3 Managed Services to Consider for Cloud Security

July 5, 2022
Cloud, IT Security, IT Services

Managed services are widely touted as great ways to reduce costs and free up internal resources. They can also bolster cloud security. The following are three managed security services to consider, along with the alternatives and the pros and cons.

1. Incident Response Management

Incident response management is one of the most critical processes a business needs to get right. Downtime can be costly, so IT staff needs efficient ways to identify and prioritize incidents, respond to them, and resolve them.

Taking an in-house approach to incident response management has its advantages, particularly if you have a mature security program and experienced security personnel on staff. By keeping incidence response internal, you don’t have to worry as much about the risks that come with granting an outside entity access to your company network and potentially proprietary information. You also avoid the risk of being locked into a contract with a vendor if it fails to meet the agreed performance and service.

However, not all companies have the necessary in-house expertise or other resources to handle incident response at the level required. Creating an internal incident response team is time-consuming. Finding qualified applicants can take a lot of time. Once you hire the team, you still must train them on your company’s infrastructure and the current incidence response plan.

With outsourcing, you pay a set fee for a managed service provider’s team to handle incident response 24/7. That also gives you access to their expertise, including their ability to identify potential flaws in your current incident response runbook and make recommendations for a more effective, efficient solution. Plus, an outside team is going to be motivated to quickly respond to your incidents and mitigate threats because it needs to meet a guaranteed success rate or the specifications of a service level agreement (SLA).

Even more important, companies that specialize in incident response management are highly knowledgeable in the use of leading-edge resources, best practices, and automation tools. That includes ITIL (formerly Information Technology Infrastructure Library) – a set of detailed practices that focus on aligning IT services with the needs of the business. These practices enable your organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure, and can be used to demonstrate compliance and gauge improvement.

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2. Patching

Among the most important ways to combat malware and other IT security issues is through the use of timely patch management. Since IT staff are already stretched thin, it’s often difficult for them to stay on top of the latest patch releases, much less apply them. As a result, in-house IT staff often must squeeze in patching whenever they can – leaving their systems vulnerable when patches aren’t implemented immediately.

In addition, busy IT staff may not have documented and enforced patch management processes integrated into their overall change management program. Without a strong patch application process, compliance with mandated patch and update levels may diminish. A lack of adequate control and visibility can also lead to spending resources on unnecessary or low-priority changes while neglecting more important initiatives.

Managed service providers make it their business to stay on top of security issues and the latest patch releases. They’re in constant contact with OEMs regarding the release of critical patches. They communicate with the worldwide community of cybersecurity experts. They understand the importance of prioritizing patch applications. They are also more likely to have access to and expertise in automated solutions for endpoint scanning, patch acquisition, and deployment for multiple vendors.

In addition, managed service providers understand that change management is vital to every stage of the patch management process. They’re well-versed in helping organizations integrate their patch management program with their change management system. They also can ensure that patch application plans include contingency and backout plans to cover scenarios in which something goes wrong during the update.

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3. Managed Security

As fast as technology changes, the security threats to applications and infrastructure can change just as quickly. Staying on top of the latest threats is difficult for security experts. It’s even more so for IT professionals who are busy balancing day-to-day IT responsibilities, strategic initiatives, and special projects.

Building a dedicated in-house cybersecurity team is an option. But given the competition for IT security professionals, it’s an expensive, time-consuming one.

Managed services providers that specialize in IT security, including security specific to cloud operations, maintain highly experienced teams of experts. They are at the forefront of their fields and stay on top of emerging threats. They not only employ IT security best practices, but they’re also often instrumental in developing them.

They keep up with emerging security trends and invest in leading-edge cyber defense tactics, tools, and mitigation strategies. The best among them take a multi-layered approach to IT security, employing a variety of resources to defend against both external and internal breaches across endpoints, at the edge, throughout the network, and anywhere else.

Among the resources they can employ are vulnerability assessments to identify issues and fix them before they become problems. They can also take over the responsibility of monitoring your organization’s network and cloud infrastructure, maintaining the security integrity of your endpoints, and incorporating practices like application vulnerability monitoring, firewall management, and configuration management.

Managed security service providers can detect anomalies quickly and deploy an appropriate response before the threat has time to take hold. They can also employ advanced techniques such as risk prediction analysis and adaptive risk modeling to prevent the occurrence of advanced threats. Backups and disaster recovery planning may also be included to mitigate data loss and help keep your business up and running.

Yet another advantage of outsourcing IT security is that some managed IT security services providers have expertise in regulatory requirements and industry standards, including the security components. They can help integrate the necessary controls to meet HIPAA/HITECH, PCI-DSS, and a variety of other compliance mandates.

US Signal Managed Security

US Signal offers a broad portfolio of managed security services, including:

Learn how US Signal can help bolster your IT security. Contact us at 866.274.4625 or [email protected] for information.