Challenges for MSSPs in Using Threat Intelligence

Bitdefender Enterprise

September 29, 2023

Challenges for MSSPs in Using Threat Intelligence

Security is becoming a growing concern for management teams. With the threat of cyberattacks growing exponentially and becoming more complex, organizations are looking to match the power of these attacks with solid defenses. And this proves to be a challenge. Some time ago, revenue and cutting costs used to be a primary concern for organizations. But now, security issues have increased in the order of priorities. This is primarily because an organization that has previously suffered an attack exposing consumer data loses credibility in the market, regardless of its offerings. In 2023, competitive pressures imply keeping consumer information secure.

Turning to MSSPs to Cover the Internal Security Gaps

Observing the evolving threat landscape, some organizations might invest in internal security services, yet many may require increased IT budgets and properly trained staff. Unfortunately, most of these organizations will become aware of the importance of proper security after a successful incursion affects the organization’s brand value, income, and customer trust. Managed security services providers (MSSPs) successfully improve organizations' security capabilities, regardless of their size. And while this type of cost-effective service does not exclude the possibility of attacks occurring altogether, it can limit its impact with timely discovery, isolation, and proper shut-down.

An MSSP can provide additional services to fill the gaps the security team has, or it can set up a complete defense system and run it from its security operating center (SOC). From this position, an MSSP can install complex authentication protocols to protect sensitive data, scan for system anomalies, monitor network traffic, identify intrusion attempts, monitor firewalls, and provide 24/7 intrusion detection.

There are many advantages to turning toward an MSSP to supplement or provide security services from scratch. Organizations will no longer have to hire, train, and retain security professionals. By outsourcing this service, they will have access to the necessary expertise to configure security solutions and manage them properly. There will also be reduced ownership costs for any of the systems used, as an MSSP can create a robust security infrastructure and use it for its entire client base. In contrast, it would cost organizations more to get a license for every solution used. MSSPs can also benefit from complex threat intelligence solutions to integrate into their service offer and improve the information they deliver for professionals to act on.

Are There Challenges?

Generically using threat intelligence, meaning information gathered on attackers and how they operate, is not enough. While it is wise to get access to threat feeds, even MSSPs may have limited resources to scan and contextualize this information. In addition, going through so much information is time-consuming and there is always the risk of real threats going unnoticed because of the high number of false positives security professionals need to go through.

MSSPs having actionable threat intelligence means getting the upper hand in the fight against threat actors, as this is the way to gather adequate information about their tools, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). However, there are some aspects MSSPs must take into account when choosing a threat intelligence solution.

Complete vs. Incomplete Solutions

First, they should look for finished threat intelligence solutions instead of buying bulk raw data from intelligence feeds. To benefit from this information, it must be refined and put into the proper context, corresponding to the specific needs of each industry; it must include clear insight, particular vulnerabilities, and a calculated potential impact of threats. Even if an MSSP has professionals who can properly go through this type of information, handing them raw data constantly and expecting them to filter and take away valuable information is unreasonable. Instead, getting a finished threat intelligence solution, one that already curates this information, is a consistent help.


Another challenge of threat intelligence solutions, when used by MSSPs, is whether or not the type of solution chosen can be well integrated with the security infrastructure of the provider. More complex and client-oriented solutions should pose no problems in this aspect, but it’s best to make sure of this to maximize resources.


For more advanced MSSPs, with highly-trained professionals on staff, it would also be good to find out the sources of information and the collection methods used by the vendor. Not to mention the type of information processing and format of updates. With time, the information provided by threat intelligence is only expected to become more complex, and it would be difficult for a small or medium-sized business to go through this type of information, as it would be for a small MSSP. The more the data is filtered and processed at the source by the threat intelligence solution, the better it would be for the final beneficiary.

For the MSSPs that struggle to get the right professionals on board, this is one of the main challenges of working with threat intelligence. These solutions work best in the hands of specialists, despite the fact that they offer value to any organization using them. But it takes the right people to build processes that are genuinely effective. This aspect is tightly connected to having the right tools to process the data. The right professionals know which the best tools are to use and to integrate.


Budgeting is also an issue, as a complex and effective threat intelligence solution can be costly. An MSSP with a more extensive client base to justify the extended security infrastructure can justify such an expense as it outsources a whole and fully covers security needs. But smaller providers may have trouble covering these costs if the service is not scalable.

Some actors on the market even stated that, as complex as these solutions are, it would still be better if they were tailored to the specific needs of various industries or if they could be scaled according to the needs of small and large companies. This would make them more accessible to a larger group of organizations.

There are some challenges when it comes to MSSPs using threat intelligence, but these are issues worth overcoming. It would be considerably more difficult to cope with the changing threat landscape without this valuable information than it would be to make the necessary adjustments to incorporate this solution.

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Bitdefender Enterprise

Bitdefender is a cybersecurity leader delivering best-in-class threat prevention, detection, and response solutions worldwide. Guardian over millions of consumer, enterprise, and government environments, Bitdefender is one of the industry’s most trusted experts for eliminating threats, protecting privacy, digital identity and data, and enabling cyber resilience. With deep investments in research and development, Bitdefender Labs discovers hundreds of new threats each minute and validates billions of threat queries daily. The company has pioneered breakthrough innovations in antimalware, IoT security, behavioral analytics, and artificial intelligence and its technology is licensed by more than 180 of the world’s most recognized technology brands. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender has customers in 170+ countries with offices around the world.

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