According to the latest report from Mordor Intelligence, the Managed Security Services Report 2022-2027, we’re entering a huge growth phase for MSSP services, with the market valued at $23.19 billion in 2021, and expected to reach $56.6 billion by 2027.

Join us while we take a deeper dive into the growth, the trends, and the predictions for this key area over the next 5 years.

Why is the MSSP market growing?

It’s a great time to be offering managed security services. COVID-19 has created a remote working landscape that isn’t receding anytime soon, and many businesses need to be able to secure this new reality, especially allowing employees who are working remotely to securely access and send data from home or remote office.

Additionally, with tech hiring freezes on the rise, the cybersecurity skills gap is more noticeable than ever, and many companies are looking to outsource security to alleviate the talent shortage in-house. This fills the gaps, at the same time as leveraging top-quality talent who understand the complexities of cybersecurity in today’s increasingly sophisticated attack landscape.

There is also a compliance element to the growth in MSSP services. Lack of compliance can cause hefty fines, reputational damage, loss of business continuity, and more, and compliance regulations are becoming more difficult to keep up with and maintain. According to Thomson Reuters, 78% of businesses expect the volume of regulatory information to increase in the year ahead, so it’s no surprise that 34% outsource all or part of their compliance responsibilities.

Finally, IT is simply a more complicated reality than it’s ever been before, with a greater likelihood of cyberattacks and data breaches. Many businesses need what Mordor calls in its report, “custom security deployments due to overly complex or expansive architecture”, and as the world becomes more connected than ever, criminals have a greater number of attack vectors to leverage, whether that’s mobile phones and tablets, connected devices like IoT sensors, or home networks. According to the FBI, there has been a 7% increase in cybercrime since 2020, even when you consider the spikes of cyberattacks mid-pandemic.

So, what do the next five years of managed security services look like? One big trend is likely to be Artificial Intelligence. At Atera, we’re already using AI as part of our professional services automation, to ensure the right tickets arrive with the right technicians for the quickest and most streamlined service. For example, a ticket that is flagged with certain keywords that raise security eyebrows could be automatically flagged as critical and sent to the right staff member with security expertise.

Our third-party security integrations also lean on AI and Machine Learning to offer their best-of-breed solutions that cover everything from Endpoint Detection and Response, to Incident Response. For example, BitDefender’s GravityZone uses behavioral analysis and machine learning in its attack prevention, and Ironscales uses AI for its email security, empowering your company with the intelligence of thousands of customer security teams in its preventative algorithms.

If you’re thinking about how AI can move the needle for cybersecurity initiatives, here are 5 top examples:

Reducing the skills shortage: When there aren’t enough people working in security, gaps and vulnerabilities go unseen. AI is always on, never sleeping, and never misses a threat. Plus, AI can recognize patterns that the human eye could never catch. Whether it’s patching a skills gap or improving the quality of resources, AI is a smart choice.

Tightening Identity and Access Management: The tighter your credential management and IAM policies, the less likely an attacker could make it to your crown jewel assets and data. AI is a great choice for monitoring suspicious or unauthorized access, spotting even small changes to usual behavior, and flagging something as unusual.

Improving blockchain adoption: The blockchain market will grow at more than 84% CAGR until 2028, and cybersecurity is one key area that is set to benefit. Traditionally, sensitive data would need to be sent by TLS or SSL with verification keys. However, with blockchain, data can be analyzed at scale, with a much faster and more secure solution based on the technology.

Supporting compliance initiatives: If you’re handling compliance manually, you can’t help but lie awake afraid of your next audit. More regulations are being added all the time, and they will cover certain subsections of your data, depending on the industry, geolocation, time frame, and more. In contrast, AI-based data processing automatically categorizes your compliance information accurately and at scale.

Enabling cloud migration: Many AI-driven cyber security solutions are specifically built for the cloud. This means that they are able to monitor data and network security in a hybrid setting, or for cloud-native deployments. For example, Acronis is a powerful backup solution that supports local backup, cloud backup, and even backup and recovery of servers and virtual machines.

Which services should MSSPs cover to be prepared for this growth?

It’s important to cast a wide net and make sure you can protect your customers and colleagues from multiple directions.

In some cases, you might recognize specific security needs that you have for your industry or location, for example, if you work primarily with EU clients, you’ll want to have your GDPR tied up with a bow. If you work with medical businesses, perhaps you want a compliance partner who understands the regulations of HIPAA backward and forwards.

Here’s a closer look at the topics and solutions covered in the Mordor Intelligence report, which could be a great starting place for discussion.

Intrusion detection and prevention

IDS and IPS tools constantly scan and monitor the network to ensure that there are no signs of threat. They work around the clock, logging all events, and sending notifications in case of anything unusual. Speak to your end-users and work out what type of intrusion prevention system they need in place, as there are many kinds. Some examples of IDS are those which are based at the network level, host level, the perimeter of an environment, or even for a virtual machine.

Threat prevention

This sounds like a big topic because it is! The question you need to ask is, how are you shoring up the network in question in case of an attack? At our recent partner webinar, Acronis walked us through its Cyber Protect product, which uses multi-layered defenses, starting from AI-based behavioral detection, and working its way through different protections, all the way through to robust backup and recovery in case the worst occurs. We might be able to estimate how much the market will be worth in 2027, but we can’t know what threats will be hitting the headlines. All we can do is keep vigilant and arm ourselves with non-signature-based detection so we’re firmly looking forwards.

Distributed denial of services (DDoS)

A Distributed Denial of Service attack, also known as a DDoS, is one of the most common kinds of cyberattack. Attackers flood the network with a whole slew of requests, hoping to overload the system. By using different IP addresses, they often look indistinguishable from regular browsers. As well as antivirus and antimalware solutions, as an IT professional you can look out for DDoS attacks by scanning for a rush of traffic that is sourced somewhere unusual like a new geographic location. Traffic might also be clearly targeting a single server or application, or coming in at consistent time periods, a few minutes apart.

Firewall management

According to Forbes, more businesses than ever are looking for Firewall-as-a-Service solutions. This is because of three trends in the market. First, is the increase in WFH and cloud adoption as discussed above. Second, is the way that a cloud firewall can include additional features such as intrusion prevention, uniform policy management, and URL filtering. (Psst: Webroot knows all about these boss features and more.) Finally, the ease of use of FWaaS, which can’t be said for on-prem and traditional firewalls. Admin users can simply log into a console, set their policies, and they are good to go.

Endpoint security

Intrusion detection or prevention software will often be talked about hand in hand with endpoint security. At Atera, we partner with Malwarebytes as one of our most popular integrations, offering endpoint protection and response for workstations and also servers. This solution is more than just about blocking threats, it’s also about providing overall health status to your end-users, subscription management for licenses, activity reporting, and setting role-based access control at a granular level.

Risk assessment

One of the items which will be a managed security service provider’s bread and butter will be their risk assessment. This is where you will shine a light on any assets that could be a target, and the routes for attackers to gain access to these assets. This could be hardware, systems, workstations, and servers, or customer data and intellectual property belonging to the business. Your first step is a thorough Network Discovery scan, where you can get a list of everything connected to the network.

MSSPs are in demand: are you ready?

One thing is for sure, the MSSP market is in a period of hypergrowth, and managed service providers need to upskill their security arsenal to be ready for a flood of potential business. Understanding the growth in the market, the trends in areas such as cloud services, artificial intelligence, and compliance initiatives, and the solutions that should be the foundation of your service will keep you two steps ahead and ready for anything.

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