Key Considerations for Outsourcing Security
by Brian Dunphy - Director of Global Analysis Operations for Symantec Managed Security Services - Tuesday, 25 May 2004.
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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.

All organizations can benefit from the continuous management and monitoring of their security operations. In this regard, an MSSP can help develop a company-wide security policy that sets appropriate access control rules governing all employees. This is essential because it recognizes that the majority of security breaches come from within. (Most MSSP contracts include monitoring of all security-related activities on the internal network.) Before signing on with an MSSP, make sure all employees are aware of the corporate security policy and what the MSSP is contracted to do.

Conclusion

Managed security services can remove the volatility associated with IT staffing and the need to respond to unpredictable network threats, allowing enterprises to better manage their day-to-day business requirements, resources, and costs. This is especially important today as threats increase in severity and complexity. Enterprises that are seriously considering outsourcing their security should know that this can be a smart business decision, as well as one that assists them as they face new reporting requirements.

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