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MSSPs: Why IT Automation is the Secret Sauce for Success

MSSPs: Why IT Automation is the Secret Sauce for SuccessWhen the topic of security automation comes up, it’s typically in the context of enterprise Security Operations Centers (SOC). The fact is, there’s another group that can benefit tremendously from IT automation and that’s Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP). MSSPs face many similar challenges that traditional SOCs encounter, such as huge volumes of data, case management, reporting and, of course, staffing shortages. In fact, for MSSPs, these problems are often compounded.

Unlike SOCs, MSSP analysts support multiple clients simultaneously; oftentimes each with their own individual security platforms and runbooks. As a result, analysts often receive numerous alerts from a multitude of tools that must be resolved according to each client’s service level agreement. Not only can this be confusing, which can significantly increase the likelihood of errors, but it can easily lead to alert fatigue, frustration and burnout.

Keeping up with security alerts is challenging even for smaller organizations. For MSSPs monitoring 30, 50, 100 or more individual clients, the complexity becomes monumental.  Likewise, the combination of multiple endpoints, different network configurations and application security platforms, coupled with managing their own threat intelligence and analytics, the issue becomes even further complicated. All of this can make resolving incidents in a timely manner incredibly difficult, even for the most agile, capable team. For these reasons, many MSSPs are now turning to IT automation as a solution.

When it comes to operating a successful MSSP, the ability to standardize is absolutely essential. Additionally, with multiple players entering the field, the competition is becoming much more intense. Continuous innovation is the key to survival. Operational standardization enables MSSPs to become more innovative by streamlining and automating the high-volume, repetitive manual tasks that bog down operations teams.

With IT automation, MSSP analysts can dramatically improve efficiency and therefore support more customers and handle more use cases. In fact, shifting from human to intelligent machine may even facilitate smaller teams to compete with larger competitors. In other words, IT automation allows MSSPs to do more with less. From a business perspective, this means greater profitability across the board. Additionally, having automated processes can help in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.

Simply put, the automation of MSSP activities benefits everyone. Security analysts can take on more clients at a lower operating cost while delivering a higher level of service. As a result, clients are more secure and satisfied. Meanwhile, operations teams enjoy the ability to apply their high-level skills to more fulfilling tasks and projects, thereby improving staff morale and performance. With IT automation, everyone wins.

Ayehu provides intelligent machine learning driven decision support via suggestions to optimize MSSP workflows, speeding up operations and reducing workload. Want to see it in action? Request a demo today!

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Companies Still Struggling to Find Qualified IT Security Professionals – Are MSSPs the Answer?

Companies Still Struggling to Find Qualified IT Security Professionals – Are MSSPs the Answer?As organizations continue to digitize business processes at an increasingly rapid rate and we delve deeper into the realm of cloud, mobile, Big Data and IoT, executive leaders are finding it challenging to attract, recruit and retain adequate IT security talent to keep their networks safe. The recent Global State of Information Security Survey – a worldwide study conducted by such industry leaders as CIO, CSO and PwC, qualified IT security professionals are quite hard to come by these days. As a result, many companies are working to close this skills gap by relying on managed security service providers (MSSPs) to handle their cybersecurity needs.

In fact, many industry experts believe that the MSSP market will continue to grow beyond its current rate of around 10-15% annual growth rate. It’s not necessarily what one would consider explosive growth, but it’s steady enough that it’s worth noting. This is due in large part to the ever-evolving threat environment against an increasing use of business technologies like the cloud and BYOD. Companies across all industries are discovering that their in-house IT teams do not possess the necessary skillsets to adequately handle the monumental task of cybersecurity. Therefore, the demand for qualified professionals continues to drive price up and availability down. Outsourcing to an MSSP provides another, more affordable option.

The average growth rate of managed security service providers seems to be supported by a recent study conducted by Markets and Markets, which predicted that the cybersecurity services marketplace will extend above $202 billion by as soon as the year 2021. That would be an increase of around $80 billion from the present numbers over the course of just 4 years. During that same time frame, the report also indicates that application security will also continue to grow at a rate faster than aerospace, device, utilities, IT and telecommunications.

Of course, for every expert or group that theorizes about the increase in outsourcing to MSSPs, there are almost as many industry professionals who tend to lean the other way. The concept of outsourcing things like security operations relies on the assumption that organizations will gladly hand off these tasks to security operations centers in order to free up internal resources so they can focus on other key business objectives. The reality, however, is that for many enterprises, the security function is deeply intertwined with other critical business processes. This is particularly the case with firms in industries that deal with sensitive data, such as financials and ecommerce.

For situations such as this, the best option to bridge the skills gap and maintain optimum cybersecurity levels is to invest not only in skilled staff, but also the advanced technologies that will help them do their jobs most effectively (and in many cases with limited resources). For instance, a robust monitoring program that is integrated with an intuitive automation and orchestration platform will help to create a closed-loop, multi-faceted and highly sophisticated internal incident response process that can be managed by almost any IT professional – even those who aren’t necessarily considered security experts.

Likewise, even MSSPs will be able to leverage this type of security platform to better serve their clients, essentially allowing them to maximize efficiency, reduce errors, improve service levels and remain profitable in an increasingly competitive field.

To learn more about the Ayehu automation and orchestration platform and how it can be utilized in your organization or MSSP operation, click here to request a product demo or start your free trial and start automating today.