Moving Target: Cybersecurity and Integrated Managed Services

May 31, 2017
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Cybersecurity continues to encompass the pressing need for detailed, broad and varied solution capabilities. Implementing, maintaining and updating comprehensive cybersecurity solutions frequently seem to be daunting tasks for organizations of all sizes. Simplifying cybersecurity solutions is appealing as a beneficial goal — but the more useful approach right now is to streamline integrated services to handle a broad range of capabilities. Often different industries require specialized security solutions; customization requirements are often part of the mix for many organizations. Managed services providers can cost-effectively handle these sorts of individualized needs as ‘business as usual’.

Cybersecurity and the Cloud

Like data management and analytics, the cloud impacts cybersecurity solutions on two fronts: the need to provide extensive cybersecurity capabilities for cloud-based applications and services; and the transition to security services and solutions based in the cloud themselves.

A recent article quoted a survey that revealed the problems still challenging organizations for effective cybersecurity to protect work done in the cloud:

 In the face of rapid growth of cloud infrastructure across IT, security has not been able to keep up with the pace of change. Approximately 65 percent of respondents say it takes three months or longer to deploy a new security solution for cloud infrastructure environments. The survey showed that more than three-quarters of survey respondents experience tool fatigue and nearly as many said traditional tools don’t scale well in cloud environments…

The survey showed that 77 percent of security leaders say they have too many point solutions to do security well in cloud environments, and 76 percent say they lack visibility into attacks through cloud infrastructure.

Comprehensive integrated / bundled managed services can contribute greatly to reducing the complexity of end-to-end cybersecurity solutions, while drawing on MSP expertise in multiple technology areas that matter greatly for effective cybersecurity. MSPs need to develop integrated services that address the needs of both cloud and on-premises technologies and work processes, while utilizing elastic methodologies to better defend overall infrastructures from cyber threats.

Cloud-based cybersecurity services align well with the movement of managed services to the cloud, to increase flexibility and reduce costs in ways that pay off for clients. It’s important to remember that cybersecurity is very technology-intensive and can be quite complex ‘internally’. While MSPs can create streamlined services that work well for clients, the less viable notion right now is the ability to make cybersecurity “simple” (in the way that basic SaaS services are known for). It still takes well-experienced tech experts on the job to make sure everything is continuously updated and working optimally.

Continuous Data Management and Analytics

Data is an integral part of effective cybersecurity services, to build consolidated views across all infrastructures (cloud, on-premises) in order to locate and monitor cyber threats as they occur. Data must be analyzed, understood and put to work to continuously anticipate new threats and improve technologies and processes for better protection over time.

Data sources include big data that comes from many areas both inside and outside the firewall. Big data analytics, combined with other data sources, can process: patterns of behavior preceding attacks; attack attributes; and other analyses — to derive invaluable context to better understand how cybersecurity services should respond to and prevent threats. Predictive analytics processes lead to crafting methods to head off new kinds of attacks. Big data analytics will take MSPs into more ‘creative’ services that must continuously evolve and be highly responsive to the ultra-fast kaleidoscope of cyber attacks.

Through integrated / bundled managed services that encompass cybersecurity, cloud platforms, and data management and analytics, MSPs can take on all aspects of comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to free up in-house IT teams for other important tasks — particularly for proactive business technology activities that directly support the business endeavors, goals and objectives of the organization.