Gartner Research

How to Work With an MSSP to Improve Security

Published: 29 January 2015

ID: G00270101

Analyst(s): Anton Chuvakin


Managed security services are a popular, growing, yet somewhat failure-prone approach to information security. This guidance gives security practitioners a structure to shape the managed security service provider relationship and develop joint security processes and architecture for success.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Scope

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Why to Use an External Provider
    • Understand the MSSP Business
    • Efforts That Are Not Part of Standard MSS Engagements
    • MSSP Engagement Prerequisites
    • Success Tips for Types of MSSP Clients
  • Selecting the Provider
    • MSSP, SIEM or Both?
    • MSSP Personnel
  • Preparing for the Transition
    • Firm Up the Expectations of the MSSP Relationship
    • Refine the Joint Responsibility Model
    • Settle on SLAs
    • Clarify IT and Security Architecture Dependencies
    • Scope and Know Your Environment Well
  • Onboarding the Provider
    • Top Focus Areas for Onboarding
    • Simulated Incident Response Run
    • Process Tuning Phase
    • Extended MSSP Testing
    • Onboarding Timeline Template
  • Ongoing Operations
    • Integrated Security Operations
    • Joint Alert Triage
    • Joint Security Incident Response
  • Expanding Service Coverage
    • Grow With Your MSSP
  • Exiting the Relationship

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Related Guidance

Gartner Recommended Reading

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