Communication service providers are taking on traditional IT security firms with managed security offerings that leverage operators' investments in virtualization, deep insight into networks and expertise in working with cross-vertical customers.
SMBs and larger enterprises frequently don't have the internal resources to keep up with the morphing, growing threats they face. Add challenging regulatory and staffing issues, and the hurdles only become higher. As a result, the global managed security services market will reach $35.5 billion 2020 versus $17.8 billion in 2015, according to MarketsandMarkets.
"The expanding attack surface enabled by technology innovations such as cloud computing and IoT devices, a global shortage of cybersecurity talent and regulatory pressures, continue to be significant drivers of cyber threats. The pace of these changes is unprecedented, resulting in a critical tipping point as the impact of cyber attacks are felt well beyond their intended victims in personal, political and business consequences," says Derek Manky, global security strategist at Fortinet Inc. "Going forward, the need for accountability at multiple levels is urgent and real affecting vendors, governments and consumers alike. Without swift action, there is a real risk of disrupting the progress of the global digital economy."
The virtualization edge
Network functions virtualization gives CSPs a security edge by providing a unified orchestration platform that can help manage and control the complex infrastructures that exist inside many operators and their customers. Through centralized management and automation, NFV eliminates many security headaches such as human oversight and errors surrounding patch and image management and improved threat analysis.
"Threat detection can be done in a much more innovative approach," said Yaron Bielous, vice president of cyber security at ECI Telecom Ltd. , during a recent webinar sponsored by the security vendor on Light Reading. "There is a way to automate the process and that is what we do."
Rather than rely on siloed security products and staffs of security experts that spend too much time chasing down false threats, are reactive rather than proactive, and can only tackle a very small percentage of dangers, NFV- and cloud-based solutions like ECI's LightSec family combine analytics, scalability and automation to predict and mitigate threats, Bielous said.
Enterprises of all sizes are embracing managed security services, said John Loveland, global head of Security Strategy at
Verizon Enterprise Solutions , during the Light Reading webinar. Recognizing the costs of breaches -- in recovery, downtime and regulatory fines, to customers and company reputation, among others -- organizations want to be more proactive and learn from others, he said.
"We're seeing a migration from tactical, raw intelligence to enriched and increasingly adaptive intelligence. It's not just about identifying the different threats out there in the wild, but how do you translate that into the SOCs so they can take it back and improve security?" said Loveland. "How do you leverage threat intelligence in a more sophisticated way to create a more adaptive posture?"
Obviously businesses already have existing security solutions in place and the goal is for interoperability between virtualized and in-house solutions.
"There is nothing like having enough security. The managed security solution can co-exist with multiple security tools," said Bielous. "We believe cyber security should move to an orchestrated approach. ECI has plug-ins so it can integrate. To be orchestrated together, this is a process."
Enterprises want hybridization and the ability to scale, adds Verizon's Loveland. This also translates into an array of pricing models, making managed security services affordable for all organizations, regardless of size, he said.
"With virtualization and some of these hybrid solutions we're able to create more flexible, customizable pricing options for our customers," Loveland said. "We can deliver the solution the customer wants and get that rapidly deployed and price it the way it makes sense for the customer and their budget."
— Alison Diana, Editor, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.