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Many organizations have learned the hard way that implementing a security monitoring platform that is not tightly integrated with an effective service management toolset can overwhelm an IT department with a continuous swarm of alerts as threats are identified.

Here’s a common series of events that occurs when an IT staff decides to implement a monitoring tool for themselves: After dutifully following all the procedures for implementation, when they see alarms start showing up on the monitor, they pat themselves on the back and say, “Awesome. It works. This wasn’t so hard.”

An hour later they are holding their collective heads in their hands saying, “OMG! What have we done?” as hundreds of alarms swarm at them, each one seemingly demanding immediate attention.

The onboarding process of top tier managed services providers (MSPs) essentially loads data about your systems into their ITSM toolset providing a range of functions including incident and change management, a service catalog and a configuration management data base. By integrating the service management tool with the monitoring platform, MSPs can separate the informational alerts from actionable ones and act as a first responder to decide what’s a real threat and what is not.

Managed security services extends this capability to monitor, evaluate and respond to security threats to your critical business systems. Services can include:

  • Maintenance and patching of your systems to remove potential vulnerabilities.
  • Antivirus and Malware protection.
  • Firewall management and monitoring including next generation application aware firewalls.
  • IDS/IPS management and monitoring
  • Application monitoring
  • Internal resource monitoring
  • Antivirus Software
  • Security event log management and correlation (SIEM and Active Device Management)
  • Security Incident response management
  • Data Encryption at rest and in transit
  • Identity and Access Management including directory services.
  • Mobile device management.

Monitoring and managing critical systems for security threats is a 24/7 undertaking that needs to able to learn and evolve as rapidly as hackers vary and update their attacks. Just because you were able to thwart an attack today, doesn’t mean you will be safe tomorrow. For IT departments that don’t have the staff or expertise to outsmart hackers 24 hours a day, managed security services can provide unblinking vigilance to keep your data safe and your corporate brand out of the newspapers.

Next up in our security series: “Five Ways to Use Security as a Business Enabler.”