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Forrester: Managed Security Services Poised To Take Off

Many enterprises turn to third parties to improve quality of security, report says
The market for managed security services market took off last year, but that's only the start of a broader trend, according to a new research report published earlier this week.

Forrester Research's "Market Overview: Managed Security Services" report offers a look at where managed security services offerings have been and where they're going. The gist: There will be much more use of third-party services in 2010 and beyond.

The research firm estimates the size of the market to be more than $4.5 billion, which includes software-as-a-service and outsourced security offerings. The top 20 vendors hold about 80 percent of market share, led by IBM, Symantec, BT, HP, and Verizon Business, Forrester says. None of those companies holds more than 10 percent of the market.

But there is still much green field to be plowed, according to the Forrester report. While providers are offering services ranging from security event monitoring to threat intelligence to compliance and content filtering, Forrester estimates that service providers have not penetrated more than 30 percent of the potential market for any of those services.

Interestingly, enterprises' reasons for using third-party services are shifting, Forrester says. While cost savings was a major reason for outsourcing in past years, improving quality, competency, and time of security coverage are now the chief drivers, according to the report.

"Traditionally, MSSPs focused on taking over some of the mundane operational responsibilities from organizations; therefore, the decision criteria was fairly simple," Forrester says. Companies were satisfied as long as the service provider offered the service at a reasonable cost and had bigger and better tools. But managed services will need to deliver a lot more as the complexity of [the enterprise] environment increases, the threat landscape changes, and the business requirements keep evolving."

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