The landscape of IT security managed services is vast, and it has evolved considerably over the years. Many companies are looking to managed security service providers to help deter the continuous and challenging outside threats organizations face everyday.
But finding out who and what types of services companies need can be a challenge in itself. Here are 10 essential managed security services any company should consider when looking for one of these MSSPs, including some a la carte solutions.
1. Intrusion Detection
At the forefront of any network lies an intrusion detection system, a system that is designed to detect outside threats and deter attempts at accessing, manipulating, or disabling your computer system. Attacks may come in many different forms: hackers, malware, and even your own employees. A great open source client is SNORT, a network intrusion prevention and detection system that utilizes a rule-driven language. SNORT combines the benefits of signature, protocol, and anomaly-based inspection methods and is widely used by individuals and small businesses. Sourcefire offers a complimentary product line with more enterprise-level features and real-time rule updates on its Web site.
2. Firewall Protection
Like its namesake in building construction, a software or dedicated appliance firewall secures against internal and external attacks. It also blocks Internet access to malicious Trojan programs, safeguards your personal data against theft, and delivers end-point security for computers and networks. Based on a set of rules, the firewall inspects outside network traffic passing through and denies or permits passage. Comodo offers Firewall Pro, award-winning, PC-based security software that’s entirely free. This software is highly rated and is a top-of-the-line firewall with more than 2 million business and individual users worldwide.
3. Unified Threat Management
A unified threat management system is a network’s firewall that utilizes many features in one box. Along with firewall capabilities, it may include e-mail spam filtering, antivirus capabilities, intrusion detection and prevention, and content filtering from the Web. TATA Communications will remotely manage and monitor all threats and provide reports and log analysis in the event of a security breach of the network. If you are looking at an all-in-one solution, a UTM system may be your best bet.
4. E-mail Filtering
There are a number of tricks and tactics conjured up everyday when it comes to breaking the security of a network through e-mail. Whether it’s spam, a link with a virus attached, or spyware, countless businesses are affected with a click of the mouse. Among the more common uses, e-mail filters include removal of spam and computer viruses. Filtering programs organize incoming mail on a set of criteria based on the user’s input. Although you can set criteria through your own e-mail, it’s in your best interest to go with dedicated software that can set a number of rules and regulations for your business’s e-mail system. High Mountain Software offers SpamEater Pro, an e-mail filtering system that stops spam and viruses by using a powerful combination of software and analysis techniques. And as a managed service, there’s no implementation time or maintenance required for the end user.
5. Application Performance Management
Making sure your business’s applications are running to maximum capability is critical when it comes to getting things done in the most efficient way. Application performance management, or APM, refers to the discipline within systems management. It focuses on monitoring and managing the performance and service availability of software applications that your company is running. Quest Software offers a number of useful software applications that deliver, manage, and control your critical applications. The software will improve performance and reduce downtime of your business’s critical applications, raise end user satisfaction levels, and monitor and manage databases and underlying infrastructure.
6. Vulnerability Assessment
It’s nice to know where your business’s weaknesses lie, and with a vulnerability assessment system in place, you will. A vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing (or ranking) the vulnerabilities in a business’s computer system. For companies that deal with information technology, communication, or customer-based services, detecting vulnerabilities within the company’s infrastructure is vital to its security as a whole. Beyond Security offers vulnerability assessment software for companies of all sizes with detailed reports and practical fixes, to name a few features.
7. Data Management
It can be the most important part of your business but is often the most overlooked. Although data management is a broad field of study, it’s most formally known as the process of managing data as a resource that is valuable to an organization or business. It’s always important to have your business content when and where you most need it. With data management your business can improve customer service, increase agility and competitiveness, and optimize operations.
8. Service Management
Working with products and dealing with customer information can be daunting, even more so if your business is growing. If you’re thinking about streamlining your services, a service management software system will help automate things into a simple workflow. Service management can deliver business results faster and cheaper with repeatable quality; meet demanding security requirements; and allow data retention and recovery objectives to be more cost-effective.
9. Security Compliance Management
Everyday a business’s IT staff is put to the test in a number of ways. However, with the right tools, a sophisticated network can be protected with security compliance management. Ensuring information confidentiality, maintaining system availability, and guaranteeing a customer’s information integrity is extremely important in today’s online landscape, especially if you work with government agencies, deal with sensitive records, or have databases with sensitive or proprietary information. Blue Lance Computer Security Software’s PC-based software, LT Auditor+, is a great solution for any business that wants to safeguard and protect itself from insider threats. It offers real-time alerting and actionable visibility into who did what and when, from anywhere in your enterprise.
10. Identity Management
If you have employees who work remotely, going with an identity management system is a great way to make absolute sure they, along with your business, are secure when entering the company’s network. Identity management in business is used to facilitate activities such as physical access control, information systems access control, and workflow automation in accordance with business policies. For example, Sun Microsystems’ identity management software gives businesses the ability to manage, protect, store, verify, and share identity data throughout the enterprise and across extranets.