Sunday, 25 August 2019
Future Proofing the Organization with Managed Security Services
Data, information, and cash rich organizations need to add multiple layers of innovative security protection and one such future proofed approach is on-boarding a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).
The Middle East is an expensive place to be breached according to the latest, joint IBM Security and Ponemon Institute’s, 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report. More specifically, the Middle East is the second most lucrative region in the world for threat and state-sponsored actors to either inflict, direct or indirect damage or extract gains.
According to the report, globally, the average cost of a data breach was $3.92 million. Whilst across the Middle East, as an average, the cost of a data breach increased from $5.31 million in 2018 to $5.97 million. Globally, this is the second highest financial loss value after the United States.
In the past, the region has been rocked by mega breaches as seen with banks, Oil and Gas and other industries. Strategically sensitive sectors such as oil and gas and transportation, and wealthy banking and financial institutions, are drawing the attention of hostile state actors and aggressive and intrusive national and global threat actors.
Typically, the challenges for the chief information security officer (CISO) working in such an organization is only seen to be growing rapidly and not reducing. Increasing technology complexity, proliferation of vendor security solutions, growing threat surface due to transformation, stagnated security budgets, complexities of data compliance, shortage of security skills, growing expectations from peers and business heads and the Board, are making the CISO look for options from outside, rather than inside.
So, what are the options for information security heads in regional governments, diversified private conglomerates, public sector institutions and other large businesses, in such a hostile and challenging environment?
One of the options that is increasingly gaining traction globally, is to outsource the day to day operations of monitoring, administration, and orchestration of the security infrastructure. This outsourcing is usually taken up by independent, regional, managed security service providers (MSSP).
According to global ICT research firm IDC, organizations are turning to MSSPs, to deliver a wide span of Security capabilities and consulting services. This includes threat intelligence, detection, and analysis, to overcome security challenges of today and prepare against future attacks. Other reasons for on-boarding an MSSP are to help implement and integrate Security tools; and to prepare, detect, and respond against future attacks.
IDC defines Managed Security Services as round the clock, remote management or monitoring of IT security functions delivered via remote Security Operations Centers (SOCs). This includes all managed security services, whether deployed on a customer’s premises or hosted in a datacenter external to a customer’s premises.
So why should the regional CISO look at home grown and regional MSSP as being able to meet their requirements effectively and efficiently? For a CISO, while outsourcing in principle will help them offload a significant percentage of their operational responsibilities in a cost effective and progressive manner, it does add another external supplier to monitor, and bring into the governance and compliance equation.
So compelling are the advantages of an MSSP, as a use case and business model, that globally, Managed Security Services is attracting the largest amount of Security spending. According to IDC’s latest Worldwide Spending on Security Solutions report, three global market segments namely banking, federal government, and manufacturing will make their largest security investments inside Managed Security Services. Rapidly catching up are the telecommunication and local governments market segments.
Global CISO’s working in organizations charged with guarding highly classified information, aggregating large banks of customer facing sensitive information, and those with information rich data repositories, are the early adopters of this spending trend. They are prioritizing spending in Managed Security Services as a long-term investment of future proofing their organization’s best interest.
For the regional CISO, contracting with an MSSP in the region is therefore a best practice being followed globally as well. Moreover, the regional MSSP is the best option for end user organization seeking compliance on the basis of data sovereignty within their country. Outsourcing to a regional MSSP is also a suitable solution to ensure the MSSP is managed by nationals from the host country as well. This is usually, an additional rider inside the region.
Globally the MSSP business model only promises to become more efficient, more cost effective, and more productive, driving similar gains on a regional level for the CISO as well.