words. The term is used most often in reference to software testing, but it applies to security as well. Don’t wait until you deploy applications to secure them. Security testing should begin at the start of the delivery pipeline, as soon as code is delivered.
- DevSecOps. Along related lines, security engineers should be tightly integrated with the rest of your development team. This is the what DevSecOps is all about. MSSPs should adopt or encourage the practice.
Old security practices are still valid in many cases, but they’re not sufficient on their own. The strategies outlined above are essential for meeting the new generation of cybersecurity threats.