Whether you are already one of the millions of active customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS), or are considering if you should migrate your organization’s workloads to the cloud, you’ve more than likely questioned the general security surrounding the platform.

While cloud providers like AWS are responsible for maintaining the security of the cloud itself, it is up to your organization to ensure the security of the specific data that is stored there. Although this may sound like a simple idea in theory, complete oversight of your company’s security processes can quickly consume a lot of manpower, not to mention the entire IT budget.

Managed services are an excellent option that not only save businesses time and money, but simplify their cloud security, as well.

Managed Security Services

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are third-party contractors that offer IT tasks and services to companies. Managed Services typically cover things like infrastructure management, security services, DevOps, and NOC (Network Operations Center)  services.

Managed security services can be provided by MSPs and allow businesses to work with one company who has oversight of their entire processes and systems. Some common security services that MSPs offer include:

  • Vulnerability scans
  • Proactive remediation and incident response
  • Compliance checks
  • Vendor management

Vulnerability Scans

Mitigating and reporting on system vulnerabilities is a huge component of security services for MSPs, but these vulnerabilities can only be managed if they have been discovered and identified. One of the first managed security services it is important to utilize is a vulnerability scan.

Vulnerability scans are just that- an application identifies and creates an inventory of all the systems connected to a network (such as desktops, laptops, printers, servers, firewalls, virtual machines, and containers, to name a few). After building up the inventory, the scanner then checks each item up against database that contain known vulnerabilities to see if they are any matches. The final result of the scan is a list of all the systems identified on the network, highlighting any that have known vulnerabilities that may need attention.

Vulnerability scans are vital in identifying potential risks that could be exploited, but a long list of detected vulnerabilities can quickly overwhelm and exhaust an in-house IT security team. MSPs are trained to utilize this information to create evaluations and remediation plans, taking the intensive labor off of your team.

Proactive Remediation and Incident Response

Proactive remediation is the process of correcting system changes, such as removing threats off of an infected system. For the most part, these threats have bypassed security measures and may have caused slight damage, but the goal is to remediate these threats before they become big problems.

Although it may seem like successful proactive remediation should be enough on its own to thwart potential breaches, unfortunately this is not always the case. While strong remediation is a crucial first step, having an equally strong incident response plan is just as necessary.

Effective incident response plans usually include a preparation stage, where employees are trained on the importance of security measures and responding to incidents quickly, followed by containment, eradication, recovery, and finished with evaluation of how it was all handled to be better prepared for next time.

MSPs who offer remediation specialize in quick response time and recovery, keeping your network on its toes and catching small incidents before they become large issues.

Compliance Checks

With all of the industry standards and regulations, compliance has truly become a full-time business. Whether you deal with personal health information, financial data, or other types of confidential information, it is vital that you are aware of and follow all regulatory requirements. For true compliance, you need to implement written policies and procedures, conduct training and education, enforce standards, and much more, but all of that is typically more than the average company can take on by themselves.

MSPs have dedicated staff that make sure your company meets compliance on all necessary regulations, along with mitigating risks and maintaining security.  Utilizing these services ensures that your organization upholds all policies and regulations in order to keep doing business as usual.

Vendor Management

Whether they are for security or other purposes, most companies deal with dozens (or even hundreds) of different vendors, all with individual contract terms, pay rates, and points of contact that must be managed.

Vendor management services enable organizations to control costs, drive service excellence, and mitigate risks to gain increased value from their vendors throughout the deal life cycle.

Vendor management is typically broken down into a four-step process:

  1. Establish business goals, including services, cost, quality, and satisfaction
  2. Select the best vendors that align with overall vision and objectives
  3. Manage suppliers on a daily basis, ensuring continuous performance and services
  4. Evaluate vendors and confirm goals are met

A qualified MSP can take care of all vendor management needed so you can focus on what you do best while ensuring you get the services you deserve.

Conclusion

Managed services are highly advantageous no matter how organizations choose to use them, but this is especially the case when it comes to security. Migrating to the cloud can be a big endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or leave your company at risk. Trust a managed service provider to give you peace-of-mind and simplicity when it comes to cloud security.

Blue Sentry

Blue Sentry was founded for one purpose: to deliver transformational cloud maturity on AWS. We have deep expertise in migration, security, DevOps, continuous deployment (CI/CD) and data services. As an MSP recognized in the highest tier within the AWS Partner Network, Blue Sentry is dedicated to driving successful customer outcomes and providing unrivaled managed security services.