Matthew Rhodes, Regional Director for MSSPs, Logpoint

Under pressure – MSSPs must become smarter to meet customer expectations

Matthew Rhodes, Regional Director for MSSPs, Logpoint looks at why MSSPs must become smarter to meet customer expectations.

MSSPs have become indispensable assets to organisations. They do much of the heavy lifting from a security standpoint for their customers, reducing operational complexity, improving security performance, and ultimately enabling them to focus on what they do best. Indeed, market forecasts suggest that the global MSSP market is projected to grow at rapid pace, rising from $22.8 billion in 2021 to $43.7 billion come 2026.

However, in recent times, the load has become considerably heavier. From the mass shift to remote and hybrid working resulting in rising data volumes to a growing cybersecurity skills gap making it increasingly difficult to confront hostile and sophisticated attacks, MSSPs are grappling with both new threats and unprecedented challenges.

Further, customer expectations have also heightened. Organisations today are demanding MSSPs be more proactive by responding and mitigating any threat at speed. At the same time, they also expect improved experiences, service delivery and transparency of operations. Consequently, many MSSPs find themselves at a crossroads: either adapt to better meet market demands, or face being swept aside by the competition.

Optimising internal processes

Presented with this predicament, MSSPs must look to evolve and become smarter, more efficient and more effective – a process that must begin with the optimisation of internal processes and operations.

Security is no exception to digital transformation. If MSSPs want to improve performance and unlock efficiencies, they should look to adopt technologies as tools of enablement. In doing so, they can make more effective use of resources, reduce complexity and bolster productivity to ensure headcounts go further.

Critically, this needs to be a logical, thought-out process, identifying a select few technologies that offer real value.

In a bid to best support the needs of their customers, MSSPs can often be sucked into adopting new tools at the drop of a hat. Over the course of several years, however, this emphasis on flexibility can create inefficiencies, culminating in a ballooning technology stack comprising hundreds of tools that becomes simply unmanageable.

MSSPs should therefore look internally, prioritising those tools that provide genuine value on a broad basis. What’s increasingly important to the customer is achieving visibility and transparency and for this to happen, there must be consolidation of the cyber stack and a move towards integrated technologies that can provide true insight.

Shifting to SaaS

Second, MSSPs should consider shifting to SaaS-based service models to realise economies of scale.

SaaS-based security offerings are undoubtedly the future, and MSSPs need to be cognisant of this shift, migrating away from traditional approaches where technology is hosted on the customer’s behalf.

Not only will this transition futureproof their offering, but it will also unlock a series of benefits for the MSSP and its customers alike. From improved service deployment to the management of all critical SOC-based platforms in a centralised location and architecture, moving to SaaS-centric models promises to limit complexity and improve service.

Unlocking new opportunities

Once these critical operational improvements have been made, MSSPs will be free to explore new opportunities. They will also be better placed to scale and reach a wider range of customers. Equally, they will have time to focus on expanding their offerings in order to obtain a larger share of each customer’s wallet.

Regarding the latter, solutions providers should consider the merits of moving beyond traditional SOC and SIEM solutions and venturing into cloud-native solutions such as Security Automation Orchestration and Response (SOAR).

SOAR enables the automation of actions and responses, reviewing and addressing those incidents that don’t need the security team’s attention. Thanks to incident prioritisation, security analysts will enjoy reduced alert fatigue as they become empowered to focus only on those incidents that matter most. This should also serve to improve Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), facilitating enhanced productivity in the security operations centre (SOC).

By automating mundane and repetitive tasks, MSSPs will also be able to operate more efficiently, lowering their costs while enhancing scalability prospects.

Of course, every organisation is different, and there is no one single set template for improvement. However, by taking progressive steps such as these, MSSPs will be better placed to capitalise on rapid market growth, operating more effectively and efficiently while scaling with ease and unlocking upselling opportunities.

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