MSP vs MSSP: What's the Difference

Data is arguably one of the most important (and sensitive) information that a business owns – it is a responsibility to keep this data safe, and one way to help that is to work with a security operations provider.

As far as technology security goes, there are two options; managed service provider (MSP) and managed security service provider (MSSP).

Both of these cybersecurity options have their own benefits and downsides, however, partnering with an MSSP organization offers access to the cybersecurity expertise and extra capabilities required.


An MSP (managed service provider) and an MSSP (managed security service provider) both help your businesses’ connected devices stay protected from security concerns.

We live in a digital age, with much of our commerce being operated thanks to online solutions that require the storage of sensitive data (customers & staff data). 

Subsequently, this data is valuable and prone to cyberattacks or security breaches.

The bigger or more ‘valuable’ your company is, generally the more prone you are to cyber attacks – but, that said, businesses of all sizes are prone to cybersecurity risks and these risks must be mitigated by any means necessary.

Your customers’ information is an asset, one that must be secured the same way your capital and funds must be held safe; it is an essential part of modern business operations, and this area of running a company should never be overlooked.

So, MSP and MSSP are both ways that are used to help businesses in their daily operations – one of the ways in which these service providers help is with cybersecurity.

Let’s take a look at what cybersecurity managed service providers and managed security service providers are.

What Is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider offers businesses network, infrastructure, application, and security with the support that takes place in the customers’ space.

MSP’s are a ‘third-party’ company that is hired by businesses to help with day-to-day management operations – these services are brought in to add value and assist with the running of a company.

What Does Managed Service Provider Mean?

Just as the name suggests, a managed service provider simply offers management services to businesses’ that require their services.

Now, these services that MSP’s assist with can vary greatly.

How ever, common areas that businesses’ hire these service providers for are:

  • HR (human resources)
  • Contract & vendor management
  • Payroll
  • Sourcing
  • Data security

MSPs manage businesses’ IT infrastructure to help ensure usability and availability.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Managed Service Providers are a broad-term name; each MSP will have their own specialty and services.

For example, certain MSP’s will offer cybersecurity as a service they offer – but, many will not.

These services generally offer only the most basic levels of cybersecurity.

IT and data security is becoming a larger issue which is why more and more MSPs are starting to offer cybersecurity as a service.

What Is a Managed Security Service Provider?

A managed security service provider (MSSP) offers businesses cybersecurity services – this can include IT management, VPN management, system changes, viruses, spam, etc. To find out more useful information about MSSP visit

It is a broad range of services that fall under the MSSP umbrella, all of them having to do with digital security.

What Does Managed Security Service Provider Mean?

MSSP simply means a business that helps other businesses with IT security functions.

Organizations will outsource their cybersecurity to MSSPs in order to ensure their data and online security is as safe as can be.

Difference Between MSP and MSSP (Pros and Cons)

The difference between an MSP and MSSP is this; managed service providers offer a wide range of services, while managed security service providers specifically offer IT security functions.

Because MSSPs are more specialized and focused on cybersecurity, they are generally more capable of helping a business with that specific service.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of MSP and MSSPs:

(MSP) Managed Service Provider 

The pros and cons of MSPs are as follows:


  • Usually cost less than MSSPs.
  • Easier to set up and get running than MSSP.
  • More straightforward pricing.
  • Typically offers great backend infrastructure.
  • Simple to implement.


  • Outsourcing is not always ideal.
  • Less control than with MSSPs.
  • MSPs often have multiple clients other than your business.

(MSSP) Managed Security Service Provider

The pros and cons of MSSPs are as follows:


  • Offer a more complete security solution for businesses.
  • More thorough cybersecurity services.
  • Generally more specialized in IT security than MSPs.
  • Usually 24’7 service.
  • More in-depth reporting than MSPs.
  • MSSPs are more ‘internal’ and less outsourced.


  • Usually cost more than MSPs.

MSP vs MSSP Protection: Why Is an MSSP Better?

Working with either an MSP or MSSP will help enhance your business’s security and IT strategy; but, that said, an MSSP almost always offers a more comprehensive and hands-on digital security solution.

It is absolutely essential in the digital era we live in to take cybersecurity with the utmost importance, and MSSPs help with this immensely

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