August 12, 2010

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Time to Move to Managed Security Services?

Posted By S.L. Sweet

If you're an IT professional for a small or midsize enterprise, you've probably thought about managed security services (MSS), but wondered whether outsourcing security is right for your network. You’re concerned with potentially losing control, added costs and not knowing what’s going on within your security operations. The good news is that Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) who fully leverage modern, Security as a Service (SaaS) delivery models address all of these concerns and bring security best practices to a whole new level. In the context of these forward thinking MSSPs, it's clearly time to give these services another look.

Market data shows that more enterprises are beginning to leverage MSS, as reported in this recent Information Week article. And many analysts agree that it's not a question of IF, but a question of WHEN small and midsize organizations will adopt MSS to protect their operations. In fact, most analysts suggest that the adoption of managed security services is considered a best practice itself.  One reason for this trend is that MSSPs offer highly experienced security analysts, consistent application of security best practices and state-of-the-art technologies that would be cost prohibitive for small and midsize companies to duplicate. Another key reason is the SaaS delivery model itself.  MSSPs who have fully adopted the SaaS model are able to offer their customers the visibility and control they want via greatly enhanced security portals. The best-of-breed portals offer real-time dashboard views, full access to security policies and on demand, customizable reporting.

Steve Hilton, VP Enterprise Research, Yankee Group notes how IT time is in short supply, and staff is stretched too thin, even where IT staff does exist. When you consider that the average 100-employee company has only two IT staffers, it's easy to see how monitoring and managing network security can fall behind more immediate problems and needs. For many businesses, it comes down to this: Your network security is only as good as the staff, time and the tools you can afford.  But today’s increasingly sophisticated attacks demand an equally sophisticated defense and what is cost-prohibitive to implement on your own becomes affordable from an MSSP where the costs are shared by hundreds, if not thousands of other customers. The bonus? You'll also benefit from industry best practices and a good night’s sleep.

Are you considering a move to managed security services – why or why not?

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