The secure switch to an IT security service provider (MSSP)


Today more than ever, companies of all sizes face a major challenge:

Not only do you need to find and retain IT staff with yesterday's expertise, but you also need to turn them into subject matter experts in tomorrow's technology.

The outsourcing of IT tasks to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP)

An increasingly popular solution to this is outsourcing IT to external providers. These teams, from IT operations to developers, are outsourced for many reasons. For example, internal resources may be too expensive, the complexity of the task may exceed scalability, or it may be difficult to find and retain an SME for each type of platform.

Outsourcing routine IT tasks to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) enables organizations to focus on strategic initiatives with higher business value. MSSPs provide comprehensive security stack platform analysis and management, including IDS/IPS, SIEM and behavioral analytics. This sounds like a successful extension of one's capabilities and, on the surface, bridges any challenges.

MSPs and MSSPs can detect threats and respond quickly to security incidents

MSP and MSSP services provide comprehensive protection against downtime, disruptions, and compliance issues that can be caused by security breaches. Thanks to state-of-the-art tools and the associated knowledge advantage, they can detect threats and respond immediately to security incidents. Managed service providers handle tasks such as network, server, and system maintenance, administrative activities, and technical support.

Third-party managed IT increases the number of possible access points

There is significant risk in handing over keys to an outsourced team. Keep in mind that managed service providers and their employees likely support a large number of different organizations. However, these same employees have direct privileged access to customer systems, applications, platforms, infrastructure, SaaS, IaaS and more.

Managed service providers (MSPs) have to keep hiring new employees and training them to meet the demands of their customers. If a company trusts the MSP and awards it the contract, it expects the MSP to demonstrate and adhere to all compliance requirements.

This is where it gets interesting:

When we talk about remote access being set up, that's very interesting. Any MSP that is tasked with the Managed Platform Support needs administrative or privileged access for any platform that they are responsible for. And since these tasks are now being performed by a third party, this inevitably means that remote access is being enabled. But what about permissions for the MSSP in this case.

A balancing act between efficiency and negligence

Authentication requires the creation or sharing of usernames, passwords, and access keys. MSPs have to create a separate account for each employee who needs access to the platform and delete it when the service ends? Of course not, unless this is contractually agreed upon. MSP employees can use a shared account or create one for each platform.

Especially when an account is used by multiple people, it is difficult to track down the "culprits". The audit logs only show the actions on the account, but not who just gained access. It is the MSP's responsibility to prove this through audits and logs. But what's stopping MSP employees from seeing sensitive data while performing their duties for multiple companies? These are human beings who can make mistakes. How can you be sure they won't accidentally break something? SaaS, IaaS, SecaaS, etc. have made everything more complicated because the data center is now outside of an area you can control. MSPs also have to hire and retrain new staff, which increases headcount.

When an external service provider such as an MSP is responsible for securing access, this presents a major challenge. To overcome this, the following measures can be taken: - improve communication and collaboration with the MSP, - rethink and adapt internal processes, - delegate more responsibility to the MSP.

To create a secure work environment, it is imperative that MSPs follow security protocols. These include the zero-trust security model, just-in-time (JIT) access and least privilege. However, enforcing these is not always easy - especially if not every application, server, service or platform has appropriate capabilities.

Not every user working on the same platform needs the same privileged access

Session recording shows what the connected user did, but not who the user was, unless they have a unique authenticated account. If there are individual accounts, the question is what they can access and what data is visible. Not everyone working on the same platform needs the same access. Introduce segregation of duties and only give users access to the data and applications that are relevant to the completion of their task. Finally, connectivity requires remote access. Therefore, modern authentication measures should be in place for remote access.


VISULOX Privileged Access Management takes the approach to securing systems and networks where only authorized users can access sensitive information and systems.

A privilege management system in which permissions for access to specific systems or resources are assigned based on the roles and rights of users. VISULOX Privileged Access Management includes the following aspects, among others:

  • Identity and access management: This ensures that only authorized users can access the protected systems and information. This includes measures such as authentication, authorization and audit.
  • Privilege security: This aspect deals with securing privileges required to access protected systems. This includes, among other things, controlling access to administrative accounts and managing passwords and authentication information.
  • Monitoring and control: To ensure that privileges are used responsibly, appropriate monitoring and control mechanisms must be implemented. These include audit functions and the option of restricting access to protected systems in terms of time or space.

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