This short blog should provide a sufficient answer to everyone who has heard the term MSSP, but never knew what the heck it was. In 2018, everything is constantly evolving. Whereas smaller companies historically housed all software on their own hardware housed in their own data center, with its own security and productivity tools: today smaller companies opt to offload these operational tasks to an MSP.
What is an MSP?
Before we can define what an MSSP is; we need to define MSP. We are not talking about Minneapolis/St Paul Airport. MSP is an acronym for Managed Service Provider. A managed service provider is an entity that provides services (typically IT services). An MSP provides any or all of the following services: IT Support, Remote monitoring/management, and/or IT Services. So, an MSSP is a managed service provider focused on SECURITY. So if you have a smaller-sized company and cannot afford a full-time, highly trained security staff, you can benefit by hiring an MSSP to off-load the security work that you need to tackle.
The MSP Business Model
Most MSPs offer a contract to manage the customers’ computers and supporting systems security. The MSSP calculates a set service fee every month to watch and maintain the security of said systems. A smaller set of companies (like CCSI) have a premium service that will handle break/fix for the customer. In case you are not aware, this is when something is compromised or incapacitated on a customer’s network and the MSP goes out to fix it. MSPs using this model may charge for equipment, as well as by the hour for the associated services. But, if this is rolled into managed contract, If something breaks, the MSP will come out and fix it, and no additional fee is charged because it’s part of a MRC (monthly recurring charge).
Two More Important Terms
SaaS or Software as a Service allows customer to rely on a service provider to provide access to an application. Instead of owning the software, installing and maintaining on your own server, one can rent it. The provider places this software in “the cloud” for you the customer to use and pay for the service on a periodic (usually monthly) basis. So what is this mystical cloud? Well it is more of a concept than a tangible entity. The cloud is somewhere else outside of your company’s jurisdiction. Essentially the cloud means: Someone else’s hardware.
I hope this quick explanation gets you started to the decision point: Is an MSSP beneficial for my company?
Let me know if you use an MSP or MSSP and why did you make that decision?
Author Bio: John Busso is a Senior Network Engineer/Mobility Specialist at CCSI. He has almost 20 years experience providing secure voice and data solutions. John has been a Subject Matter Expert for Enterprise Mobile Solutions such as Guest WiFi and BYOD, providing vision for diverse clients.
John has been an Adjunct Professor and trainer. He holds numerous Industry certifications, including CISSP, CWNP, CCNP, ACMP and ITIL. His experience includes working with retail, TNL-Couriers, DC’s and Airports, Healthcare, Education, DOD, Local Government, Financial, Non-Profit-Public WiFi, Entertainment and Hospitality industries. His expertise is in mobility, security, WLAN, WAN, LAN, VoWiFi, RFID, RTLS, WIPS, WIDS, DAS, licensed/unlicensed PTP and PTMP networks. Connect with John on Twitter via @JohnBusso.