Managed security service provider (MSSP)

Contributor(s): Spencer Smith

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is an IT service provider that provides an organization with some amount of cybersecurity monitoring and management, which may include virus and spam blocking, intrusion detectionfirewalls and virtual private network (VPN) management. An MSSP can also handle system changes, modifications and upgrades.

What managed security service providers are used for

Organizations may either outsource all or aspects of their IT security functions to MSSPs. MSSPs will typically provide some level of continuous security monitoring, vulnerability risk assessment, threat intelligence and intrusion management. Some MSSPs offer services to support organizations in regulated industries that must meet compliance requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In some cases, working with a managed security service provider will offer cost savings to an organization. For example, acquiring in-house cybersecurity staff can be expensive, so working with an MSSP can present a more cost-effective option. Using an MSSP can also save organizations money on equipment, software tools and other operational costs.

Chart showing top security certifications
IT channel executives rated these certifications as the most important to their companies.

But some organizations are reluctant to give up complete control over the security of their systems. Furthermore, there may be considerable variability in competence among MSSPs.

History of MSSPs

MSSPs have evolved in various ways. Some traditional service providers, noting the seemingly ever-increasing demand for internet security, have added managed security to their portfolios. Other traditional channel partners, such as a value-added reseller (VAR), will resell vendors' cloud-based security services. Still other MSSPs have come into existence as brand new entities focused solely on cybersecurity offerings.

Some industry observers have asserted that every channel company is a "security provider" to some extent, as nearly every aspect of a customer organization's operations features some cybersecurity component.

MSSPs have long targeted large enterprises, but as security threats evolve, many are focusing on providing managed security offerings to the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market as well.

The demand for security services is only expected to grow, according to several market research reports. Research firm MarketsandMarkets, for example, forecast the security services market will reach about $34 billion by 2021.

This was last updated in April 2018

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Why are the advantages of working with a managed security service provider?
Hi Margaret, great question! I actually work for an MSSP ( and recently wrote an article on just this topic. Here are 6 common reasons why firms are choosing to work with MSSPs:
1. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly expensive, so it allows them to focus their time and resources on their core business.
2. It's far more cost effective.
3. Specialization is key for adequate protection.
4. MSSPs are important for demonstrating proper compliance with local and international standards.
5. A managed solution is one that is easy to scale.
6. MSSPs work around the clock and all over the world, so you know that your back is always covered.
Check out the original article [] for more information :) Hope that helps!
Hi Daniel,
Thanks for this. We're actually always looking for MSSPs as we do realize the value they bring to the table as part of a critical role in the cyber security ecosystem. I enjoyed reading your post and if you're keen on learning more about our partner program for MSSPs do drop in at -  :)
How do MSSPs integrate outsourced technologies?
It’s very interesting! You may check another blog which I have read it on search. It Seems it’s similar to this article. You can visit Hackercombat.