Gartner Research

How to Work With an MSSP to Improve Security

Published: 30 January 2018

ID: G00343485

Analyst(s): Anton Chuvakin , Mike Wonham , Augusto Barros


Managed security services are an increasingly popular way to improve information security, yet many engagements struggle to succeed. This guidance helps technical professionals shape the MSSP relationship, refine their expectations and co-develop successful security architectures.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Document Scope

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Reasons to Use an MSSP
    • MSSP and MDR Business Models
    • Limits of "Outsourcing Security" and MSSPs
  • Stage 1: Planning
    • Define the Scope
    • Satisfy MSSP Engagement Prerequisites
    • Assign a Relationship Lead
  • Stage 2: Selecting
    • Understand MSSP/MDR Pilot Structure
    • Evaluate MSSP Personnel
    • Prepare for the HR Limitations of the MSSP Model
  • Stage 3: Contracting
    • Create Statements of Work
    • Refine Service Descriptions
    • Agree on Service Key Dates
    • Review Key Dependencies
    • Refine the Joint Responsibility Model
    • Solidify SLAs
    • Agree on Governance Procedures
    • Draft and Sign the Contract
  • Stage 4: Onboarding
    • Deploy the Technology
    • Configure Remote Access and Access to Data Sources
    • Initiate Knowledge Transfer
    • Refine and Share Contact Information
    • Synchronize Security Processes
    • Perform Extended MSSP Testing
    • Review Gartner's Example of an Onboarding Timeline
  • Stage 5: Operating
    • Integrated Security Operations
  • Stage 6: Expanding
    • Grow With Your MSSP
  • Stage 7: Leaving

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Related Guidance

Gartner Recommended Reading

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