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Which type of "Service Provider" should I choose?


A Managed Service Provider (MSP) and a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) are third-party providers offering different services. An MSP provides a wide range of IT operations and infrastructure management services. On the other hand, an MSSP is solely focused on providing cybersecurity services, usually operating from a Security Operations Center (SOC)1.

While MSPs can include security in their services, their offerings are not as comprehensive as those of an MSSP. 
MSSPs are dedicated to providing extensive security services, whereas MSPs generally offer IT services with some baseline security services1.

Here are some key differences between MSPs and MSSPs:
  • Area of focus: MSPs focus on IT management services, while MSSPs concentrate on cybersecurity services.
  • Goals: MSPs aim to improve daily business efficiency and productivity, enable the scaling of client operations, and ensure the health and maintenance of the network and systems. However, they also aim to stop breaches and decrease risk, ensure systems are up-to-date and meet compliance standards, continuously monitor and protect infrastructure, and respond to system intrusions.
  • Cybersecurity: MSPs typically provide baseline cybersecurity service offerings such as system and email monitoring and application patching. MSSPs provide comprehensive and advanced cybersecurity services such as endpoint and network protection, threat detection and response, threat intelligence, threat hunting, and other cybersecurity offerings.
  • Operations: MSPs operate out of a Network Operations Center (NOC), while MSSPs operate out of a Security Operations Center (SOC).
  • Common functions: MSPs offer technical support, remote work monitoring, end-user management, help-desk services, cloud migration, optimizing business operations, and automation. 
    They also provide 24/7 security monitoring, threat detection and intelligence, reporting, auditing, and compliance, access and identity management, endpoint security management, and security awareness training NOC services.

As businesses increasingly rely on high-speed internet and remote devices, a scalable and well-functioning IT infrastructure has become crucial. MSPs meet this need by delivering a wide range of IT services primarily focused on supporting the administration of their client’s systems, databases, and applications to facilitate smooth day-to-day operations1.