IT outsourcing encompasses a great many different functions that can help businesses to lower their costs and become leaner operations. One of the most useful of these functions is managed security services, sometimes simply referred to as managed security. There are several different ways managed security can help to create a more robust computing environment.
Vulnerability and Penetration Testing
This function makes use of both software scans and simulated hacking attacks in order to determine what vulnerabilities that exist in a system. Only then can those vulnerabilities be addressed with additional or more advanced software and hardware systems designed to better secure the company's network and information assets. This type of testing does not usually incorporate a network-wide security assessment, but instead concentrates on the perimeter and the ability for outsiders to make their way inside without proper authorization.
Penetration testing can be a one-time event, but IT companies usually wish to take a more robust approach that involves periodic random testing using remote access in order to get a much better picture of the network's strengths and weaknesses over time.
Another remote service is perimeter management, in which firewalls and other systems such as Virtual Private Networks and intrusion detection systems are installed and upgraded. Perimeter management also includes the IT company managing configuration settings remotely so that both hardware and software function at peak levels of performance to secure the system.
Most people in the business world think of this first when they hear the term ‘managed security’. Remote monitoring generally takes place on a continuous basis in order to keep track of important system events and interpret them to determine if they pose a risk to the company's information systems or data.
Remote monitoring involves tracking all unauthorized behavior on the network as well as tracking inbound connections that may consist of hacking attempts of denial of service attacks. This category of managed security also includes analysis of security trends inside the system so that troublesome patterns can be identified and remediated as quickly as possible.
Remote Compliance Monitoring
IT services providing managed security can also encompass compliance monitoring, in which software is constantly scanning the network for changes so that anomalous ones that do not meet the company's official policies can be flagged immediately. For example, if a system administrator grants himself or herself additional security privileges, this should be noted immediately in case the level of access is too high for the job functions the individual needs to perform.