News / Hybrid MSP trends: Why European businesses are partnering with MSS Providers to improve the effectiveness of their IT security

In the face of WannaCry, NotPetya and numerous other high-profile data breaches, European businesses are seriously evaluating how they manage their cyber security. Businesses are looking for services that succeed in safeguarding critical data, but work across all the business and IT needs. There are still barriers to overcome and buyers will remain to be convinced if they are to part with cash for a first MSSP adoption, or an extension of an existing partial security outsourcing.

Rising cyber crime, digital disruption and increased compliance demands are threatening the stability of businesses across Europe. Dealing with cyber crime alone is a challenge, but as businesses look for a competitive edge through digitalisation, and with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just over the horizon, many are looking for outside help.

Increasingly that help comes in the form of a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). In other parts of enterprise organisations, long used to outsourcing (especially in the UK), it might come as a surprise that MSSPs are still seen as a relatively new concept and one that is still treated with suspicion by security chiefs. The issues are trust and control. Handing over custody and the security keys of a business is not something to be taken lightly.

However, there is definitely a growth in MSSP adoption across Europe as the triple pressures of cyber crime, skills shortages and compliance take their effect on under-pressure IT departments, and boardrooms fret about the business impact of data breaches. So outside help is being sought. That doesn’t mean that any MSSP is going to get an easy ride.

Managed Security Services are now overwhelmingly established across European businesses, as recent research highlighted 66% of European businesses are already using an MSSP, with a further 24% planning to invest. The remaining 10% are in the process of evaluating the prospect. This demonstrates that across the board industry sectors are putting aside their reservations about using an outsourced security service. That said the results within the sectors show that there is still some reluctance to fully outsource security.

If we dig a little deeper, we can see the option to outsource security is catching on, but there is still some way to go before end users completely trust an MSSP to fully manage its security. So 53% are at an early stage of planning with only 12% at an advanced stage.

The results show that the trends they are most concerned about are also the drivers of change and innovation across European businesses. Our results confirm the feeling that the better things get in terms of digital transformation, the worse they get for security. So our respondents are most concerned about the following: mobile (74%), cloud (67%) and IoT (58%). Other major IT trends such as digital transformation (50%) and shadow IT (34%) are also concerns (as they should be), but our results are a reflection of what end users are thinking about and dealing with right now.

Client organisations have a mixed view of the benefits that an MSSP can provide, and different parts of the organisation have different expectations. The board looks initially to save money and is happy when this happens, whereas the security teams look for help and technology that they cannot deliver in-house. An MSSP is not for life, or even for a whole organisation. Businesses are taking a pick-and-mix approach, and even taking some functions back in-house. MSSPs need to be flexible in terms of outlook and delivery. In an age of pay-as-you-go cloud and SaaS, they need to be agile enough to react to more frequent policy changes and new threats.

For more information on our Managed Security Service please contact us on +44 (0)845 519 2946.

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