Managed security service provider (MSSP) vs. managed service provider (MSP)


Businesses are increasingly dependent on third-party service providers for mission-critical services. This may include services related to managed IT services, SaaS, finance and accounting, customer service support, human resources administration, and security monitoring services, to name a few.

Organizations of all sizes are outsourcing some or all of their cyber security to managed security service providers (MSSP) more frequently than ever because they are dealing with increased and complex risks to their environments. They are falling prey to cyberattacks despite having devoted IT professionals on staff because cyber threat actors continue to refine their strategies and can occasionally get around even the most advanced security measures.

A technology company known as an MSSP offers cybersecurity services to businesses and organizations. MSSPs can manage your security infrastructure, host security services, deploy cybersecurity hardware and software, and offer information security (IS) services. They offer outsourced security device and system management and monitoring; in some circumstances, they can take preventative measures against compromising your IT systems.

Working with an MSSP is chosen by organizations for a variety of reasons. Some may need security monitoring and management outside of regular business hours because they lack the internal resources or knowledge for a particular security area. An MSSP may be sought after by other organizations to perform security audits or to respond to and look into incidents.

Other reasons for hiring an MSSP include the following:

  • Scaling up security
  • Adding layers of internal security to fill in some gaps
  • Putting into practice/integrating your IT infrastructure’s/customized architecture’s third-party security solutions and technologies
  • Improving threat visibility while accelerating a security response

The services that an MSSP can provide include:

  • Managing firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), threat defense technologies, and VPNs
  • Managing Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) tools
  • Continuous device and system monitoring
  • Managed Detection and response (MDR) Services, including monitoring, detecting, alerting, and managing the response to potential attacks on your system
  • Overseeing patch management and upgrades of security equipment and software
  • Performing security assessments and security audits
  • Conducting vulnerability tests and threat scans to provide recommendations and advice on cybersecurity solutions
  • Security Awareness Training
  • Operationalizing threat intelligence

Difference between MSSP and MSP

A managed service provider (MSP) and an MSSP differ. While the MSSP is in charge of cyber security, an MSP offers IT management services. An MSP might have its network operation center (NOC) to ensure that the customer’s IT operations run smoothly. They manage every aspect of an organization’s IT through a subscription model, though they might not include security-related monitoring in that service.

However, some MSPs provide endpoint, network, and cloud security services. Find out which security services an MSP provides if you contract with them. An MSSP sets up one or more security operations centers (SOCs), which are in charge of keeping an eye on and safeguarding the infrastructure security of their clients.

Following are some of the key differences between MSSP and MSP.


  • Focus on IT security operations.
  • Provides security monitoring and defense. Ensures that IT systems are always protected. It can include scanning and analyzing threats and Managed Detection and Response (MDR).
  • Provides specialized security tool integration and support.
  • Provides security operations support, including detection, alerting, and possible response.
  • Provides incident management and ensures business continuity and disaster recovery.


  • Focus on baseline IT operations such as Help desk, endpoint management, backup management, networks, and firewalls management.
  • Monitors networks and IT infrastructure to ensure they are running smoothly.
  • Manages, updates, and maintains network systems and provides IT solutions and support.
  • Provides IT operation support and services, including help desk.
  • Provides maintenance, bug fixes, and updates after a threat detection.

In a nutshell, the focus of an MSP is IT administration, whereas an MSSP offers cyber security support.