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A survey of 577 IT and IT security practitioners in the U.S. conducted by The Ponemon Institute on behalf of AttackIQ, a provider of security testing tools, suggests there’s a major opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) to provide security services based on monitoring tools capable of generating meaningful cybersecurity intelligence.

The survey finds over half the respondents (53 percent) admit they have no idea how effective the cybersecurity tools they have deployed are. To make matters worse, 56 percent say a major reason why data breaches still occur is because they lack visibility into security operations. A full 63 percent have observed a security control reporting that it blocked an attack when it actually failed to do so. 

Not surprisingly, 75 percent of respondents say their IT security team is unable to respond to security incidents within one day and only 41 percent say their IT security team is effective in determining the gaps in IT security infrastructure and closing them.

Less than half of the survey respondents (49 percent) are confident that data breaches can be stopped with their organization’s current investments in technology and staff, and only 57 percent said they conduct penetration testing. While the sophistication of attackers gets the most credit in terms of why breaches continue to occur (70 percent), the size of that attack surface that need be defended (66 percent) and a lack of adequate skills (65 percent) are not very far behind.

As financial investment rises, so does frustration

The survey finds that survey respondents are spending an average of $18.4 million annually on cybersecurity, with 58 percent  forecasting they will be increase of their IT security budget by an average of 14 percent in the next year. The survey also finds companies deploy 47 different cybersecurity solutions and technologies, on average. However, only 39 percent of respondents feel they are getting full value from their security investments. 

Clearly, there’s some desire to rationalize the cybersecurity platforms currently employed. As platforms evolve, many obviate the need for legacy tools, as capabilities that once required a dedicated point product become features of another platform.

The challenge is that IT teams clearly don’t have much visibility into what specific features and capabilities are still performing a relevant task. MSPs who can provide that level of visibility will be worth their weight in gold because the retiring of one product is often a prerequisite for freeing up the dollars needed to fund the acquisition of a more modern security platform.

MSPs will have to make significant investments to provide the monitoring service needed to help organizations truly understand what cybersecurity platforms provide the best value for every dollar invested. At a time when every IT project going forward needs to pass a rigorous set of cybersecurity requirements before being deployed in a production environment, MSPs now have a vested interest in making sure every dollar allocated to cybersecurity is being spent as wisely as possible.

Photo: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

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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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