Weighing the Value of Managed Security

A shortage of skilled personnel is one of the most serious issues affecting security managers today. Add in challenges in maintaining a complete Security Operations Center (SOC) and the result can be gaps in cyber defense. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services offer a viable, economical way to counter these drivers of risk. CRITICALSTART is one of the top MDR Services, and this article looks at some of the benefits, which are based on CRITICALSTART customer reviews on IT Central Station.

Saving time and improving team productivity

IT Central Station members highlighted how managed security saves them time. For example, Preston B., a Director of Information Technology at Kirby Corporation, a logistics company with more than 5,000 employees, explained, “The most valuable part of the service is the time saved. CRITICALSTART helps with so many of these alerts that my team and I don’t get alert fatigue. It saves us time to concentrate on the more important things.”

He quantified the savings, estimating that the service saves his team 10 to 15 hours per week. In addition, he said, “The Trusted Behavior Registry helps resolve alerts in the sense that CRITICALSTART is doing a lot of that initial triage for me. Out of a given 500,000 events and alerts, for example, that come through, they’re taking out 495,000 of them.” A CISO at a hospitality company with over 1,000 employees acknowledged that the Trusted Behavior Registry resolves so many alerts that his team deals with less than 5 percent of the total.

Ryan C., a Vice President, Security at StackPath, a tech vendor with more than 50 employees, had a similar experience, noting that CRITICALSTART saves time by taking care of Tier-1 and Tier-2 triage. “In terms of time saved,” he said, “I’ve always assumed that if we did this ourselves, I’d have to have a 24/7 staff or at least a few shifts throughout the day to cover the amount of things that would have to be researched and looked at.” Lynn R., a Director of IT at Solana, a small tech vendor, found a time savings of around 10 hours a week through tier one and tier two triage.

Staying secure while on the go

Security team members are not always on-site, yet their work doesn’t stop just because they went out to lunch. A managed service that enables mobile connectivity for team members provides a real advantage. As Solana’s Lynn R put it, “The CRITICALSTART mobile app is a nice way to get quick access to something when I don’t have access to the full system. It’s a good way of accessing all the data that I would need when I’m remote. The mobile app gives me more comfort in that I will be alerted if there is something going on, even when I’m remote.”

“Their mobile app is actually our preferred method of interacting with them,” said Dmitri C., a Director of Infrastructure and IT at an energy/utilities company with more than 50 employees. “We get notifications and can reply to tickets on-the-go. I don’t think there’s any other solution that offers such a thing. It’s super-useful. Everybody’s got a web portal, but this mobile app is quite something. It’s pretty cool.” A Cyber Security Manager at an energy/utilities company with over 1,000 employees echoed this sentiment, saying the mobile app offered the ability to close review tickets or alerts on a smartphone and interact with engineers on the service provider’s side via the app.

Maintaining full transparency

Trust is the foundation of a successful relationship between a security service provider and its customers. One way to build trust is to enable clients to see everything that the service provider is doing, along with being transparent about what’s happening on system backends. In this context, the hospitality CISO remarked, “I feel I have full transparency to their SOC. Anything I want to go look at, I can do so. I can see all of the comments and discussions that the SOC team has on behalf of us. I have full transparency.”

Other comments about the value of transparency included:

  • “When it comes to the transparency of data in the platform, everything is there if we want to look at it. It’s very trustworthy. It gives us confidence in the decision-making process because we see how things are done. It gives us peace of mind.” – Dmitri C
  • “They were able to amplify the type of alerts that we were getting in a way that gave us better and more visibility than we were receiving beforehand.” – Cyber Security Manager at an energy/utilities company with over 1,000 employees
  • “In terms of transparency, it seems like all the data is available to us. It affects our security by allowing us to see what they are doing in terms of filtering and making sure that we agree with all the filters that they’re adding.” – Lynn R

Keeping to SLA Commitments

Adhering to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is another essential factor required to build trust and confidence between security service providers and their customers. In the case of CRITICALSTART, their contract specifies a penalty if they miss their SLA. This mattered to customers, such as Charles F., a Senior Director of IT Security at a financial services firm with more than 500 employees. He said, “There are contractual penalties if their SLAs are not met. This commitment was very important in our decision to go with this service because not having downtime is extremely important to us.” In his case, the provider had not missed an SLA in the 18 months they have worked with them. Dmitri C. stated, “They haven’t missed an SLA in two years.”

Managed security is all about delivering service and establishing long-term relations based on mutual respect. It’s like any business relationship in that regard, but with security, the stakes are quite high. For this reason, some IT Central Station members appreciated a vendor with integrity. As the hospitality CISO shared, “I would rate the customer support, post-deployment, as highly as it can be rated. Their focus on doing the right thing for the customer is how you would hope that every company you deal with would respond to customers. They are 100 percent focused on doing the right thing for the customer, and they back it up. I’ve seen that multiple times.”

To learn more about what real users think of CRITICALSTART, visit IT Central Station.

Additional Resources:

Are you considering a Managed Detection and Response Service as part of your overall security infrastructure?  Learn how to deploy an MDR platform that can protect any business in the guide to Managed Detection and Response.

Dive into Infosec Reborn, a new playbook to understand, adapt, and overcome in the hyper-sophisticated threat environment of today’s world.

Ready to talk to an MDR Expert?  Contact us today.


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