Managed Security Services: What They Are and How They Work

Published on
October 13, 2023
Managed Security Services: What They Are and How They Work
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In today's escalating cyber threat landscape, businesses can no longer rely solely on in-house resources and point security tools to protect their critical assets and data. To effectively defend against sophisticated attacks and ever-evolving risks, organizations need around-the-clock monitoring, advanced threat detection, and prompt incident response. This requires specialized skills, technologies, and dedicated resources that are difficult for internal teams to match.

Managed Security Services (MSS) provide the answer through outsourcing cybersecurity operations and management to dedicated providers like Level Up Security. MSS delivers continuously vigilant security, expert-led threat hunting, and rapid response - all tailored to an organization's environment. This enables companies to proactively strengthen cyber defenses and focus internal efforts on core business goals.

In this article, we’ll examine what managed security services entail, their benefits, various MSS delivery models, and key factors in selecting a provider like Level Up Security. By partnering with competent MSS providers, organizations can effectively counter intensifying threats, address talent gaps, and operate more confidently by minimizing cyber disruptions.

An Overview of Managed Security Services

Managed security services encompass outsourcing the operation, monitoring, and management of IT security solutions to dedicated security specialists. 

Core components of MSS include:

  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Monitoring – 24/7 monitoring of networks, endpoints, logs, applications, cloud environments, and other systems to detect potential incidents and malicious activity.
  • Threat Detection and Alerting – Use of specialized tools and threat intelligence to identify indicators of compromise and generate alerts on high-risk threats warranting action.
  • Vulnerability Scanning and Assessment – Regular vulnerability scans and risk assessments to identify security gaps and ensure proper patching and configuration of systems.
  • Incident Response – Expert investigation of alerts to confirm and characterize incidents. Containment, eradication, and recovery guidance for confirmed events.
  • Compliance Reporting – Reviews, audits and reports demonstrating compliance with security standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.

By leveraging dedicated MSS providers like Level Up Security, organizations can implement a complete security operations and response capability tailored to their needs without having to build extensive in-house expertise and infrastructure.

The Benefits of Leveraging Managed Security Services

Seeking help through MSS makes sense for most companies given the complexity and resources required to secure modern IT environments. 

Specific benefits include:

  • Superior Threat Detection – 24/7 monitoring by specialized security analysts and use of advanced analytics and threat intelligence enables the identification of more sophisticated and stealthy attacks.
  • Skills and Staff Augmentation – Gain access to elite security skills without having to build an extensive internal team. MSS closes talent gaps.
  • Faster Incident Response – Security experts can respond to and investigate incidents more swiftly to mitigate impact. Most organizations struggle with effective incident handling.
  • Lower Cost – Centralized security management and cloud-based solutions provide economies of scale. Saves over hiring staff.
  • Regulatory Compliance – Services like assessments help demonstrate compliance with security frameworks and regulations.
  • Consolidated View and Tooling – Unified visibility through integrated SIEM technology and centralized dashboard reporting on environment security.
  • Business Focus – By reducing the operational burden, internal IT staff can concentrate on advancing strategic initiatives rather than security maintenance.

The capabilities and economies of scale attainable through MSS partners provide compelling advantages for resource-constrained security teams.

Evaluating Different Managed Security Delivery Models

MSS providers like Level Up Security typically offer a range of service tiers and delivery models to match organizational needs and budgets:

  • Fully Outsourced SOC – This involves entirely outsourcing security operations, analysis, monitoring, and response to an MSS provider’s SOC. They manage and monitor customer environments using their own central cybersecurity platform, staff, and processes.
  • Hybrid SOC – In this model, the provider’s SOC jointly monitors the environment along with the customer’s in-house SOC using a shared technology stack. Work is distributed between the partner and internal team.
  • Technology Managed Services – Rather than outsourcing the SOC and staff, these services manage and monitor third-party security tools implemented in the customer's own environment. Services to operate tools like firewalls, endpoint detection and response (EDR), web gateways, email security, and more.
  • MDR (Managed Detection and Response) – With MDR, clients maintain internal SOC and security operations. The provider offers advanced threat monitoring, detection, investigation and response capabilities to augment the customer's existing resources.
  • Co-Managed Security – This blends customer and provider SOCs and resources. Shared authority over operations, but provider manages most monitoring and technology.

The optimal MSS model depends on a company’s specific resources, risk tolerance and compliance needs. Engaging an MSS partner enables scaling cyber defenses to align with requirements and the threat landscape.

Selecting the Right Managed Security Partner

Just as all MSS providers are not equal in capabilities and service offerings, neither is every provider a fit for every client. 

Organizations should evaluate partners like Level Up Security based on factors like:

  • Expertise and Experience – Years securing environments similar to yours. Staff certifications. Institutional knowledge. Threat intel capabilities. Ability to tailor offerings to your industry.
  • Delivery Capability Alignment – Assess monitoring, detection, assessment, and response services for adequacy. Infrastructure scale, support model, SLAs, etc.
  • Security Tooling and Integration – Review native and third-party monitoring, analytics, and response platforms. API and infrastructure integration options.
  • Compliance Coverage – Ability to support compliance with standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, etc. through managed services.
  • Reporting and Metrics – Quality and transparency of monitoring, alerting, incident, and compliance reports provided. Metrics visibility.
  • Customer Support Model – Service desk availability and responsiveness. Communication and escalation pathways.
  • Cost and Contract Flexibility – Pricing model alignment to needs and predictability. Contract terms and satisfaction guarantees.

A top-tier MSS partner intrinsically understands their client’s environment and risk exposures. They become an extension of the internal team.

Real-World Managed Security Service Scenarios

To appreciate the real-world value of MSS, it helps to look at some common scenarios where businesses turn to these partners:

  • Fuel Rapid Growth – Fast-scaling companies gain instant security and compliance capabilities without detracting internal resources from core objectives. MSS provides elastic cyber defenses.
  • Plug Security Talent Gaps – Organizations that struggle to attract and retain top security professionals can effectively fill skills gaps in threat monitoring, incident response, and more through MSS partners.
  • Regulatory Mandates – Some regulations require demonstrating continuous monitoring and response capabilities. MSS offers built-in compliance services.
  • Modernize Legacy Security – MSS provides faster, more effective protection by adding advanced analytics, threat intelligence, and centralized visibility without ripping out legacy investments.
  • Improve Incident Response – Organizations with immature internal response capabilities leverage partners to contain and remediate incidents they can't handle alone.
  • Top Off Internal Team – Rather than completely outsourcing security, MSS augments and relieves pressure on existing overburdened security staff.
  • Secure Remote Workforces – MSS provides unified visibility and protection for distributed, remote workers that strain IT security teams.

The use cases for strategic MSS partnerships are nearly endless in today’s complex, distributed business environments facing sophisticated threats.

Why Work with Level Up Security for Managed Security

At Level Up Security, managed security is in our DNA. We take an integrated, risk-focused approach to designing MSS tailored to each client’s unique environment, threats, and compliance obligations. Our team of seasoned cybersecurity veterans has real-world experience securing highly complex Fortune 500 environments. Clients gain access to mature processes and cutting-edge tech like security automation, machine learning, and threat hunting without costly capital investments. Companies see faster threat detection, superior response, and 24/7 protection without added headcount. Learn more about Level Up Securityx’s end-to-end managed security solutions that provide the visibility, control and protection modern businesses demand by contacting us today.


Cyber risks will only intensify as attack techniques grow more advanced. Businesses need security leaders not simply maintaining defenses, but continuously strengthening protection, threat visibility, speed of response and resilience. Through specialized providers, Managed Security Services enable organizations to effectively counter risks, close resource and skills gaps, demonstrate diligence, and focus on business imperatives. MSS delivers enterprise-class cybersecurity capabilities tailored to organizations’ unique requirements and risk exposures. By selecting partners strategically based on capabilities and fit, companies can operate confidently even in turbulent threat environments.