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Written by Hitachi Systems Security on 1 June 2023

Synergistic Cybersecurity: Empowering Security Teams with MSSPs

Synergistic Cybersecurity: Empowering Security Teams with MSSPs

As we move through 2023, the uncomfortable truth is that cyber risks are less predictable than ever in terms of how they are delivered, as well as the type of attack. Cybercriminals are becoming craftier, developing more sophisticated ways of breaching defenses, which means the need for a mature and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity has never been more pressing. 

Owning, managing, and maintaining security systems in-house isn’t always the best way forward. First, this approach requires significant capital, licensing, and maintenance costs when IT budgets are being squeezed. Then there’s time and people power to consider – many businesses underestimate the effort and expertise required to operate corporate security systems effectively.

For these reasons, more organizations recognize the wisdom of engaging a managed security services provider (MSSP). MSSPs provide a dedicated security function designed to mitigate today's security threats. Moreover, their focus on threat analysis, identification, and prevention across diverse systems builds efficiency across your entire organization, saving you time and money that can be reinvested into other core business functions. 

Several years ago, we wrote a blog post that still ranks among our top posts titled “5 Ways an MSSP Can Save You Money,” which discussed technology costs, staffing costs, and breach-related costs. Check it out…so much is still relevant.

Before considering the benefits of partnering with an MSSP, let’s look at the potential downside of relying solely on in-house security resources.


The Risks of Having Stretched and Overworked Internal IT Teams 

Staying on top of the latest patterns is difficult for even the best IT teams, especially if security is shared with other IT responsibilities. And if your organization falls victim to a cyber incident, your (possibly already overloaded) IT team needs to work overtime to get the affected services and security back up and running as soon as possible. That’s not good for their morale: According to IDC research, 70% of security professionals say that the emotional stress of their jobs managing IT threats affects their personal lives at home.

Also, the task of remediating some cyber incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities is rarely “one and done.” The process can take weeks or even months. Case in point: Several months after the Apache Foundation disclosed the infamous Lo4j vulnerability and issued a fix, over 40% of downloads of the logging tool from the Maven Central Java package repository continued to be known vulnerable versions.

This underscores how widespread this piece of malicious code is and how hard it is to find exactly where it’s used. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Director Jen Easterly described the Log4j vulnerability as “the most serious vulnerability I’ve seen in my decades-long career.” She added: “This will not be patched and finished. This is something that we are likely going to be working on for months, if not years, given the ubiquity of the software and ease of exploitation.”

It seems she was right. In March this year, we learned that cybercriminals target millions of systems still vulnerable to the Log4j vulnerability. In these new malicious campaignsknown as "proxy jacking,"  ̶   adversaries attempt to install the legitimate network segmentation tool called proxy war on unsuspecting victims so they can resell their bandwidth.

Missing false negatives is another area where overstretched internal security teams might expose a business to cyber risk. A false negative is an attack missed by security tools because it’s inactive or highly sophisticated. It’s worrying that today, approximately 30% of all false-negative notifications are ignored or never investigated by enterprise IT personnel.

Next, let’s consider how MSSPs can help you enhance your IT security team’s ability to execute:


An Expanded Security Team

Partnering with an MSSP allows you to expand your security team instantly. That’s because MSSPs can distribute their costs over their customer base and attract and retain the cybersecurity experts they need more quickly. These resources are then available to customers as needed and at a far lower price than maintaining them in-house.


Rapid Incident Response

When cybersecurity incidents occur, time is of the essence to contain and minimize the damage and expense inflicted on a business. The longer adversaries have access to your network, the more opportunity they have to exfiltrate sensitive data, embed persistence mechanisms or launch ransomware or wiperware attacks. When you partner with an MSSP, you gain access to their dedicated incident response teams 24/7/365.  


Professional Services for a Fully Optimized Security Stack

Protecting your organization against the myriad of cyber threats you face requires an array of security solutions. But the time and investment in identifying, purchasing, configuring, and maintaining them can be significant. MSSPs have substantial existing security investments in both skills and infrastructure to protect their customers and can rapidly deploy them within your environment. These professional services include:

  • Consulting on strategy, governance, compliance, and security tools
  • Assessments to prioritize roadmaps for security maturity, threat detection and response, supply chain risks, and cloud security
  • Architecture and integration resources who design, build, and optimize solutions to mitigate threats
  • Penetration testing, where experts conduct a simulated attack against a segment of your network to assess your defense and resiliency to an actual attack
  • Security awareness training to ensure your employees are alert to attacks targeting end users
  • Cyber threat intelligence: understand the incoming threat and current threats. 


Access to Threat Intelligence and Threat-hunting Capabilities

To protect themselves against new threats, many organizations subscribe to threat intelligence feeds. However, a threat intelligence feed subscription only provides the raw data; you need data analytics capabilities to maximize your use of this information. Non-understandable raw data will not help your organization understand cyber threats and trends. Analysis of raw data is required to create an actionable plan.  An MSSP will have these tools and expertise and can optimally integrate their threat intelligence feeds into their cybersecurity approach and infrastructure, ensuring they’re ready to defend you against the latest cyber threats. Most MSSPs couple this capability with proactive threat-hunting services, where skilled cybersecurity experts seek out and identify any threats lurking undetected in your network. Then combined with other services can remediate threats, help prepare for attacks and prevent weaknesses. 


Compliance Management

An MSSP can also ensure that your compliance management program stays on track. This can include implementing required security controls, automating data collection required for compliance reporting, and helping with audits and reports to authorities.


Conclusion – a Partner for Ensuring Security Around the Clock

MSSPs allow IT departments to finally become the trustworthy partner to the business they have long aspired to be. As your next-gen managed services provider, Hitachi Systems Security helps move the costly and time-consuming work of security management out of your IT department, freeing them up to keep your infrastructure in top shape. With 24/7 managed security services, you can focus on running your business with the peace of mind that your environment is secured ̶  around the clock.

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