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3 Red Flags to Look Out for When Choosing an MSSP

If you’ve decided to outsource your security to a managed security services provider (MSSP), you may now be on a mission to find the right one. The bad news is that not all companies that call themselves MSSPs have the same capabilities or processes.   How can you be sure you aren’t signing a contract with an MSSP that will fade into the background, only passively monitoring your network and sending vague alerts?

The good news is that there are a few indications that can signal an ineffective MSSP. Be on the lookout for these red flags:

1. A promise of a 5-minute deployment solution.

While it may be appealing to hire an MSSP that can be ready in no time at all, this isn’t feasible. It takes time for an MSSP to understand and incorporate into your existing environment.  If an MSSP advertises 5-minute deployment solutions, they aren’t taking the time needed to tailor alerts to your unique environment.

Instead, look for an MSSP that understands the value of custom solutions and takes the time to get to know and understand your needs.

2.  A provider that doesn’t assign you a clear point of contact or take the time to understand your communication style.

This could indicate an unorganized and impersonal relationship with the MSSP after hire.

Instead, look for an MSSP that provides you with a designated point of contact, ideally someone who understands your needs, from both a technical and business perspective. Your point of contact needs to be able to recognize what is required to resolve technical issues but is also comfortable negotiating service or contract issues.

Your initial interactions with an MSSP often set the stage for communication styles after hire. Does the MSSP jump on a call with you or just send a scoping questionnaire your way? This will give you an idea of the kind of customer service you will receive throughout your entire time working with the MSSP. Make sure your communication styles match and that they will be available when you need them.

3.  An MSSP that boasts their technology above their people and expertise.

This may be a sign that they’re lacking the critical human element.

It could also indicate that the MSSP can’t incorporate into your existing technology stack, which could end up costing you more money in the long run.  Instead, look for an MSSP that’s technology agnostic and staffed with experts from different backgrounds.  After all, technology is only half of what makes an effective MSSP effective.

Don’t wait until you’ve signed a contract to find out the MSSP is not the right fit for you.  Avoid this mistake by keeping these red flags in mind throughout your search.

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