Managed security, not just security

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managed security

It’s business as usual for hackers; they grow richer with the stolen data and turn smarter in their modus operandi. If it was the ‘milliondollar’ email that lured you to a spam site in the 1990s, now it may be the sophisticated and veiled attacks nicknamed as Spear Phishing, DDoS, Pawn Storm, DRIDEX, etc., and more to join soon. It takes only a few minutes for the fraudsters to turn your hard-earned reputation topsy-turvy. The sad part is that such attacks repeat themselves in spite of all the precautions and massive investments made on large scale.

Well, there is no one-fit-for-all solution to deal with the emerging threats. As we see today, cyber threat landscape is growing bigger, making it difficult for any business to deal with the individual threats separately. The network has to be fool-proofed against intrusion and DDoS attempts; the software has to be monitored for zero-day exploits; data must be protected from both internal and external exploits; mobile devices shared in the enterprise network must be monitored for policy violation; the list goes on. All of these demand huge resources, which many organisations can’t afford.

Why managed security provider?

Managed security providers help you address the concerns associated with data security and data leakage. The growing number of security challenges triggered by trends like Social, Cloud and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has created a sense of urgency among organisations to adopt stringent measures to prevent data leakage. Researches indicate that lack of focus on IT security results in serious damage to businesses in terms of money and reputation. With managed security, you get the access to security services offered by multiple vendors under one roof at a reasonable cost. The managed security provider stays at the helm managing every aspect of the service from implementation to monitoring and from patch upgrades to round-the-clock support at a competitive price. The fact that all these solutions are delivered from one channel and managed by the same agent explains why managed services are considered the best approach to enterprise security in terms of cost and performance.

Imagine you are deploying the anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, VPN protection, data security measures, compliance policies, etc., in house at the expense of the time and effort of your employees. Now, imagine the expenditure that would have incurred from such a gargantuan deployment every year. Worse, you need to re-invest in these technologies as they become obsolete or upgrade them periodically. Unfortunately, such investments may not guarantee you the protection at all. Now, let’s see how managed security reduces the cost of such services. With its promise of delivering comprehensive security at all levels – devices, network, users and platforms – the managed security provider brings on board a consolidated security service that addresses each of these threats individually. With managed service, you are able to get a wide range of security offerings including Unified Threat Management (UTM), VPN security, content filtering, gateway anti-spam, data leak prevention, Network Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS), Firewall, anti-spam, encryption, etc., from world’s top security providers.

The market scenario

Reports indicate that in top markets like the U.S., nearly 40% of SMBs are turning to managed services. According to Allied Market Research, worldwide managed security services market size is anticipated to register a CAGR of 15.8% during 2013-2020, to touch nearly $29.9 billion by 2020. Among the different applications, endpoint security is expected to observe a tremendous growth, fueled by BYOD policy at workplace, the report said. Industry watchers also say the rising cyber attacks in recent years have fueled managed security adoption in Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East in recent years.

With new demands arising from the evolving digital landscape, managed security providers are required to expand their offerings to integrate additional capabilities like Network Access Control (NAC), load balancing and Disaster Response (DR). With BYOD gaining relevance among all types of businesses, there is an increased demand for policy-based NAC to ensure that data is secure in employees’ devices. Load balancing gains relevance in firms that have to deal with an unexpected surge of data, for example, a flash-sale at an ecommerce site or a live video streaming at a news site etc. Disaster Response, offered as part of managed services, ensures that the data is safe even in the worst scenario.

While managed service promises a fail-safe IT network for organisations – both big and small, there is another concern arising from the difference in quality of services offered by different managed services providers. True, the services differ widely not only in technologies but also in services and support. In order to grab the best deal, you need to identify the right IT services provider that has the industry reputation to deliver the capabilities in compliance with the current trends. Industry rating standards like CMMI Level 4 will help you differentiate providers based on their organisational process performance and quantitative project management capabilities, which are key requirements for managed service providers.

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