Economic turmoil and unpredictable market conditions have put organizations on a cautious path in business. Companies across wide variety of industries are turning to cloud computing to manage their infrastructure growth, cut costs, decrease IT support staff requirements and deliver services faster and more efficiently.
As new and disruptive technologies take over enterprise IT strategies, the obvious attention is towards information security – the increasing complexities, costs and skills required to manage security.
Ever increasing cost and complexity of IT and growing threat landscape has made it difficult for organizations to manage security on their own. These companies are turning towards outsourcing their security to third party experts, namely Managed Security Services Providers (MSSP).
Convergence of factors such as skill pressures, evolving and increasing threat landscape and compliance challenges is helping grow the Managed Security Services (MSS) market. IDC pegs the MSS market in APAC at USD 4 billion by 2015 growing in the next few years at a CAGR of about 20%.
As market continuously evolves and grows so are the services offered by MSSPs. Today service providers can manage day-to-day security tasks, secure and manage devices as well as provide analysis to help organizations take better business decisions.
For small and mid sized organizations the managed model is a compelling proposition. The large capital expenditure (CAPEX) required to deploy and manage the complex security environment of today is mitigated with this model.
Security Challenges Facing Organizations
As threat landscape continues to evolve and get more and more sophisticated, economic pressures keep mounting and management of security becomes more complex and arduous, there is more pressure to improve efficiency, lower costs and adhere to stringent regulatory and compliance requirements.
Organizations are facing the following challenges that are factors driving increasing adoption of managed security services model:
Evolving threat scenario: Attacks on a company’s network is now motivated by financial gains, theft to intellectual property, malicious intent to defame the company or the brand, etc. These attacks are now more sophisticated than ever and require robust security framework, technologies and tools, management and monitoring and analysis of threat evolution.
Lack of core competencies: Managing security today requires constant monitoring, vigilant and committed security staff, complex analysis of every change in the network, etc. which may not be the core competency of most user organizations.
Proliferation of mobile devices: Number of end points have exponentially increased over the years and employees are now encouraged to use devices of their choice with BYOD strategies being adopted by organizations. This puts a lot of pressure on security staff to manage and maintain security at increased number of devices, and ensure security and integrity of data that flows across all these devices.
Increase in mobile workforce: With increasing acceptance of mobile workforce and telecommuting at organizations today, the network has increased in size and area. As access to corporate networks increases so does the need to secure data that flows to these remote points.
Increasing cost of security tools: Cost of managing security has increased exponentially with increased technologies that go into security an organizations network and data, increasing cost of staffing, etc
Benefits of Outsourcing Security
Managed security services providers help to mitigate the risk and liability of managing security. Organizations are reaping multiple benefits from partnering with these experts. Some of the benefits and business advantages are:
Reduced Cost: This is one of the biggest advantages for organizations that outsource their security services to a third-party service provider. MSSPs offer economies of scale by spreading cost of people and infrastructure across multiple clients.
Infrastructure: Infrastructure offered by MSSPs is specialized and multi locational – security operating centers (SOCs). These SOCs are manned by highly trained and skilled security experts, are state-of-the-art with best technologies implemented to ensure high levels of security for clients.
Expertise: MSSPs can attract, hire and motivate highly skilled security experts by offering continuous training, challenging work environment, career advancement, and myriad other opportunities. Organizations can benefit by having access to highly trained and motivated security experts.
Adherence to Compliance: Regulatory and compliance requirements are daunting on organizations to adhere to. For one it is the understanding of the complexity in the legal requirements. Then constantly tweaking solutions to adhere to it. Since MSSPs core focus is security for clients, they offer comprehensive knowledge of legalrequirements and industry standards.
Effectiveness and Performance: Through state-of-the-art SOCs, MSSPs are able to offer 24x7 support, monitoring and management of security for organizations. They are able to deliver uninterrupted service and faster response to incidents as well as determine validate threats based on relevancy and reduce time spent on false alarms. Thus MSSPs are able to offer higher effectiveness and performance on security for organizations.
Every coin has two sides. While benefits and options for outsourcing security services are various, they are not all void of risks associated to them.It is important to evaluate and plan carefully and mitigate risks associated with outsourcing an organizations security services to a third party service provider.
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