MSP in Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

Ankit Vora
April 26, 2023
min read
December 4, 2023
Photo credit
MSSPs are third-party experts in cybersecurity, providing advanced security tools and processes to prevent data breaches. Here's what you need to know.
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We’re swimming in an ocean full of data. According to rough estimations, companies are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. That’s 2.5, followed by 18 zeros. 

Seriously, it’s hard to wrap your mind around it.

Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations, and there’s no way companies can risk falling it into the wrong hands. 

But what if I told you that thousands of cyberattacks take place every single day? Here’s another shocker – the average cost of a data breach stood at a staggering $4.35 million in 2022.  

Companies of all sizes need to up their cybersecurity game to shield themselves from the damages caused by cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

But there’s just one problem – not every company (especially SMBs) has the resources and budget to build their in-house cybersecurity team from scratch. How can these companies protect themselves from potential cybersecurity threats without breaking the bank?

The answer is – hiring a managed service provider (MSP) specializing in cybersecurity.

Whether you’re an MSP looking to expand your services or a business owner seeking cyber MSP solutions, this blog post will help you understand all you need to know about MSP in cybersecurity.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

What is a managed service provider (MSP)?

A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party service provider that manages and delivers services to companies based on their specific needs and requirements. This can include a wide range of IT services like:

  • Network management.
  • IT support.
  • Data backup.

... and more. Think of them as an extension of your company’s IT department. 

However, in this case, you don’t have to build an in-house team or hire full-time dedicated experts to manage your company’s IT infrastructure. 

Instead, MSPs have a pool of experts with skills and experience to help you with a wide range of IT services, including but not limited to security management, data backup, network monitoring, management, etc.

An MSP can play a critical role in your organization. However, the only problem is – while they can provide a wide range of IT services, they don’t hold the much-needed expertise to keep your data safe and secure. 

In simple words, MSPs are not security experts. To protect your data, companies should turn to managed security service providers, commonly known as MSSPs. 

What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) refers to a third-party service provider that specializes in offering network security services to companies. 

MSSPs use a variety of advanced security tools and have the right systems and processes in place to help companies prevent, detect and respond quickly to potential data breaches or suspicious activities. For enhanced security measures, consider consulting a tokenization best practices guide to ensure the secure handling of sensitive information within your organization.

A few examples of services provided by MSSPs include:

  1. Firewall management, monitoring, and configuration.
  2. Managed response and detection to ensure system and data security.
  3. Virtual private network management to make sure that the company has an encrypted and safe online connection to the corporate network. 
  4. Compliance management to ensure procedures and security controls are in place and adhere to regulations and standards like GDPR, HIPAA, etc.
  5. Managed threat detection and prevention to deal with potential threats and vulnerabilities.  
  6. Security consultation to help companies build effective cybersecurity procedures and policies.
  7. Managed endpoint detection and prevention to deal with threats at the device level.
  8. Security asset management to make sure that the company’s assets are accessible by authorized people only.
  9. Incident management and response to identify and contain breaches, investigate the root cause, and restore all the systems back to normal (in case of intrusions).

In simple words, MSSPs are third-party security experts that companies can work with to manage and deal with cybersecurity threats. They’re focused solely on providing security services. 

Also, it’s important to note that different companies have different security and privacy regulations in place and compliance frameworks to follow. MSSPs hold the much-needed expertise to conduct their day-to-day operations while also following these regulations and frameworks. 

That being said, if you’re curious about what the differences between MSPs and MSSPs are, let’s find out. 

MSP vs. MSSP: What’s the difference? Let’s find out.

Wondering what the differences between MSPs and MSSPs are? 

Here are a few:

  • Service scope: MSPs provide a wide range of IT services like IT support, network management, managed Microsoft 365, business VoIP, managed cloud services, and many more. On the other hand, MSSPs focus specifically on network security services to help companies prevent, detect and respond quickly to potential data breaches or suspicious activities.
  • Expertise: MSPs hold expertise in managing IT infrastructure and offering end-to-end IT operations. Whereas MSSPs specialize in security services to help companies shield themselves against cyberattacks and protect their data.
  • Tools and technologies: MSPs use tools and technologies for managing and monitoring a company’s IT infrastructure, like IT Glue, Evernote, MSP360 and several others. On the other hand, MSSPs use security-specific tools focused on intrusion detection, firewalls and event management systems like BeyondTrust, Okta, Netskope, etc. Both MSPs and MSSPs should have some common tools at their disposal for different purposes, such as documentation software, remote access disaster recovery, etc. 
  • Accessibility: A few core responsibilities of MSPs include making sure employees and authorized personnel are easily able to access and share their data and use company’s assets without facing any challenges. On the other hand, MSSPs ensure that the company’s IT infrastructure is secure from potential cyber threats. They provide a wide range of security services to protect sensitive data and minimize the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. 

Viking Cloud, an end-to-end security and compliance solution, stated in one of their posts:

“MSPs work on making your systems operational, whereas MSSPs make sure these systems and the people behind them are safe, secure and compliant.”

Many MSPs partner with MSSPs to offer end-to-end services that combine the best of both worlds.

Now that you know the differences between MSPs and MSSPs, let’s find out what common challenges MSSPs face in securing their clients’ data. 

3 Common challenges MSSPs face in securing their clients’ data

It’s high time companies shield themselves from cyberattacks and protect their data. And while outsourcing your cybersecurity needs to a reliable MSSP can be an effective strategy, it’s important to ensure that the MSSP you work with is on top of the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices. 

MSSPs can only strengthen their defenses and put their best foot forward by addressing the challenges they face. Allow me to put in front of you three common challenges MSPs face in cybersecurity:

  • Increasing complexity of threats.
  • Equipping several platforms in your arsenal.
  • Shortage of skilled and reliable cybersecurity professionals

Let’s touch down on each of these challenges one by one.

Increasing complexity of threats


In today’s digital world, in-person communications have been replaced by Zoom calls. Traditional methods of record-keeping and note-taking have been replaced by digital tools like Evernote, Notion, ClickUp and several others. From business’s financial details to customer data to end-to-end IT infrastructure, companies have begun to rely heavily on the cloud to manage and store their data.

This ever-increasing dependence on the internet and cloud computing has increased the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. Every other day, I read news about data breaches, ransomware attacks, DDoS attacks, etc.

But that doesn’t mean it’s out of control. As the frequency and complexity of these threats have increased, so have the security controls to prevent to detect, prevent and deal with them.

Companies seeking MSSPs are carefully evaluating their options and want to make sure that the ones they hire are on top of the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices. They’re looking to hire MSSPs that have the right tools, processes and systems in place to help them deal with such complex threats. 


To stand out from the competition and provide the best possible security services to their clients, MSSPs need to constantly upskill themselves and prepare for emerging threats. 

To deal with these challenges, MSSPs should:

  • Invest in the right tools to effectively manage and respond to these complex threats and security incidents: MSSPs should invest in advanced security technologies like endpoint detection and response solutions, threat intelligence platforms, security management and event management systems. 
  • Polish their Threat Hunting Procedures: MSSPs should prioritize developing + refining their threat hunting procedures so that they’re able to proactively identify potential security threats way before they can cause any damage.
  • Opt for behavior-based detections: The problem with widely adopted IOC-based detections is that they often rely on specific patterns or patterns based on historical data. However, sophisticated attackers can easily evade these detections. On the other hand, behavior-based detections identify malicious activities rather than specific indicators.
  • Be on top of the latest trends, best practices, new threats, techniques, threat actors, etc.: MSSPs should constantly upskill themselves. I’ve put together a list of several helpful resources they can tap into:
  • Virtual conferences:
  • Discord communities:
  • Newsletters:

Have several platforms in your arsenal


To tackle these emerging and evolving threats, MSSPs need to equip themselves with advanced tools and platforms, including but not limited to security information and event management (SIEM) systems, threat intelligence platforms, endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions, vulnerability management tools and many more. 

However, the problem with expanding your security arsenal is that it can lead to several issues, like a steeper learning curve, complex management and the need to add more specialists to your team. 


To avoid chaos, it’s incredibly important to establish and document processes and procedures that govern the management and use of all tools in your inventory. 

Let Scribe bring order to the chaos. 

With Scribe, MSSPs can easily document their processes – from security policies to how-to guides to incident response plans and more. 


Here’s an example:

‎Also, we’d like to highlight that we take data privacy seriously and understand the importance of protecting sensitive information. 

That’s the reason we have a dedicated internal Security & Compliance team and are SOC II compliant. We also execute HIPAA BAA agreements for our enterprise customers. So, you can be rest assured that your data is safe and secure with Scribe.

Here’s a review from one of our customers on G2:

That being said, let’s move on to the third problem faced by MSSPs. 

Shortage of skilled and reliable cybersecurity professionals


Did you know that the global cybersecurity job vacancies grew by a staggering 350 percent between 2013 and 2021; from one million openings to over 3.5 million? In fact, you’ll be shocked to know that the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs stands at a shocking 3.5 million this year.

Despite the economic downturn and massive layoffs in the tech industry, cybersecurity continues to be a market with an almost-zero unemployment percentage for professionals with extensive backgrounds. 

Skilled and reliable cybersecurity professionals are in demand. However, there are not enough experts to fill all of these jobs. And that’s a problem. The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals is a major concern for MSSPs worldwide. 


To attract skilled cybersecurity talent, MSSPs should:

  1. Offer competitive compensation packages. 
  2. Focus on building a training program for the experts of tomorrow. 
  3. Create a positive work culture that values innovation, collaboration, and work-life balance.
  4. Provide several opportunities for career growth and advancement.
  5. Build a solid employee retention program.
  6. Partner with universities and top cybersecurity training academies to attract and recruit new talent. 


There’ll always be new and complex threats in the cybersecurity landscape. 

To protect their clients’ data and infrastructures from potential cyberattacks, it’s important for MSSPs to constantly upskill themselves, stay on top of the latest trends and best practices, and attract top cybersecurity talent. 

More importantly, companies should equip secure tools like Scribe and Scribe Pages to enhance cybersecurity posture and protect their clients’ data. On top of this, Scribe’s user-friendly interface and first-rate customer support make it a valuable partner in the fight against cyber-attacks.

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