New report maps managed security to better inform buyers

Managed security has moved from the side-lines into the mainstream; from outsourced functions to a thriving business ecosystem, able to offer a huge range of solutions and services to businesses of all sizes.

But herein lies the problem: buyers of managed security services are faced with global and local companies offering a massive range of capabilities, often with conflicting and contradicting terminology and claims.

Investment in security services has grown by over 18% in the last three years, yet breaches continue to increase in frequency and value. From the convoluted language and cryptic terminology, to the endless array of solutions and rapid rate of technological development: this is clearly an ambiguous landscape for buyers!

Should businesses keep some security functions in-house, or rely wholly on managed security providers (MSPs)?

Could some services be outsourced to a low-cost IT provider, or do should CISOs rely on the highly-skilled talent only available through an MSP?

And what about the threat-fighting tech itself – are AI-powered solutions a must-have or an unknown risk?

We’ve been working to lift the fog on the cyber security scene, and recently contributed to the Managed Security Forum’s ‘Guide to UK Managed Security’. The report maps the different services commonly available and offers advice to buyers on what to look for from providers.

Owners of and CISOs at large multinational enterprises will naturally face different challenges – and have different demands – than SMEs, in terms of securing their business. Without the big budgets and lacking resources to recover swiftly from a cyberattack, SMEs in particular will need to spend wisely and ensure that MSPs can really add value. The report helps to support these buying decisions, with recommendations on assessing providers and what to look for when investing in the key security functions.

The data is drawn from detailed submissions from MSF members representing the UK’s main MSPs. It’s been anonymised to provide a transparent assessment of the industry, and help buyers make accurate choices without marketing pressures and sales tactics.

Who are these MSPs?

A ‘Vendor Landscape’ is also included in the report, which outlines the differing focus and strengths of the UK’s leading providers, from telcos and defence companies to regional champions and specialist providers.

Finally, what should dictate those buying decisions? MSF members shared insight into what they’re investing in and what their priorities are, with talent remaining the top priority for 21%, followed by managed detection and response, and AI (11% each). Members also shared their challenges, including filling high-demand, highly-skilled roles. Security architects are the hardest roles to fill for 28% of companies, followed by threat intel specialists (22%), threat hunters and senior analysts (16% each).

Understanding how MSPs think and operate will allow buyers to make better informed decisions, helping them think like and speak the same language of cyber specialists. So, whether you’re a CISO or MSP, from an SME or multinational, the report will provide a useful tool for better understanding the industry.

Managed security is evolving to become a crucial part of corporate architecture and national defence, and its therefore crucial that decision-makers in these architectures understand and can derive value from MSPs.

To access the full report visit


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