November 17, 2016

Looking for a Managed Security Service Provider: Why Not Start With Someone Who Already Knows Your Network?

This blog post was written by Frank Dickson, Research Director, Information & Network Security, Frost & Sullivan.

Managed security advantagesHere is the unkind reality: cyber security in 2016 is hard, really hard.  The cyber criminals are getting more innovative. The attacks are getting more sophisticated. The potential losses are growing.

Understandably, if you are responsible for the network security of a small or medium business (SMB), you are probably finding that you need the same protection as enterprises yet don’t have the same resources to apply to the problem.  

In fact, the single most common question that I am asked as a cyber security analyst is for recommendations for how SMBs should approach security.

Here is the key: SMBs have to be extremely smart and strategic about their approach to security. Enterprises have the resources to buy the “latest and greatest” security tool. That approach does not work for SMBs.  It is the law of finite resources. SMBs must look to buy cyber security solutions instead of buying individual security products.

One major component of a solutions approach to network security is to engage with a security services partner, someone to help guide an SMB through the process of outlining options and providing the appropriate security approach. Being strategic often requires an expert “guide,” someone to lead the way.

SMBs have a CPA to assist them with the really hard financial reporting requirements and tax processing. Similarly, SMBs should use a security solutions provider to help with the hard security issues. Trust me; when I owned an SMB, it is what I did relative to securing my business. And it turned out to be the best money that I ever spent.

For those SMBs that have not engaged with a security services provider, your communications services provider (CSP) is a great place to start. A CSP has inherent advantage at the outset of engagement as it already has knowledge of the SMB’s network. Additionally, CSPs comprise the second largest provider category of managed security services in North America, delivering 40% of all such services1.  

Finally, the SMB already has a business relationship with a CSP as every business needs network connectivity.  Engaging with a CSP for security services eliminates the need to manage another vendor, reducing management complexity.  “One throat to choke” is more than just a saying; it creates real value. 


1“Managed Security Services in North America: Attention Moves from the Perimeter to the Endpoint and the Network,” http://www.frost.com/nfa8

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