IT Infrastructure May 23, 2024

MSP vs MSSP: What’s the Difference?

Written by Analytix Editorial Team Analytix Marketing

From accounting to marketing, businesses frequently seek outside assistance to handle various aspects of their operations. When it comes to technology, many people currently use Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to manage IT tasks. However, as the necessity of data security grows, you should consider working with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) to safeguard your business from cyber threats.

Let’s explore the differences between MSPs vs MSSPs and understand how to assemble the most effective team for your businesses’ needs.


What is Managed Service Provider (MSP)? 

A managed service provider is a business that manages and maintains an organization’s IT infrastructure and end-user systems remotely. These service providers handle various IT responsibilities, encompassing tasks like monitoring, managing, and securing networks, servers, devices, and applications. Noteworthy features of MSPs include proactive maintenance, troubleshooting, updates, and comprehensive support.

The primary goal is to ensure an organization’s IT environment runs smoothly and securely. It eventually allows your business to focus on its core business activities.

Types of MSP 

1) Lower-level MSP: These MSPs oversee IT services, offering support while maintaining a separate role from business needs and planning. They monitor systems, install software, and ensure its functionality and security.

2) Mid-level MSP: These MSPs typically target mid-sized businesses and provide various services such as monitoring, reporting, and software installation and upgrades.

3) High-level MSP: Offer comprehensive managed IT services such as support, management, communications, analytics, wireless network support, etc. They provide a wide range of solutions from their facilities.

Services Provided by MSP 

  • Proactive IT Support- MSPs provide proactive IT support to prevent issues from escalating, and to minimize downtime and disruptions for smooth business operations. Hence, MSP vs MSSP protection wise going neck-to-neck, but their services are different.
  • Network Management- MSPs monitor and manage network infrastructure to ensure peak performance, identifying and correcting potential bottlenecks or vulnerabilities.
  • Cloud Service Management- MSPs assist with cloud services, such as migration, resource optimization, and ensuring secure cloud operations for clients’ flawless digital experiences.
  • Security Services- MSPs provide various security services to tackle cyber threats. They also offer ongoing security assessments to identify and address vulnerabilities.
  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery- MSPs implement robust data backup systems and recovery plans for data safety. It ensures swift restoration during emergencies, maintaining business continuity.
  • Procurement & Vendor Management- MSPs will help in managing purchases, and licenses, and maintain relationships with software/hardware providers to ensure organizations get the right tools.

Benefits of MSP 

  • If your organization lacks workers, you can outsource some of the task requirements to MSPs.
  • Hiring a reputable MSP provides an organization with access to expert resources.
  • Many MSPs offer 24/7 monitoring services using network monitoring tools that offer system visibility and cloud management.
  • Allows businesses to focus on core operations while the MSP manages and supports the IT infrastructure.
  • MSPs specialize in implementing robust security measures and protecting against cyber threats.

What is Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP)? 

A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is a specialized entity that provides organizations with comprehensive cybersecurity services. MSSPs are committed to managing and improving their clients’ security posture by deploying various technologies, processes, and expertise.

Their main objective is to protect digital assets, networks, and sensitive data from cyber threats. Their disparate goals should have helped you to understand the differences between MSP and MSSP.

Type of MSSP 

Types of MSSPs are monitoring and alerting, threat intelligence, incident response, managed detection and response, vulnerability management, compliance, cloud security, endpoint security, network security, and identify & access management.

Businesses choose the type of MSSPs based on their specific security requirements, available budget, and the complexity of their IT infrastructure.

Services Provided by MSSP  

Security Monitoring: MSSPs examine and respond to threat intelligence to keep ahead of new threats. They give their clients timely and pertinent information to bolster their defenses.

Vulnerability Management: MSSPs are skilled at routinely checking systems and networks for potential vulnerabilities. It guarantees that you have the right preventative measures in place in case of danger.

Advanced intrusion detection and prevention: MSSPs are using it to keep an eye on network traffic and look for suspicious activity. They can stop unwanted access by quickly identifying and blocking possible threats.

Endpoint Protection: To safeguard individual devices like PCs, laptops, and mobile phones, MSSPs deploy endpoint protection solutions. It incorporates endpoint detection and response to guarantee a comprehensive approach to endpoint security.

Incident Response and Analysis: MSSPs assist organizations in effectively responding when a security incident occurs. They help with the recovery process by analyzing to determine the extent and impact of the incident.

Compliance Management: MSSPs help organizations comply with regulations by putting in place and keeping up security controls. They can also support documentation, audits, and compliance assessment along with IT security solutions for small and mid-sized companies.

Benefits of MSSP 

  • MSSPs use cutting-edge technology to detect and respond to cyber threats in real-time.
  • They assist businesses in staying one step ahead of potential threats through regular assessments and continuous monitoring.
  • They are proficient at ensuring that businesses follow the necessary security controls and practices.
  • They are not only responding to incidents; they plan and implement robust cybersecurity measures deliberately.
  • MSSPs provide scalable solutions that can adapt to an organization’s changing needs.
  • They use a subscription-based model, which provides cost predictability and potential cost savings.

Should a Business go for MSP or MSSP? 

The difference between an MSP and an MSSP is that one is concerned with keeping IT infrastructure operational, where the other is concerned with keeping IT safe from cyber threats. It’s operation vs. security, but they really go hand in hand, as businesses must secure both to be profitable and viable. The decision of MSP vs MSSP comes down to business preference.

  • If your business’s goal is IT management and maintenance- MSPs are the way to go.
  • If your company is looking for specialized security services for its IT infrastructure- MSSPs are the way to go.

Is it more important to you to improve operational efficiency or to strengthen your cybersecurity posture? What is the difference between MSP vs MSSP? Perhaps, like many businesses, you consider both aspects to be equally important. To explore further details about the IT infrastructure services, reach out to the Analytix team today!

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