Whether it’s an attack on small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), or the high profile 2015 breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — in which records of 22 million current and former federal employees were compromised — cybercrime is on the rise. Unsurprisingly, spending on security is also increasing. In fact, Gartner reported the global cybersecurity market would reach $75 billion in 2015. And, according to Markets and Markets, that number will hit $170 billion by 2020.

With these numbers, and the rising adoption of cloud services, it’s high time MSPs considered adding managed security services to their portfolios.

Understand complicated demands

As hackers become more sophisticated and prolific, many companies are finding it difficult to stay ahead of the game. SMBs in particular, with limited financial resources and in-house technical expertise, are increasingly turning to MSPs and cloud service providers to keep data secure. Highly regulated industries, such as financial services and health care, also face increased pressure to meet regulatory compliance mandates.

For many of these companies, a breach would be a devastating blow. In addition, as mobility and the Internet of Things continue to gain steam, the technology required to secure these distributed and hyper-connected environments has become extremely complicated from a technical standpoint. Often, too complicated for the IT resources available to SMBs.

Get in the game

There are many reasons why MSPs should add managed security services to their portfolios. First, the opportunity is there. According to Research and Markets, the market will grow to more than $35 billion in 2020 — a hefty increase from last year’s $17.8 billion. This is a response to the rise in cybercrime, increasingly strict compliance and data protection laws, a lack of in-house security expertise, tightening IT budgets and the overall growth of cloud services adoption.

MSPs can also offer security to their clients as an add-on to other services, thereby creating new revenue streams and bolstering their customer relationships. In addition, and as threats continue to grow, MSPs help companies minimize the dangers from malware, trojans and other malicious events. And, perhaps more importantly, MSP security services can alleviate the legitimate fears that keep CISOs up at night — data breaches, hacked emails and more.

Still need a reason to consider managed security services? Here’s one: BYOD. The increasing number of smart and connected — often unsecure and unmanaged — devices employees use to access business data and applications pose a major threat to businesses that often don’t know what or where those devices are. MSPs can work with their customers to support and secure these incoming devices proactively.

Tap the market

While many MSPs already offer backup and disaster recovery services — either on premises or in the cloud — there are many other managed security services they can add on. This includes managed firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, identity and access management, network and application performance monitoring and security analytics. For many, the ultimate goal is to become a one-stop shop for all things security.

We see data breaches all too often these days, and while they compromise the sensitive corporate information of a vast number of businesses, their customers and their employees, they also cost a lot to mitigate. In the health care industry alone, security breaches have cost more than $31 billion in damages since 2009, according to a report by Privacy Analytics. While large enterprises often have the resources to secure their environments, the fact is that SMBs don’t. Because of this, they’re looking to MSPs to provide the managed security services they need.

Key takeaways

  • Leading analysts say the managed security market is poised for massive growth.
  • Cybersecurity threats — internal and external — are increasing in number and sophistication.
  • Due to a lack of resources, SMBs are looking to MSPs to secure increasingly mobile and hyper-connected environments.

Karin is an independent industry analyst and writer, with over 10 years experience in information technology. She focuses on cloud infrastructure, hosted applications and services, end user computing and related systems management software and services. She spent nearly eight years at 451 Research, where she spearheaded coverage on emerging desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) markets. She has extensive expertise in enterprise infrastructure software and services, as well as a deep understanding of SMB and hosting markets.