Industry Trends

IT Complexity Bolsters Argument for Managed Security

By Stefanie Hoffman | February 20, 2013

The forward drive and accompanying expense found in the integration of existing systems and infrastructure with new technologies is placing pressure on organizations to rethink network security strategies.

Increasing complexity of both IT and physical security requirements, observes Frost & Sullivan in its “Analysis of the Global Managed Security Services Market” (Feb. 2013), is driving a shift toward outsourcing security to managed security service providers (MSSPs).

In terms of physical security, Frost & Sullivan finds most organizations will invest in solutions that deter attacks or criminal activities against them. An increasing number of countries are investing in innovative technologies aimed at protecting physical assets and people. This trend, says Frost & Sullivan, is driving the MSSP market, either through the supply of products or systems or through installation, maintenance and operation.

On the IT side, we’ve all seen the numbers of cyber attacks climb. Private enterprises and government organizations are turning to MSSPs for expertise in ensuring resiliency in the face of potential breaches and attacks. And, there’s more awareness than ever about the damage caused by IT security breaches than ever before.

These forces validate the shift in organizational thinking about security that’s leaning toward outsourcing security to MSSPs. The outsourced model is not for everyone – at least not yet – but it reduces internal operational costs and, if done properly, provides the most cost-efficient approach to organizational security. So much so that Frost & Sullivan forecasts the MSSP market is on track to grow to $139 billion by 2021, up from $66 billion in 2012. Of that $139 billion, physical security is expected to generate $103 billion, and IT managed security is poised to generate $36 billion.

That’s a significant boost from earlier MSSP market predictions. An underlying reason: While security remains a priority for organizations, chief decision makers are looking to the industry for the most advanced security solutions at the most competitive prices, says Anthony Leather, a Frost & Sullivan research analyst.

For its part, Fortinet expressed its belief in the importance of MSSPs with the enterprise security blade, FortiGate-5001C firewall, which helps MSSPs segment traffic, separate network functions and apply policies based on the identities of users and devices. Virtual and administrative domains deliver better control of security features, which makes room to customize features and services. And that means multiple security services for multi-tenant cloud customers and thousands of devices.

Fortinet executives say the 5000 blade is just one example of Fortinet’s investments in the MSSP market – with more to come.

Expanding threats and the complexity of attacks, particularly in the IT segment, are motivating interest and investments in security solutions that protect physical and network security. Shifting security operations to MSSPs, says Frost & Sullivan, enables organizations to outsource more complex security requirements to experts, so they can focus on their own core business processes.

While there are cost efficiencies to be gained through a security outsourcing model, there are organizations that prefer to keep security in-house. A common concern: the wide range of companies that MSSPs have to monitor, says Leather, because “this might result in the untimely handling of security breaches or incidents.” In other words, it may be too much or too sensitive to give an outside vendor to handle.

Focusing on the larger markets, such as North America and Europe, where outsourcing security services is a more accepted practice, will build market share and a strong customer base. Frost & Sullivan expects this trend to spread to other regions, with Asia Pacific poised for the highest growth in the next 10 years.

Leather says that, as MSSPs become more established and demonstrate higher levels of security with excellent customer service, organizations will become more comfortable outsourcing security services.

Join the Discussion