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Managed Security Services: an internal issue with external consequences

Managed Security Services (MSS) first rose to fame at the beginning of the 21st century with the promise of a flexible and personalised infrastructure, delivered with unparalleled expertise and knowledge. However, it has only been in the last couple of years that MSS has gotten the traction and attention it deserves as a service.

This is primarily due to technological advances and the considerable increase in the volume and complexity of cyber threats. Indeed, a report (opens in new tab) from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) estimated the cost of cybercrime to be a whopping $400 billion a year. Moreover, the Ponemon Institute calculated that the average price of cleaning up after a cyber-attack stands at over $1 million while the US' National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 per cent of small companies (opens in new tab) are incapable of sustaining their business within six months of such an attack.

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The costs of defending against cybercrime have risen by 78 per cent per year for the past four years, which alone provides us with a solid case for outsourcing this function to specialist companies able to improve operational and financial efficiencies while investing in strategic R&D. Arguably, Managed Security Services could solve this immediate issue companies are facing. Furthermore, with increased specialisation and efficient management of resources, it is arguably easier to keep staff well trained and prevent human error. This is particularly important given that 90 per cent of all cyber-attacks begin with a human weakness. This number will inevitably rise due to the growing trend of "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD), meaning more online time for employees, leading to greater risk of error.

Despite these alarming stats, the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) found that 86 per cent of the top FTSE 350 firms (opens in new tab) were not routinely considering cyber-security threats. While businesses have been historically slow to react to new threats, this instance might lead to larger than expected damages. Cybercrime is not the same as getting your house burgled. If a person is burgled they know, because they will stare at the point where their belongings used to be. When a company has its data stolen, it is not tangible in the same way and by the time you realise it might be too late.

In such a turbulent landscape, MSS enables companies to avoid hefty internal investments and provides them with a flexible workforce, who can supplement their existing teams depending on the type and magnitude of the threat. As David Day, Information Security & Forensics Sheffield Hallam University puts it, "we're no longer in a situation where it's a case of 'if I am going to get breached'. It's more a case of how often you are going to get breached and how long those people are going to be in for." (opens in new tab)Porthole Ad

At IP EXPO Europe (opens in new tab), we have seen the number of MSS exhibitors rise by over 30 per cent which is in line with predictions that managed security services market is to grow at a CAGR of 15.4 per cent from 2013 to 2019 and could be worth over $24 billion by 2019. Network security, confidentiality and compliance services are amongst the segments that are likely to drive most of the managed security services' market growth in the coming years.

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This year's event, held on the 8 – 9 October 2014, is Europe's leading cloud and IT infrastructure event. Located at the ExCel centre, London, IP EXPO Europe 2014 (opens in new tab) will feature two brand new co-located events, Cyber Security EXPO (opens in new tab) and Data Centre EXPO (opens in new tab), designed to address the new developments and trends in these critical areas. With cloud, mobility, security, analytics, infrastructure and datacentre technologies all under one roof, IP EXPO Europe will cover everything needed to run IT for a successful enterprise.

Mark Steel is CEO at IP EXPO Europe