Businesses are under constant attack from cybercriminals, and the threat of a data breach is always looming. If you don’t have the time or resources to build and manage your own in-house Security Operations Center (SOC), you need to find a managed security service provider (MSSP), also known as a cybersecurity managed services provider. MSSPs manage and maintain your IT security so you can focus on your core business.
Below are our picks for the top managed security service providers in 2023, to help you select the best option for your business.
Featured Partners: Managed Service Provider (MSP) Software
Top managed security service providers (MSSP) comparison
Our comparison table provides a quick overview of the key features and pricing for the top 10 MSSPs. It allows you to easily compare and contrast the services offered by each provider, helping you make informed decisions based on your specific security needs and budget considerations.
|Integrated security solutions
|Advanced threat protection
|$150 – $300,000
|$499 – $100,000+
|$2,000 – $200,000+
|Free to $9 per user per month for Duo security solutions
|Switchfast Technologies (Ascend Technologies)
|Nomic (Sentinel) IPS
Best for integrated security solutions across devices and networks
Fortinet excels in providing integrated MSSP solutions, offering a comprehensive range of services that include advanced threat protection, intrusion prevention, and security-driven networking. Its MSSP solutions are designed to deliver a simplified, end-to-end security infrastructure. This makes it ideal for businesses seeking a cohesive and efficient approach to network security.
The MSSP’s unified management console and AI-driven security operations are particularly beneficial for organizations looking to streamline their security management and response capabilities.
Pros and cons
|Enhanced security with policies across all devices.
|No free trial for new users.
|Simplified MSSP management console.
|Broad deployment for deep visibility.
|VPN client limited to select firewalls.
|Optimized performance with FortiOS.
|Complex installation and updates.
- Pricing varies based on business size and network connectivity.
- Managed firewall services range from $150 to $300 per month.
- FortiGate pricing starts at $250 for small offices, up to $300,000 for large enterprises.
- Fortinet ensures comprehensive network protection and operational efficiency.
- Zero-trust model for rigorous identity verification and minimized threats.
- Scalable cloud security solutions for public, private, and hybrid clouds.
- AI-enhanced threat detection and response for proactive security.
- Broad range of integrated, automated digital environment security solutions.
Best for extensive cybersecurity across diverse environments
Check Point is a leader in cybersecurity, offering a full MSSP suite tailored to various customer sizes and use cases. Its MSSP solutions are renowned for reducing the risk of cyberattacks through comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats such as malware, ransomware, and zero-day threats.
Check Point’s MSSP services are ideal for businesses seeking extensive and automated security solutions. Its service offering is backed by responsive technical support and scalable virtualized systems.
Pros and cons
|Comprehensive MSSP protection against various threats.
|Can be expensive for small businesses.
|Stable and reliable MSSP services.
|Complex IPS systems and fine-tuning.
|Fast and effective technical support.
|Complexities with the VSX gateway.
|Scalable virtualized MSSP systems.
- Firewalls range from $499 for small offices to several hundred thousand dollars for high-end systems.
- Check Point Harmony pricing starts at $11 per user per month.
- Secures the network with real-time prevention.
- Unified management and security operations.
- Secures users and access for remote devices.
- Secures the Cloud with a unified security platform.
Best for worldwide cybersecurity and MSSP services
Accenture Security is a top-tier MSSP, offering advanced cyber defense and applied cybersecurity solutions. With a global reach in over 50 countries, Accenture’s MSSP services are comprehensive, covering everything from infrastructure management to cloud security.
The company’s approach to MSSP is deeply integrated with their commitment to continuous learning, diversity, and high performance, making them a prime choice for organizations seeking a global and holistic approach to cybersecurity management.
Pros and cons
|Global MSSP operations in over 50 countries.
|Complex bureaucracy in a large organization.
|Continuous learning and development in MSSP.
|Comprehensive infrastructure managed services.
- Per-device pricing for MSSP services.
- Customized pricing for Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR).
- Integrated security in AWS Cloud Foundation.
- Full spectrum of MSSP services, including on-premises and cloud infrastructure management.
Best for proactive threat intelligence and incident response
SecureWorks provides a diverse range of security management services, focusing on both proactive security assessments and reactive incident response. Its offerings include threat hunting, vulnerability, and ransomware readiness assessments, alongside penetration testing and application security testing, ensuring comprehensive coverage for clients. The company’s incident response services are readily accessible through an emergency breach hotline, catering to urgent security needs.
Pros and cons
|Over 20 years of experience in detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.
|Limited tactical and strategic threat intelligence.
|Rapid deployment and enablement assistance for quick revenue generation.
|The Security Operations Center (SOC) is not cloud-ready and lacks customer-centric alert management.
|Dedicated specialist support throughout the cybersecurity journey.
Pricing information is not published on their website. Reach out to Sales for more information.
- SecureWorks offers Taegis XDR, an advanced threat detection and response platform that provides a unified view across endpoints, networks, and cloud environments.
- The company leverages its Counter Threat Unit for global threat intelligence, keeping abreast of emerging cybersecurity threats.
- Rapid incident response services are available for mitigating and investigating security incidents.
- Comprehensive managed security services include managed firewall, IDS/IPS, and vulnerability management.
- SecureWorks provides tailored cloud security solutions for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.
Best for AI-enhanced managed security services
IBM Managed Security Services offers a full spectrum of security services, including threat management, cloud, infrastructure, data, identity, and response management, tailored to augment existing security programs.
Pros and cons
|24x7x365 monitoring and management of security incidents by world-class security specialists.
|Some areas lack depth in security expertise.
|Tailored services for threat management, cloud, infrastructure, data, identity, and response management.
|Challenges in keeping pace with constantly changing threats.
|Assistance in developing continuous improvement processes for long-term security program efficiency.
|Necessary to maintain equilibrium between security controls and business efficiency.
- Pricing information is available on request.
- IBM integrates Watson for Cyber Security, employing AI and machine learning for enhanced threat detection and security analytics.
- The company offers global threat monitoring through its extensive network for real-time threat analysis worldwide.
- Specialized cloud security services ensure secure cloud migration and management.
- IBM’s range of integrated security services covers identity and access management, data protection, and encryption.
- A dedicated security incident response team handles and mitigates complex cyber incidents.
Best for comprehensive network and endpoint security
Cisco stands out in the managed security service provider industry, offering robust protection against cyberattacks both on and off the network. Its solutions are designed to thwart threats before they can infiltrate networks or endpoints, ensuring comprehensive security coverage.
Pros and cons
|“Add more, save more” policy with price protection and penalty-free growth for added products.
|Software releases can be somewhat confusing to navigate.
|Quick access to products and services as needed.
|Generally higher pricing compared to competitors.
|Single portal for managing all agreements and services.
|No minimums or upfront fees, with post-paid consumption-based billing.
- Cisco Multi-Site Orchestrator (MSSO): Specific pricing information for Cisco Multi-Site Orchestrator, now known as Cisco Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator, is not publicly available.
- Cisco Duo Security Solutions: Cisco Duo offers a range of pricing tiers, starting with a free option for up to 10 users. The tiered pricing includes Essentials at $3 per user per month, Advantage at $6 per user per month and Premier at $9 per user per month.
- Cisco provides end-to-end network protection, securing both on and off-network environments.
- Unified security management through a single portal for all Cisco security products and services.
- Cisco Duo offers zero trust security solutions suitable for in-office, remote, or hybrid work environments.
- Flexible payment options are available, including a consumption-based model with no minimums or upfront fees.
- Cisco’s range of security products includes licenses for various security solutions and hardware like network switches and access points.
Best for in-depth security and compliance monitoring
Trustwave specializes in Security and Compliance Monitoring services, designed to assist security professionals in monitoring and detecting threats. Utilizing the Trustwave platform, clients can submit Log Data from supported devices for comprehensive collection, correlation, storage, investigation, and reporting.
Pros and cons
|Robust defense against sophisticated cyberthreats.
|Complexity can be challenging for beginners.
|Proactive measures to diminish vulnerabilities.
|Custom scanning available only to premium customers.
|Effective in identifying new risks and responding to incidents.
|May not be cost-effective for small or mid-sized businesses.
- Available upon request.
- Trustwave Fusion Platform offers centralized security and compliance monitoring for enhanced visibility and control.
- The company provides MDR services for proactive security threat monitoring.
- Specialized database security services are available for database protection and compliance.
- Trustwave offers advanced email security solutions to protect against email-based threats and phishing attacks.
- Services for penetration testing and vulnerability management help identify and mitigate IT environment vulnerabilities.
Best for customized IT and cybersecurity for growing businesses
With over two decades of experience, Switchfast Technologies, now part of Ascend Technologies, stands as a leading Managed Services Provider (MSP) in the United States. The company’s high client satisfaction rates are a testament to its comprehensive suite of MSP services, including robust managed security solutions. The strategic acquisitions of Infogressive and Doextra CRM Solutions have further enhanced Ascend’s capabilities, making it a top-tier MSSP in the industry.
Pros and cons
|Established reputation in cybersecurity and MSSP.
|Service costs require direct consultation.
|Team of expert security engineers.
|Potential integration challenges post-mergers.
|Round-the-clock customer support.
|Complimentary initial consultation.
|Diverse managed services portfolio.
|Rich cybersecurity resource library.
- Available upon request.
- Free 20-minute consultation offered.
- Comprehensive perimeter security with managed firewall, IDP, ATP, and WAF.
- Advanced email security against phishing and malware, including spam filtering and encryption.
- Thorough vulnerability management with automated and manual remediation processes.
- Endpoint security for all devices, featuring antivirus, antispyware, and HIDS/HIPS.
- 24/7 MDR service covering SIEM, threat hunting, and advanced detection.
Nomic (Formerly Sentinel IPS)
Best for cutting-edge network security and collective threat intelligence
Nomic Networks, previously known as Sentinel IPS, has been a significant player in the cybersecurity field since 1995. The company is acclaimed for its pioneering Network Cloaking technology and its role in leading the Collective Intelligence Network Security (CINS Army) initiative. This initiative is a collaborative effort among network security professionals to share and combat cybersecurity threats.
Pros and cons
|Long-standing experience in cybersecurity.
|Unexpected changes in pricing.
|Comprehensive managed security services.
|Some challenges in integration, particularly outside Azure.
|Advanced CINS Threat Intelligence Gateway.
|Extensive cybersecurity resource library.
|Continuous 24/7 support and daily security reports.
- Available upon request.
- Option for an instant demo.
- Network Cloaking technology for enhanced perimeter security and efficient threat mitigation.
- Sentinel Outpost utilizing CINS Threat Intelligence Gateway for proactive defense against inbound attacks and malware.
- Internal Intelligence for complete network visibility and vulnerability detection.
- Hybrid MDR service integrating technology, personnel, and processes for preemptive security issue resolution.
- Advanced Vulnerability Assessment with cutting-edge scanning solutions for public network security.
Best for holistic cybersecurity services with emphasis on threat protection
Cybriant stands out in the cybersecurity industry with its extensive suite of managed services, tailored to offer comprehensive and customizable security solutions. The company’s expertise is evident in its broad client base, spanning over 1,400 clients globally. Cybriant’s services range from Mobile Threat Defense to LIVE Monitoring and MDR, making it a versatile choice for organizations seeking robust cyber protection.
Pros and cons
|Diverse range of managed cybersecurity services.
|Ongoing development in cloud integrations.
|Advanced use of AI and machine learning in CybriantXDR.
|Need for careful assessment of service alignment with specific client needs.
|Extensive global client portfolio.
|24/7 monitoring and responsive incident response services.
|Comprehensive application security management.
- Available upon request.
- Free 30-day trial of MDR service offered.
- CybriantXDR integrates machine learning and AI with expert monitoring for preemptive malware detection and elimination.
- Managed SIEM provides enterprise-wide visibility, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, for rapid incident detection and response.
- MDR offers round-the-clock monitoring and incident response services.
- Vulnerability Management includes continuous scanning, patching, and reporting.
- Mobile Threat Defense with Standard and Advanced services for mobile device security against common and high-risk threats.
- Application Security ensures robust protection for enterprise applications.
Key features of managed security service provider services
MSSPs offer a range of features that cater to the diverse needs of enterprises in their quest for robust cybersecurity. While some features are well-known necessities, others are unique differentiators that can significantly enhance a company’s security posture.
Integrated Security Solutions
In the MSSP sector, Integrated Security Solutions refers to a cybersecurity approach that involves combining multiple aspects of security to establish a unified defense mechanism. The integration covers elements such as network security, endpoint protection, cloud security, identity management and threat intelligence.
The primary advantage of integrated security solutions lies in their capacity to offer a holistic view of an organization’s security posture. This enables effective detection, analysis and response to potential threats.
In an integrated setup, security tools and services operate in synergy rather than being isolated. They share information and insights with one another. This interconnectedness ensures that weaknesses identified in one area can be promptly addressed by strengths found in another area. Consequently the risk of breaches is significantly reduced.
For example, if a threat is identified at the network level, integrated systems can automatically initiate measures across endpoints and cloud environments. This not only enhances overall security but also simplifies management processes since organizations can oversee their entire security landscape through a single interface.
When selecting an MSSP provider it is recommended to prioritize those that offer integrated security solutions. By doing so, all facets of your cybersecurity will be adequately covered and able to function harmoniously together. As cyberthreats become increasingly sophisticated and interconnected in nature, this integration provides a robust defense mechanism against them.
Integrated solutions also have the advantage of being more economical in the long term as they eliminate the necessity for multiple security tools that are different from one another along with the costs associated with managing them separately. Essentially, integrated security solutions embody an strategic approach to cybersecurity, which is crucial, for contemporary businesses dealing with a range of ever changing digital risks.
Advanced Threat Protection
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is a critical feature offered by MSSPs. It involves the use of sophisticated tools and techniques to detect, analyze and respond to emerging cyberthreats that traditional security measures might miss. ATP often includes:
- Real-time monitoring
- Behavioral analysis
- Machine learning algorithms
These identify and mitigate threats such as zero-day attacks, ransomware, and advanced persistent threats (APTs). For businesses, ATP is vital as it provides a proactive stance against evolving cyberthreats, ensuring that their data and resources remain secure from sophisticated attacks.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
MDR services are a step beyond traditional monitoring, offering 24/7 surveillance of a company’s IT environment. MDR includes the identification of threats, immediate response to incidents, and ongoing support to remediate and recover from attacks.
MDR utilizes a combination of technology and human expertise to provide a comprehensive security approach. The significance of MDR lies in its ability to offer businesses peace of mind, knowing that their networks are continuously monitored and protected against cyberthreats — thus allowing them to focus on their core operations.
Vulnerability management is a proactive feature that involves the regular scanning, identification, and remediation of security vulnerabilities within an organization’s network. This feature is critical for maintaining the integrity and security of IT systems. It helps in preempting potential breaches by patching identified vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.
For businesses, this means enhanced security posture and reduced risk of data breaches, ensuring compliance with various regulatory standards and safeguarding their reputation.
As more businesses migrate to cloud environments, cloud security has become an indispensable feature of MSSPs. This service includes the protection of data, applications, and infrastructures involved in cloud computing. Features like encryption, access control, and secure data storage are part of this offering.
Cloud security is vital for businesses operating in the cloud as it ensures their data is protected against unauthorized access and other cyberthreats, while also maintaining compliance with data protection regulations.
Compliance management assists businesses in adhering to industry standards and regulatory requirements related to cybersecurity. MSSPs provide tools and expertise to ensure that a company’s security policies and procedures are in line with legal and regulatory frameworks like GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS.
This feature is significant for businesses as it not only helps in avoiding legal penalties but also plays a crucial role in building trust with customers and partners by demonstrating a commitment to data security and privacy.
Benefits of working with MSSPs
There are many reasons why you should consider using an MSSP. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Lack of time or resources: One of the most common reasons businesses use managed security services is that they lack time or personnel to manage their cybersecurity program effectively. When you outsource your IT security to an MSSP, you can free up your internal team to focus on other priorities.
- Focus on your core business: Another common reason companies use managed security services is to allow them to focus on their core business instead of IT security. By outsourcing your IT security, you can ensure that your cybersecurity program is in good hands while focusing on running your business.
- Around-the-clock monitoring and protection from cyberthreats: Cyberthreats don’t take a break, nor does a managed security service provider. MSSPs provide around-the-clock monitoring and protection from cyberthreats, so you can rest assured that your business is protected.
- Improve your company’s compliance posture: Many businesses use managed security services to improve their company’s compliance posture. By outsourcing your IT security, you can ensure that your cybersecurity program is up to date with the latest compliance requirements.
- Access to unique expertise and tools: Managed security service providers have access to special knowledge and tools that you may not have access to in-house. This can help you improve your cybersecurity program and better protect your business.
- Scalability: Managed security services are scalable, so you can increase or decrease the level of service you receive based on your needs. This allows you to tailor your managed security services to meet the specific needs of your business.
How to choose the best MSSP for your business
There are a variety of factors that go into selecting an MSSP that’s appropriate for your business’s unique needs, constraints, and use cases.
- Industry: When choosing an MSSP, it is important to consider the unique security needs and industry-specific challenges of your business. For organizations in highly regulated sectors, such as healthcare or finance, selecting an MSSP that specializes in comprehensive infrastructure management is vital to ensure adherence to stringent regulations. These providers are adept at navigating complex compliance landscapes, offering peace of mind and robust security.
- Size and scale: Large enterprises with extensive security requirements might prefer MSSPs that offer a wide range of advanced, all-encompassing services. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may benefit more from MSSPs that offer tailored solutions, striking a balance between advanced security and budget constraints. These providers understand the nuances of smaller operations and can offer personalized services that align with specific business needs. Finally, businesses with a strong focus on cloud-based infrastructures should look for providers with a robust cloud security offering.
- Cost and ROI: While cost is a significant consideration, it’s essential to evaluate the overall value an MSSP brings to your organization. Look for providers that offer competitive pricing — but also consider the long-term benefits and scalability of their services.
- Vendor reputation: Finally, the reputation and customer feedback of an MSSP are crucial indicators of their reliability and effectiveness. Opt for providers that have a proven track record of consistent performance and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions. Your choice should align with both your immediate security needs and your long-term business goals, ensuring a partnership that enhances your cybersecurity posture and supports the growth of your enterprise.
How we evaluated MSSP services
Our evaluation of MSSPs was a meticulous and multifaceted process, aimed at providing a comprehensive and unbiased overview of the leading companies in the industry. The primary source of our information was the official websites of the companies themselves. This direct approach ensured that we gathered the most accurate and up-to-date details about their services, features, and company ethos.
To supplement this primary data, we delved into secondary sources, including customer reviews and other reputable online resources. These sources provided valuable insights into user experiences, service effectiveness and customer satisfaction levels.
We then collated all of that information to evaluate each provider for the breadth, depth, quality, and dependability of their offerings, as well as their reputation, cost transparency, and customer support availability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a managed security service provider?
Managed security service providers (MSSPs) are a type of IT outsourcing that takes on various IT security-related responsibilities and reduces internal staffing requirements for clients. Managed security services can include any number of cybersecurity services depending on a provider’s abilities and the client’s unique requests.
MSSPs, in general, help to monitor IT compliance and network security 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By deploying required updates and handling security incidents, MSSPs can alleviate the pressure on in-house IT departments. With the assistance of a competent provider, businesses can reduce the burden on their internal IT teams.
A growing number of businesses are outsourcing IT services, including security, to a managed service provider. According to an analysis by Mordor Intelligence, the Global Managed Service Provider (MSP) industry was worth $161.37 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $311.32 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 12.44% over the period.
Organizations typically hire consultants to assess security requirements and decide whether key activities would benefit from onboarding an MSSP.
Who should use an MSSP?
The primary candidates for MSSP services are businesses that recognize the importance of robust cybersecurity but may lack the in-house expertise, resources, or infrastructure to manage it effectively. This includes companies in sectors where data security is paramount, such as finance, healthcare, and e-commerce.
However, the utility of MSSPs extends beyond these sectors, encompassing any organization that operates with sensitive data or relies heavily on digital operations.
For SMBs, MSSPs are particularly beneficial. These businesses often face the same security threats as larger corporations but without the same level of resources to combat them. An MSSP can provide SMBs with access to advanced security tools and expertise, leveling the playing field against cyberthreats.
Larger organizations, on the other hand, might opt for MSSP services to complement and enhance their existing security measures. In industries where compliance and regulatory requirements are stringent, MSSPs offer the added advantage of ensuring that businesses meet these standards, thereby mitigating legal and financial risks.
In essence, any organization seeking to fortify its cyber defenses, ensure compliance, and focus on its core business activities can benefit from partnering with an MSSP.
How to evaluate a managed security service provider?
Despite the maturity of the MSSP market, providers and clients don’t always have successful engagements. The problem comes down to poor shortlisting, unrealistic service expectations, and a lack of transparency around pricing models. Here are some factors you should consider when evaluating managed security service providers:
- Response to your Request for Proposal (RFP): The best way to make sure the provider understands your business and its specific needs is to outline your requirements in an RFP. Check how they respond to your RFP and whether they have responded to your specific requirements.
- Experience and reputation: Ask for references from other clients who have used the managed security services of the provider. In addition, check out reviews such as this one and other reputable sites.
- Technical capabilities: Ensure the MSSP has the technical capabilities to meet your specific needs. This includes the tools, processes, and people required to deliver the services you need.
- Solution design: The MSSP should be able to provide a detailed solution design that meets your specific requirements. This solution design should be backed up by experience and references.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA): The SLA sets forth the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. It outlines the nature of the service and how it is delivered, payment and billing terms, uptime guarantee, and what happens in the case of a service outage or contract dissolution.
- Backups, business continuity, and disaster recovery plans: Ensure the MSSP has a robust backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery plan. You should test this plan regularly to ensure it works as expected.
- Support response time: For all intents and purposes, an MSSP is an extension of your IT department. As such, the provider should have a fast and responsive support team. In addition, they should have an omnichannel support system that includes phone, email, and chat.
- Pricing policies: Some MSSPs have notoriously convoluted pricing models. Before signing a contract, understand the provider’s pricing policies. Never base your decision solely on price, though: focus on the long-term value you get for the price you pay.
Bottom line: Treat your MSSP as a security partner for the long haul
Selecting an MSSP is a pivotal decision today where cyberthreats loom large. Our evaluation, anchored in a blend of direct company data and customer feedback, is designed to empower enterprises with the knowledge to make informed choices. It underscores the importance of matching specific needs with an MSSP’s strengths, ensuring that the chosen cybersecurity partner is not just a provider, but a guardian in the ever-changing landscape of digital security.
Thinking of keeping your cybersecurity in house? Here are the best network security tools and software for enterprises to build out their security stack.