A survey of 1,536 cybersecurity professionals suggests that 2020 will prove to be a big year in terms of managed security services adoption.

The report, published by Cynet, a provider of a platform for managing data breaches, finds that the current reliance on external security expertise is widespread, but uneven. Only 23 percent of respondents said they assume full control over all cybersecurity functions within their organization. In contrast, 49 percent outsource alert monitoring and investigation, while 19 percent outsource investigations as well. Only 9 percent outsource all aspects of cybersecurity.

In terms of functions that organizations would want to outsource, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) cited alert monitoring and prioritization, followed by investigation of root cause and scope of impact (54 percent), and proactive threat hunting (43 percent).

Organizations are struggling under their current cybersecurity load

The three biggest inhibitors cited by survey respondents are management, maintenance, and overhead of the cybersecurity products they already have installed (78 percent), the skill level of the internal cybersecurity team (67 percent), and the size of the cybersecurity team (53 percent). A full 72 percent said they are struggling with managing existing cybersecurity products to the point where they can’t add more. Only 9 percent of the respondents described their cybersecurity environments as being highly automated via a single dashboard.

Nevertheless, nearly three quarters (73 percent) said the size of cybersecurity budget will increase in 2020, with most (63 percent) of the focus for new cybersecurity projects on security information event management (SIEM), network traffic analysis (58 percent), and enterprise detection and response (57 percent).

From a managed service provider (MSP) perspective, the two most compelling responses are the number of organizations that would consolidate security platforms if they could (77 percent), and the number of organizations that prefer to deploy and manage cybersecurity technologies as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application (66 percent). A full 61 percent of respondents also noted there is no central aggregation of alerts within their organization. More than three quarter of respondents (76 percent) said somewhere between 20 to 60 percent of alerts that are generated daily are ignored.

MSPs can play a larger role managing cybersecurity in 2020

The survey notes most organizations are especially focused on trying to discover and then patch vulnerabilities in applications (63 percent), and prevent zero-day malware execution (54 percent). Specifically, weaponized email attachments and links (74 percent), ransomware (71 percent), and banking trojans/malware (67 percent) are the most concerning.

Most organizations now have a requirement for cybersecurity expertise that exceeds their capability. Even organizations with a lot of cybersecurity expertise are finding that the rise in global tensions is requiring them to put cybersecurity teams on higher stages of alert, for longer periods of time. Most organizations will be unable to sustain that effort.

Naturally, this need for additional cybersecurity expertise bodes well for MSPs willing to make the right investments. The real challenge for MSPs, of course, is not only attaining that expertise but also maintaining it as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve.

Photo: Mladen Zivkovic / Shutterstock

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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