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MSPs vs. MSSPs: What’s the difference?

Mar 22,2018 / by Sam

We’ve already discussed the benefits of hiring an MSP for your business. We’ve also looked at the importance an MSSP in ensuring top-notch security for your networks and systems. Are there any differences between what MSPs and MSSPs can do for you? Here we look at the key differences between the two, and help you decide exactly what your business needs.

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In brief, an MSP’s priority is to make systems and information usable to the company, while the MSSP’s priority is to make sure that this information is kept safe from unauthorized parties.

MSP: Operational Focus

An MSP’s primary function is operational. The MSP will partner with you to ensure that your IT systems are up and running and that your data remains available for both employees and customers. To achieve these goals, the MSP may install patches or updates to your systems via a Network Operations Center or NOC. By taking up the network administrative capabilities necessary for your daily business demands and assisting with the operation of third-party applications, the MSP can take your business operations to the next level and help you focus on what really matters – growing your business.

The MSP may provide some basic security features, e.g., antivirus or firewall protection, but when considering the current threat of cyberattacks, these are regarded as a bare minimum level of IT security.

MSSP: Comprehensive Security Solutions

MSSPs are mainly oriented to offering consulting services to businesses for comprehensive cybersecurity protection. Apart from basic security measures such as backups, patching, and antivirus updates, MSSPs function at much deeper security layers employing processes such as security information and event management, computer system hardening, unified threat management, and intrusion prevention.

Apart from just detecting threats to infrastructure, these processes also enable rapid and efficient responses to those threats. Often, the detection and responses are coordinated via a Security Operations Center or SOC. An MSSP can also provide their expertise to help align high-end security measures within tight business compliance frameworks.

Thus, the proactive measures provided by an MSSP go way beyond the passive basic security inherent in regular MSP offerings, making MSSPs an important consideration when you are closely assessing the security risk and tolerance of your business’ IT infrastructure. However, if you are looking at a partner to focus on mitigating network downtime and keeping your data and systems available and operations, then you are better off hiring an MSP.

Sam

Written by Sam

I'm very interested in the technology of all things. I like to write about these things.