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Consolidation is a constant feature of the channel and the expectation is that in the managed security services provider (MSSP) space, it will disrupt the industry in the next few years.
That conclusion, revealed by a survey from security distributor Distology, found that a chunk of customers (38% of those quizzed) were making a link between consolidation and the emergence more widely of cyber security as a service (CSaaS) as channel players gain the ability to cover more bases through M&A activity.
The distie’s research also showed that when IT leaders were asked what would be the biggest disruptions over the next five years, attracting talent was high on the list, which could increase risks for firms.
“With the way organisations operate having evolved considerably over the last two years, it goes without saying that cyber security needs have also changed and this is only set to continue,” said Lance Williams, chief product officer at Distology. “We are seeing digital transformation continue to accelerate across most sectors, while more SMEs are digitising their product offering and customer experience.
“This combination is, however, shining a light on the gaps in pre-existing cyber security strategies, which means it is more essential than ever before for leaders to take a holistic view of their approach to cyber security, and the solutions they are adopting, to ensure they are not leaving themselves exposed.”
That customer demand for a holistic approach was one of the drivers of consolidation across the channel, with MSSPs taking steps to ensure they were in a position to provide the breath of support and services that users wanted, he added.
Williams said the M&A activity in the channel had become a concern for some customers, who viewed it as one of the areas that could have an impact on their ability to protect themselves.
The Distology survey also revealed concerns that hackers were becoming more sophisticated and that demanded MSSPs to be able to deliver a more detailed response.
“The consolidation in the MSSP market may not immediately present itself as a threat,” said Williams. “However, as the majority of private sector businesses are SMEs, and cyber security solutions have traditionally been aimed predominantly at larger organisations, MSSPs are vital for protecting smaller businesses that may be reliant on the advice, support, guidance and subscription-style services that an MSSP can offer.”
Where disruption will come
The Distology survey asked IT leaders where they thought the main disruptors would come from on the security front over the next five years:
- The top response was that consolidation in the managed security service provider market will lead to cyber security as a service being commonplace.
- Talent attraction of young people into IT, particularly cyber security, will pose problems.
- Attacks will become more sophisticated in nature and targeting.
- Zero-day threats will continue to emerge from software/code flaws from major software and service providers.
- Fears that a consumer state mentality of an indifference to cyber security will bleed further into the enterprise IT environment.
- Major cyber security network and data breaches will become more regular in the next few years.