Global intelligence. An MSSP should have security experts positioned to monitor and analyze data from customers around the world. This global intelligence enables an MSSP to issue real-time alerts and recommend actions to be taken in a timely fashion.
Annual revenues. What is the prospective MSSPís financial status? For publicly traded companies, Gartner estimates that annual run rates of more than $10 million per year in managed security services contracts indicate a sufficient base of revenue to support growth and enhancement of services.
Management experience. For leading MSSPs, management experience will include backgrounds in military, government, and industrial sectors.
Breadth of services. This key consideration indicates an MSSPís ability to meet the security management needs of a wide variety of companies. It includes real-time monitoring and management of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virtual private networks, and other security products.
Security management processes. An MSSP should be able to provide documented standards and policies for handling typical and atypical operations and threats. An MSSP should offer a variety of attack alert notification methods to allow customersí staff the ability to mitigate risk in real time.
Vendor neutrality. An MSSP should employ security specialists with certified expertise across a broad range of security products from a variety of security providers. This allows a company the freedom to select best-of-breed solutions.
Auditing. While trust is one of the most important factors in selecting an MSSP, the vendor must have facilities, processes, and procedures in place that are validated and certified by a third-party auditor.
Reporting. Reports provided by MSSPs should be detailed enough to support decisions to enhance security efforts and to determine the cost-effectiveness of the managed services. Thorough reports will include information gleaned from the managed devices, recommended responses, any changes the MSSP made to the devices, and information about the latest threats. In addition, enterprises are increasingly reacting to legislation (such as Sarbanes-Oxley) that will entail stringent compliance reviews. An MSSP should therefore be in a position to consolidate and analyze security log data.
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