Securing an enterprise’s infrastructure is an increasingly complex task, but one that channel partners are able to address if they have the right skills and solutions portfolio. Managed security services also provide a key revenue opportunity for solution providers and can offer relief for customers that may not have the expertise or resources to tackle IT security challenges themselves.

Key trends in terms of emerging threats to IT security

Enterprises are increasingly victims of advanced persistent threats (APTs) that carry out targeted malicious attacks. In addition, APTs are also influencing the evolution of malware. We see this through the sophisticated techniques borrowed from APT groups that are being used for malware distribution. What these attacks have in common is that they target the end-user endpoints – the weakest link in an enterprise IT infrastructure chain. Traditional IT security solutions including firewalls, antivirus and SIEM solutions alone are no longer sufficient and determined hackers will always find a way to reach the end-user endpoints.

The constant emergence of new threats is a real challenge for enterprises, as APTs and malware are becoming increasingly targeted and sophisticated. Today, it is no longer a question of “if” an enterprise will be compromised, but instead “when” and “how” they will be attacked. This is when enterprise customers turn to IT security and services channel partners as trusted business advisors.

The Managed Security Services (MSS) market is rapidly growing as enterprises look to outsource cyber security. According to Infonetics Research, the managed security services market will exceed $9 billion by 2017 (source: “Cloud and CPE Managed Security Services” report).

Helping channel partners succeed in a competitive market

 IT security services must be constantly updated and managed to protect enterprises from emerging threats. Channel partners can stay ahead of the game by providing solutions that protect the end-user endpoints –the point of entry in a malicious targeted attack. ITOA (IT operations Analytics) solutions are able to collect and analyse data across the entire IT infrastructure and endpoints and provide a proactive approach to IT security with full visibility of what’s going on (and going wrong) without unnecessary time-delay.

Channel partners who deliver smart technologies such as ETDR (Endpoint Threat Detection and Response) and ITOA solutions, enable enterprise customers to monitor their environment and receive real-time alerts for any suspicious or non-compliant activity and take proactive measures to prevent a security breach before any damage has been done. By offering enterprise customers managed security services that monitor end-user endpoints, channel partners differentiate their security solutions portfolio beyond traditional solutions. That is not to say traditional measures such as anti-virus, Firewall, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) do not play their part but real-time monitoring of endpoint activities and anomalies, combined with collecting end-users’ context (devices, applications, executions, connections) provides an important additional layer of protection.

Market outlook for security services

 Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than half of organizations will enhance their security posture with the help of security services firms that specialize in data protection, security risk management and security infrastructure management. According to the analyst firm, in 2015, roughly 10% of overall IT security enterprise product capabilities will be delivered as cloud-based services or cloud-managed products.

Managed security services (MSS) are a valuable opportunity for channel partners to generate additional revenue from new services in their portfolio. MSS can help enterprises control costs, improve risk insight, enhance decision-making, and drive fast remediation for day-to-day IT security.

MSS enhanced with ITOA solutions can assist in allocating the right resources against the most dangerous threats, and provide consistency in handling threats and policies across an enterprise − delivering one consistent view of the enterprise’s security posture across geographies.

Market competition is fierce and channel partners need to continually invest in their engineering and services teams, ensuring that they are not only aware of the market trends, but also trained on the latest technologies. IT security is an important investment for enterprises and channel players who are specialised in this area are increasingly looking to ETDR and ITOA solutions to help reinforce their customers’ existing technology investments.

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