Get More Bang for your Buck: Hire an MSSP vs. an In-House Expert

By February 14, 2019 Managed Security Services

Many leaders in security feel some degree of uncertainty when they see the price tag that accompanies Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). While the hesitation is understandable, it’s not necessarily logical.  When the options are narrowed down to hiring an MSSP or hiring a single employee, the costs end up being roughly the same.  The difference, though, lies in what you are getting for your money. For instance, when you hire a single employee, you are limited in ways that an MSSP is not.

Consider, what will you do when your employee wants to take time off, or gets sick? How many different areas of expertise can this employee cover? Will they work around the clock? If not, how will you stay secure outside of business hours?

Keep these questions in mind as we take a look at what exactly you are paying for when you hire an MSSP:

At any one time, most MSSPs are staffed with at least four analysts.  And I mean any time.  Don’t forget that a key component of MSSPs is that they are operating around the clock- 24/7/365.  This doesn’t include the threat hunting experts or incident response specialists that many MSSPs have on staff in case of an incident.  To achieve protection similar to what an MSSP provides, you would need a dedicated staff of at least 4-6 employees.

Now take into consideration that your employees will be expecting benefits and paid time off.    You must also account for the unexpected circumstances- family emergencies, illness- that will undoubtedly arise as they do in any staff.  An MSSP, however, already has these factors accounted for and will be appropriately staffed to ensure around-the-clock security coverage.

And, because of the significant amount of employees you have access to, you will naturally have access to a wide variety of skills- a much larger range of expertise than a single employee, or even two or three employees for that matter- could cover.  Not to mention, you will have a hard time finding employees that are willing to work swing shifts.  With a cybersecurity skills shortage of 2.9 million employees, you may have a hard time finding employees at all.  And, if you do find a talented employee, you can bet it’ll be a constant struggle keeping them around with the sheer amount of recruiters knocking at their doors.

But it’s not only the talent and expertise you are paying for when you hire an MSSP.  With an MSSP you are also getting access to the best-in-class technology as well, including SIEM, endpoint monitoring, and reporting tools.

So, yes, hiring an MSSP is comparable in cost to hiring one security professional. But, if you’re paying the same amount, why not get the most out of your money?  The benefits that an MSSP provides you with that a single employee cannot are immense:

  • 24/7 coverage without the worry of finding and retaining talent during the cybersecurity skills shortage
  • Relief from the burden of staffing and accounting for PTO, sick time, or overnight staff
  • Security protection from diverse areas of expertise
  • Access to the best-in-class technology

Keep in mind that in order to reap the many benefits of an MSSP, you must be deliberate when choosing your security partner.

Find the right MSSP for your needs with our Comprehensive Guide.