A business’s network assets are critical to its success. Despite their overwhelming importance, however, too many businesses leave those assets to chance. A managed security services provider can design a unique set of solutions to protect network assets from the relentless threats and attacks that occur on a daily basis.

Left unmanaged, these security risks, which can come from both internal and external sources, can wreak havoc on a business’s ability to operate. They pose a very serious and real threat to corporate performance and continuity.

A recent ZdNet commentary titled “IT security and new regulations needed to protect critical infrastructures” shed light on the importance of having a managed security services partner. Pointing out that 2011 is the year that many have dubbed “the year of the hack,” the site’s commentator suggested business owners may never again think the same way “about the security of networks and systems.”

Although he recommended “the deployment of typical preventative technologies (e.g., firewalls, IPS, anti-virus, etc.),” he stressed that such technology in and of itself is not enough. What is required is proper design, implementation and maintenance of a process that allows a business to respond to any network threat in a “timely and effective manner.” Of course, most companies don’t have the resources to devote to that task, which is a 24/7 job. That’s where “a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) [can] help them fill organizational capability gaps.”

A managed security services provider can offer the following solutions:

  • Risk mitigation, so that any threat is stopped before it can turn into a full-blown emergency
  • Improved network visibility with 24/7 monitoring for round-the-clock peace of mind
  • Enhanced network performance, uptime, and utilization so businesses can maximize their effectiveness
  • Flexibility to extend IT resources to strategic projects
  • Simplicity in network management so business owners can devote their attention to more pressing matters
  • Reduced network maintenance expenses for better bottom line
  • A proactive approach to system issue resolutions

With all these benefits, it’s hard to argue that a partnership with a managed security services provider isn’t worth the investment, but for those CEOs who are still on the fence, “PC Magazine” echoes ZdNet’s glowing recommendation of such a partnership. Several years back in an article on the topic of Managed Security Services, the publication said, “If your small business doesn’t have full-time IT support staff, and you’d feel safer asking a specialist to handle security than tackling it on your own, consider outsourcing security to a managed security service provider (MSSP). MSSPs can provide a variety of services, such as firewall and VPN, content filtering, spam filtering, virus protection, and intrusion detection/ prevention services.”

Today, a managed security services provider can provide all of that and a whole lot more, including (according to Wikipedia) “round-the-clock monitoring and management of intrusion detection systems and firewalls, overseeing patch management and upgrades, performing security assessments and security audits, and responding to emergencies.” And in a day and age when network security threats are lurking around every corner, no business owner can afford to be without such protection.

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