Managed network security services learning guide

The management of network security services is a unique offering for a security solution provider. In this guide, we review all the steps that will help you assess and maintain the security of your customers' networks.

Managed network security services can be an important source of revenue for solution providers. Understaffed companies will benefit from handing threat and vulnerability management tasks over to a value-added reseller or channel professional.

To get the job done, you'll need to work with your customers to decide on which managed network security services they'll require. You'll also need to prepare network security audits, review access control policies, write up network service-level agreements and maintain ongoing communication with your client. In this guide, our series of tactical articles review the steps that will keep your customers' networks secure.

 

Table of Contents

 

  How to initiate managed network security services
(see links below)
To start the process, the service provider and customer need to communicate. In this tip, contributor David Jacobs offers seven strategies for success. Before the security effort begins, both parties must work together to determine valuable assets, review access control and data protection policies, and follow through on a network assessment checklist.


  How to maintain the managed network security services relationship
(see links below)
You've done the preliminary work. What's next? Solution providers and their clients share priorities and responsibilities, which means you'll still need to address ongoing questions, including "Who's in charge of addressing a virus or network intrusion?" or "Which network security updates are 'critical' ones?" To maintain continuous trust, it's also important to stay current and informed on regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These decisions must be determined in a network service level-agreement.


  Network security services issues to watch out for in 2010
(see links below)
As companies secure healthcare data for HIPAA and protect credit cards for PCI DSS compliance, a hardened network is critical. The frequency of last year's high-profile network security breaches, too, has renewed interest in managed network security services. In this tip, David Jacobs makes three predictions and offers his thoughts on where network security VARs can expect to focus their attention in the future. Jacobs explains why three trends will encourage more managed network security services.


  How to perform a network security audit for customers
(see links below)
Use this checklist to set a proper network security baseline. To ensure a secure network, you'll need to investigate your customers' backup data policies, software security patches, penetrations tests, firewall configuration settings, event log monitoring procedures, security awareness training and much more. A network audit checklist offers solution providers a significant advantage that will be extremely valuable to customers.


  Implementing IPS/IDS technologies: Managing politics and accountability
(see links below)
A proper mix of IDS and IPS sensors strategically located on the enterprise network will go a long way. A VAR is a valuable third-party that can help customers determine where each sensor should be placed so that optimum protection is provided and performance isn't affected. Contributor Ken Harthun reviews the politics of data security and how to resolve conflict when implementing IDS and IPS technologies.

This was first published in June 2010

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