Industry Trends

Security Leads the Way for MSO Evolution to MSP

By Rick Mashburn | November 30, 2016

Like every other service provider segment, MSOs are looking for ways to leverage recent changes in technology and customer buying patterns in order to expand their addressable market and service offerings. MSOs now have an opportunity to claim a larger share of this growing business market by providing a new set of commercial services built on a number of new technologies. With the commercial availability of SD-WAN technology, for example, MSO’s now have a path to create competitive offerings that were previously confined to telecommunications service providers

The growth potential of these offerings is being driven by SMB and enterprise customers who are beginning to see the appeal of on-demand services delivered at a lower cost and with greater choice than they have been able to enjoy in the past. A key agent of this change is the trend towards virtualization, which is gaining traction in the industry, and which gives operators a mechanism for creating a flexible set of services that can be customized to the needs of individual customers, can be built on an open architecture, and enabled by software running on low-cost hardware platforms.

While the implementation of software-based services may enable the delivery a whole new portfolio of services, one additional capability is essential to their successful rollout, and that is security. These new network designs are also expanding an organization’s potential attack surface at a time when threats are evolving and the volume of attacks is growing dramatically. As a result, many MSOs are looking at security not just as a key element in protecting their environments, but also as a source of new revenue.

With this in mind, there are some key considerations that MSOs may want to keep in mind as they select a virtual security solution.


Do your security solutions have the ability to expand with your business? The ideal solution should offer a range of form factors – virtual as well as physical – with performance to match need.


Will the solution you implement offer effective options for the separation and isolation of customer traffic? This capability is an essential element of any shared infrastructure capability.


Can you provide unified management of your security elements? As the size and complexity of your network grows, unified management becomes critical to maintaining effective security, visibility, and control.


Is your security solution able to adapt to changes in the network and threat environments, be provisioned dynamically as new services are added, and support the addition of new functionality and capabilities as required – all while providing the right kind of protection in an evolving threat landscape? Change is inevitable in today’s environment, and an ability to automatically accommodate change is key to staying ahead of evolving threats.

Demand Driven

Do you have access to the tools required to operate an on-demand service? Capabilities like metered billing and auto-scaling are key features in environments where agility and flexibility are service differentiators.

For a security solution provider like Fortinet, which delivers the security capabilities on which many of these new service delivery platforms are being built, our focus is on enabling seamless and fully integrated protection, no matter the network architecture. With innovations like our Fortinet Security Fabric, we aim to ensure that MSOs can offer comprehensive security aligned to the evolving needs of their users and their business.