Managed Service Provider vs. Managed Security Services Provider

You care about the security of your business and the data of your customers, and you know how important it is to work with security operations providers you can trust. It can be hard to understand the difference between MSSPs and MSPs. As a busy professional, you know that your company has a Managed Service Provider, but you may not be sure of the difference between an MSP and an MSSP, or why your company needs both services. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two commonly confused assets to your business.

At Foresite, we’re here to work with you as your Managed IT Security Service Provider, meeting your technology infrastructure and security needs every step of the way. We know that keeping your customer and company data safe can be a challenge, and we’re happy to take the burden off of your hands. We’re constantly working to ensure that we stay on top of the latest security industry trends so that we can keep you safe in an ever-evolving field.

When you’re searching for the most effective service to handle the security of your business, there can be many factors to consider. Deciding between the two services can be tough, but we’re here to help you understand the difference between MSSPs and MSPs so that you can decide which makes the most sense for your business security needs. Let’s take a look at the main differences between a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).

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If you’re currently working with an MSP, you may have heard about your provider changing to an MSSP model. While some companies legitimately put in the work to complete the security requirements necessary to be a trustworthy MSSP, many purchase MSSP software without fully understanding how to utilize the technology. This is akin to purchasing gym equipment but never using it to work out. You may have the tools you need to get the job done, but if you aren’t using them properly, nothing will change.

MSPs and MSSPs are different services, and it takes more than purchasing software or hardware to make the change from one to the other. Let’s take a look at the main difference between MSSPs and MSPs, and then discuss which makes the most sense for your company’s IT needs.


A Managed Service Provider, or MSP, is there to manage and monitor the health of your business’s technology. This provider ensures that your company has what it needs to run smoothly. The work of an MSP affects both those inside and outside of the company. Your Managed Service Provider looks over your data and makes sure that it’s available and useful to both employees and customers who need it. When you have a problem accessing your data, or other technological issues, your MSP can work with you to make it right.

Your Managed Service Provider is focused mainly on technology administration. An MSP is in charge of granting permissions to employees based on their roles and responsibilities, onboarding new employees in your tech system, recording, and providing log data, and troubleshooting when there is an incident.  They can also work closely with your company’s database manager to provide the training and support that they need to do their job well.

When a company implements a new application, an effective MSP can help minimize onboarding issues. When there are tech performance issues or usability problems, your MSP can step in and take care of the issue, freeing up your IT staff to do other important work.

Your MSP is an important part of your IT solutions. They can provide infrastructure, application, and network security support. They aren’t the end all be all for your technology needs. To keep your data safe and secure, you need to implement an MSSP as well.


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If an MSP is the mayor of the internal technical workings of your company, an MSSP is a fortress surrounding your company, keeping your data safe. While an MSP can go a long way in making sure your employees can share data, they can use tech systems easily, and can get the data they need, an MSSP provides cybersecurity monitoring and management.

Employees and customers need different levels of access to your data. Your MSSP can make these customizations in order to keep your business secure and ensure only the clients who need to view your data have access. Whether all employees need access to only specific types of data, or if certain employees and customers can be grouped to get access in the same way, your MSSP will work with you to devise solutions to keep your data away from people who should not have access.

While an MSP is focused on usability and performance, an MSSP is focused on security. Your MSSP is responsible for preventing, detecting, and responding to threats before they wreak havoc on your data. Sadly, data breaches are common in this day and age. A breach can ruin a customer’s trust and a company’s reputation. It’s key for the success of your business that you keep your data protected from outside eyes. 

An MSSP also understands that there are many security and privacy regulations that companies must follow. MSSPs are experts at ensuring a company is doing all that it needs to do to comply with regulations. This can be a huge weight off of your company and can free up your legal and IT teams to focus on other activities to move your business forward. Foresite is here to provide many services to your business, including customized solutions, security monitoring and alerting, threat intelligence, security device management, and incident response through our ProVision platform.


We understand that no two companies are alike. Foresite will work with your IT staff to create a solution that fits your needs. We can co-manage or fully manage your business’s security with our managed security services, which are designed to help businesses secure their critical assets while saving money and freeing up resources so that you can focus on the core of your business

Tristin Zeman

Tristin Zeman is the Digital Marketing Manager at Foresite. For the past 10 years, she has helped organizations of all sizes create and scale marketing programs through digital and traditional marketing channels and efficient marketing operations.

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