MSSP Technical Requirements for Cybersecurity In Education: What You Need to Know 

Cybersecurity badges to look for in an MSSP when you go to RFP

In today’s digital age, organizations face an ever-increasing number of cybersecurity threats. As such, it’s essential to have a robust security infrastructure in place to protect your company’s sensitive data and assets.  

One-way organizations can bolster their cybersecurity is by partnering with a Microsoft Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). However, not all MSSPs are created equal, and it’s essential to choose one that meets specific MSSP technical requirements and certifications to ensure your organization’s security needs are met. 

In this blog post, we will detail some of the top certifications that you can use to evaluate potential Microsoft MSSPs.  

Microsoft Solutions Partner For Security 

The Microsoft Solutions Partner for Security status indicates that the MSSP has demonstrated a high level of expertise and capability in providing Microsoft security solutions and has a proven track record of delivering successful security projects.  

MSSPs with this certification have shown expertise in implementing Microsoft’s security solutions such as Azure Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Identity, and Microsoft Cloud App Security, among others.  

By partnering with an MSSP with this certification, you can have confidence that your organization’s security needs are in good hands and that you are working with a reliable and knowledgeable service provider. Additionally, an MSSP with this status has access to the latest Microsoft security tools, software, and resources, ensuring that its customers benefit from the most up-to-date security solutions. 

ISO-27001 Certification

 The ISO-27001 certification is an international standard that outlines best practices for information security management systems (ISMS). An MSSP with this certification has demonstrated that they have robust security policies and procedures in place and are committed to continuous improvement and risk management. 

It requires the MSSP to implement a risk management framework and establish processes for identifying, assessing, and mitigating information security risks. Plus, the certification requires the MSSP to have policies and procedures in place to manage the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. This includes access control measures, information security incident management processes, and regular monitoring and review of the ISMS to ensure it is continually improving and adapting to changing threats and business needs. 

When seeing the ISO-27001 Certification, you can be assured that the MSSP has a strong commitment to information security and has implemented rigorous processes and controls to protect its sensitive data and assets. 

SOC2-Type 2 Certification 

The SOC2-Type 2 certification is a widely recognized security certification that assesses MSSPs’ internal controls and processes. It is focused on evaluating controls and processes related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.  

This certification assesses the MSSP’s ability to design and operate effective security controls, monitor and analyze security events, manage vulnerabilities, and respond to security incidents. It also evaluates the MSSP’s ability to protect customer data from unauthorized access, disclosure, modification, and destruction and ensure the availability of services. 

This means that partnering with an MSSP that holds the SOC2-Type 2 certification can provide you with the assurance that your sensitive data and assets are being protected by a service provider that has met rigorous security standards. It also means that the MSSP has been audited by a third-party auditor to ensure that they are adhering to best practices, which can help you demonstrate due diligence in security matters and meet compliance requirements, faster. 

Microsoft Verified XDR Solution Status  

The Microsoft Verified XDR (Extended Detection and Response) Solution Status is a certification program that recognizes MSSPs that have demonstrated the ability to deliver XDR solutions that integrate with Microsoft’s security services effectively. This certification requires rigorous testing and validation, ensuring that MSSPs have the necessary expertise to provide customers with a high level of security against advanced threats. 

Partnering with an MSSP that has the Microsoft Verified XDR Solution Status can provide several benefits to customers looking for a Microsoft MSSP.  

  • It ensures that the MSSP has a deep understanding of Microsoft’s security services and can integrate them with other security solutions to provide a comprehensive security posture.  
  • It demonstrates that the MSSP has the necessary skills and expertise to protect customers against advanced threats and provides an added layer of assurance that they can manage security incidents effectively.  
  • It proves that the MSSPs MDR solution underwent rigorous testing and validation, providing you with peace of mind that you are partnering with a reputable and credible vendor. 

By partnering with a Verified XDR Solution provider, you can be confident that your organization’s security needs are being met. Additionally, customers can benefit from streamlined operations and reduced complexity, allowing you to focus on your core business while their MSSP handles security concerns. 

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Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon