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Habits Of A Healthy SIEM Service Provider Relationship

10/10/19 10:00 AM  |  by RedLegg Blog

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Launching a well-developed and adequately formatted SIEM platform requires time, effort, and most importantly, experience. Because of this, many organizations choose to work with a managed security services provider (MSSP) to help offload many of the responsibilities associated with SIEM implementation and to benefit from industry-specific expertise.

But while working with a specialized service provider can be beneficial for growing organizations, it's crucial first to establish clear guidelines on how the relationship is expected to move forward.

Choosing to allow a third party to access, manage, and monitor your business security should never be taken lightly. It requires thorough vetting and careful consideration of the MSSP's level of involvement when implementing new services and solutions on your behalf. 

At RedLegg, we've been helping organizations develop real results with their security initiatives for years while giving them the peace of mind knowing that all of their mission-critical needs are fulfilled. Our experience operating co-managed SIEM services has given us a real understanding of what it takes to build and maintain healthy SIEM partnerships and how to adequately prepare a relationship for success.

Here are four healthy habits that your organization can follow when establishing a co-managed SIEM relationship with your service provider.

1. Communicate clearly from both ends.

All healthy working relationships are built on the pillar of clear and effective two-way communication. And for an organization who's looking to protect its own security interests, this responsibility shouldn't be taken lightly.

When establishing a relationship with a MSSP, you should not be afraid to set your expectations early in the relationship when it comes to the amount of involvement needed. This not only helps to keep everyone on the same page when automating integration processes, but it's an essential part of vetting the relationship to see if it will be sustainable long-term. 

Sharing your organizational goals with your MSSP will help ensure that all services they provide are strategically aligned. This is also an essential step to notifying your partner if and when certain activities may impact operations and how they can mitigate disruption.

To effectively support your IT environment, transparency is critical. By providing a full picture of your expectations along with the details of your business infrastructure, you'll ensure that you maintain healthy two-way communication that builds a successful partnership. 

2. Provide feedback.

Partnering with a managed security services provider is an investment in the health and sustainability of your organization, and it should always be viewed as such. As with any investment, you get what you put into it, and this includes providing feedback, good or bad, about the service you're receiving.

Providing ongoing feedback regarding security services as well as the quality of your SIEM investigations only helps to improve the relationship between you and your MSSP, and any quality service provider will welcome it. There is nothing that sets an organization's security initiatives back further than inadequate security services or operational processes that are misaligned. 

When using a co-managed SIEM solution, feedback also plays a vital role in maximizing productivity and improving efficiency. There are a lot of moving pieces when integrating a SIEM solution, and many of these pieces directly or indirectly affect how your organization manages its day-to-day operations. The last thing you want to do is take one step forward and two steps back when balancing the security needs of your business with its growth potential.

By keeping in close contact with your MSSP and advising them of how your solution is working, it will help to to make sure the services you're investing in don't become burdensome. 

3. Perform collaborative, proactive tuning.

If you decide to invest in a co-managed SIEM solution, your team is just as much a part of its management process as your MSSP is. This collaboration is one of the best ways to get the most out of your SIEM technology and will help you harden your security processes while ensuring seamless company-wide integrations.

During the setup process, it's important to establish internal teams who will play an active roll in the proactive tuning of SIEM processes, automations, escalations, and investigations. While this service will also be provided by your MSSP, by combining forces, you'll be able to maximize the effectiveness of your solution.

While every co-managed SIEM solution can be calibrated based on the level of control and visibility your organization needs, both parties should be ready to tune the solution on both ends proactively. This includes reacting to escalations and alerts as they arise and working closely with MSSP experts to minimize false positives and inefficiencies. Maintaining close working relationships with your MSSP team will also help to maximize your disaster recovery initiatives if there is a breach or other large-scale events that require quick remediation. 

4. Trust the subject matter experts.

Of course, one of the most significant benefits of working with a managed security services provider is the expertise they bring to your organization. While your business security is an integral part of sustaining your business growth, there is only so much time you can dedicate to it. For MSSPs, security is all they do, and they do it very well. It's crucial to capitalize on this experience when working with a managed security service provider and give them the flexibility they need to consult on all areas of your business security. When MSSPs have a full picture of all your security needs, they can give you sound advice on how to create the most effective security solutions and services.

Managed security services providers work with multiple organizations in a variety of industries and have years of experience implementing SIEM solutions for their customers. This is incredibly important when working with providers who need to clearly understand how to maintain regulatory compliance standards as well as how to support business continuity. Managed security services providers have dedicated teams who are well-trained in improving SIEM performance, adding correlation rules, creating and monitoring network monitoring solutions, and hardening organizations' cybersecurity posture.

By trusting these subject matter experts, you'll get more value and use out of your SIEM technology and be better positioned to protect your organization against today's most advanced cybersecurity threats.

If you feel your relationship with your SIEM service provider is murky, try establishing your own ground rules or needs, and don’t forget to give some feedback.

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Or read more about RedLegg's co-managed SIEM service, our co-managed SIEM case studies, and the true cost of managed SIEM.

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