What are the Challenges Faced by MSSPs?

Cyber threats have grown multi-fold and there seems to be no stopping attacks from cyber criminals as they find newer and more effective means to breach security. Enterprises are eagerly looking for solution to thwart cyber threats but it is getting difficult to manage cyber security owing to the variety of threats and attacks. Hence, enterprises are turning to solutions from external entities and this is where Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) come into play.

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What factors are driving the need for MSSPs?

Complexity of threats: Initially, enterprises did have their own in-house cyber security (some still do) in place but as the nature of threats kept changing and cyber criminals began launching sophisticated attacks, cyber security became a more complex thing to handle. Hackers use sophisticated tools and methods to breach and this makes any IT network vulnerable to attacks.

Expertise of Resources: Sophisticated methods and attacks lay out a pressing need for highly qualified and experienced professionals, a difficult thing for enterprises to maintain. Moreover, continuous training and knowledge updates are required, and this calls for additional time and efforts that can turn an enterprise away from its core businesses.

Cost of Maintenance: Enterprises are fast realizing that maintaining an in-house cyber security team is becoming difficult with no foreseeable improvements in either system protection or performance. It would be a highly costly affair to continuously update resources, technology, and security methods and hence opting for MSSPs makes sense as enterprises can focus on their core objectives.

Having said that, the road isn’t as easy as it is made out to be, MSSPs do have their own set of challenges to consider even as they stand out as viable cyber security options for enterprises.

What are the challenges faced by MSSPs?

Constantly evolving security threats: Constantly evolving security threats are a major challenge for MSSPs. Innovative and Sophisticated cyber-attacks only mean higher level of security threats which calls for greater levels of cyber security. Evolving threats lead to evolving enterprise needs for security and MSSPs have to comply with that and ensure enterprises get what they need in terms of cyber security.

A survey conducted among 300 MSSP representatives by Sonian (a cloud archiving company) revealed that nearly 100% of them acknowledged that customer (enterprise) needs are constantly changing and that they have to keep up with technological changes to help these customers.

Scalability of business: Different enterprises have different security needs and having enterprises of varying business size means their security needs vary on scale and proportion. Compounding to these already existing challenges are evolving threats that demand sophisticated security measures. MSSPs cannot afford to have one singular off-the-shelf security technology to address these challenges. The only way MSSPs can address growing and sophisticated challenges is by evolving on scale, technology and resources so they can satisfy various security needs of various enterprises.

Integration and Automation: Automation is essential for MSSPs to maintain healthy profitability more so when it comes to servicing Medium and Small scale companies. Security solutions provided by MSSPs need to be integrated with existing back-end systems of enterprise IT networks. Ability of security tools to integrate with other systems helps avoid spending time and money on efforts and resources. Security offerings should be able to plug into operations, such as billing, provisioning, ticketing, workflow, etc.

Compliance and Regulations: Heavy ransomware and cyber-attacks have been prompting constant regulatory changes. New regulations have to be complied with and this requires investment of time, efforts, and money for MSSPs; they need to be in touch the regulatory landscape. Different customers (enterprises) belong to different industry verticals and each vertical has its own set of regulatory requirements. For example, storing data for a healthcare provider means MSSPs need to maintain compliance with healthcare industry regulations, so is the case with Services, Finance, Retail industries and this is a huge challenge in itself.

Lack of Control and Data protection: Some enterprises outsource the entire security provisioning to MSSPs and this might raise few questions—Are these enterprises losing control? Are they assured of complete protection to their invaluable data and assets? Can the MSSPs be trusted completely?  Will these MSSPs have enough skill, resources, and technology to provide absolute cyber security? MSSPs need to address these questions and create a trustworthy image for all their customers and this has to be done time and again for one breach can collapse the relationships.

Tougher competition from Cloud: As per a survey, about 79% of the 300 MSSP representatives agreed that Cloud providers are a bigger threat and competition than other MSS providers. This is a significant change in perception from 2011 when only 54% of respondents agreed on cloud providers as competitors. Cloud providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are offering similar services and this is a cause for concern for MSSPs as they need to match these cloud providers on quality and pricing.

Pricing and Profitability: With exploding levels of ransomware threats and hectic competition from cloud providers, MSSPs are finding it very difficult to maintain the right pricing. In fact, as per a report, 50% of MSSP respondents reported to have reduced their prices to retain their current customers in view of hectic competition from Cloud providers. Pricing reduction results in lower margins and ultimately affects the profitability and sustenance of MSSPs.

Cyber analytics security threats are high even as companies face the brunt of hackers who time and again create chaos by breaching security. Organizations are finding it difficult to maintain in-house capabilities required to withstand and fight these threats and so some of them are looking to hire MSSPs. MSSPs however, have some major challenges to beat even as they look to equip themselves on skill, resource, and technology to provide formidable security to their customers. In time to come, MSSPs will have a way out if they plan and execute their services well enough and ensure impeccable service levels to retain their customers.

Contributed by http://www.happiestminds.com/

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