SOC vs MSSP: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Solution

February 27, 2024
SOC vs MSSP: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Solution

Cybersecurity threats are increasing exponentially, and businesses must prioritize protecting themselves. Picking the correct security solution can be a challenge. This blog will discuss the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of Security Operations Centers (SOCs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs), two of the most essential solutions for enhancing your security posture. Understanding the differences between these services can take time and effort. Let's break it down and guide you in choosing the right cybersecurity option.


What is a SOC?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is the centralized hub within an organization responsible for continuously monitoring, defending, and responding to cyberattacks. SOCs exist to provide protection needs and to help the business or enterprise realize its overall vision and mission.


A SOC typically includes:

People: Highly skilled security analysts, incident responders, and threat hunters.

Processes: Established procedures for identifying, analyzing, responding to, and mitigating security threats and incidents.

Technology: Advanced security tools for threat detection, log analysis, vulnerability & threat management, and more.


What is an MSSP?

A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is a third-party company that delivers cybersecurity services to businesses. MSSPs exist to provide affordable options for small to medium-sized companies to deal with legal, regulatory, compliance, and security risk management requirements, IT/corporate governance, policies, procedures, etc., essentially helping with overall security management.


MSSPs offer a range of services, including:

Monitoring and Alerting: Remote monitoring of your IT systems for security events and potential threats.

Vulnerability Management: Scanning for vulnerabilities and assisting with patching and remediation.

Firewall and Intrusion Prevention: Security infrastructure management to protect your network perimeter.


Key Differences Between SOC and MSSP:

Ownership: An in-house SOC is owned and operated by the organization itself. An MSSP is an external provider.

Expertise: Building an in-house SOC requires finding and retaining specialized cybersecurity talent, which can be expensive and challenging. MSSPs have a dedicated pool of security experts.

Cost: Establishing an in-house SOC often involves significant upfront personnel, technology, and infrastructure costs. MSSPs generally operate on a subscription model, potentially offering more predictable expenses.


Choosing the Right Solution

The best option for your business depends on several factors:

Budget: MSSPs might offer a more cost-effective solution if budgets are limited.

Technical Resources: If your organization lacks in-house cybersecurity expertise, an MSSP can fill that gap.

Control: In-house SOCs offer maximum control and customization but require more investment and management.

Compliance: Regulations in your industry might mandate specific security controls best achieved through an in-house SOC.


Making Your Decision

Choosing between a SOC and an MSSP is about finding the right balance of control, expertise, and cost that aligns with your business needs. If you require expert cybersecurity management without a significant upfront investment, an MSSP might be the best choice. An in-house SOC can provide comprehensive protection if you prioritize complete control over your security and have the resources.


How Can We Help?

CybeRise specializes in SOC advisory services. We can help you assess your cybersecurity needs, design and implement a SOC tailored for you or find the perfect MSSP partner. Contact us today for a free consultation.