Along with the steady growth of ecommerce has come rising incidences of cybercrime. Indeed, one of the primary concerns most online consumers have is exposing personally identifiable financial information to theft. With hackers becoming steadily more sophisticated, staying ahead of them can be a full time job. If you don’t have the budget to support a team of people in this area, choosing a managed security service is likely to be your best move.

What Is A Managed Security Service?

Whether you sell electronics, sporting goods or pet food, managed security service providers help improve the safety of your site by monitoring your infrastructure in real time. If your site is hacked and it can be shown you failed to provide adequate protection, you can be held liable for losses, fined and sued. A good managed security service provider (MSSP) will free you up to focus on the core aspects of your business with the confidence that security is being handled by competent people who take your protection very seriously. Here’s what to look for.

Data Protection Expertise

The most sensitive area for an ecommerce business is likely to be customer financial information. When you’re interviewing MSSPs, ask probing questions to be certain they understand your specific needs. Have they worked with companies comparable in size and function to yours? How long have they been in business and can they cite specific instances in which they have neutralized threats? You want a company whose sole focus is MSS. A lot of IT companies offer it, but they tend to be less effective than companies whose specific focus is security.

Tailored Solutions

Look for end-to-end protection across all potentially vulnerable areas of your operation. In most cases, this is going to require dedicated solutions, out-of-box and plug-and-play approaches don’t usually cover everything. You’ll need a blanket of interconnected security protections to consistently send would-be looking for lower hanging fruit elsewhere. Also, keep in mind; data theft is just the tip of the iceberg. Cyber threats can take many different forms.

Dedicated Infrastructure

While it’s cool for you to outsource this function, you don’t want to hire someone who outsources it to someone else. Your MSSP should operate its own facility, which should be staffed and monitored 24 hours a day. After all, criminals tend to work nights and weekends. You want incidents spotted as early as possible and the efforts to mitigate them implemented at once.

A Readily Accessible Interface

Someone in your organization must be a responsible liaison to your MSSP. With this in mind, the best providers have solutions in place to deliver on-demand situation reports to your in-house security specialist. This usually takes the form of a “dashboard” where they (or you) can you see what’s happening in real time. This enables your designated staff to monitor your security bearing at a glance


Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Check with the chief Information Technology officer at organizations like yours for recommendations. When interviewing MSSP reps, ask them to provide concrete examples of where they’ve been effective for companies similar to yours. Look to see if they’ve received recognition from industry analysts and how they stack up in annual rankings. Ask what awards they’ve won.

Choosing a managed security service provider is an activity deserving of a great deal of personal scrutiny. After all, if your customers’ information is compromised your name will be splashed all over the internet – not the MSSP’s.