Selecting a global telco MSSP

Mike Sapien / Ovum
Security Insights

Major SIs, IT providers, and carriers have dramatically increased their investment and interest in managed security services, and security vendors are rapidly introducing new products. There is growing demand from enterprise customers that struggle with growing security threats and breaches, and overall risk. Ovum reviewed six carriers’ global managed security services portfolios with the aim of providing insight into managed security services trends, focusing on telco-led managed security service provider (MSSP) challenges and opportunities.

Global carriers have offered managed security services for many years, and historically, these services have been very network-centric. Carriers started with security services by way of the network (e.g., WAN and Internet service security), and then added more security services as they became significant ISPs. Managed security services have expanded into many of the carriers’ different service areas, including private networks, Internet, mobile, and web services, and are now expanding into many of their new cloud-based and IT services.

Carriers can now also leverage their cloud, internal IT, and network assets to expand their services and skills as global MSSPs. All the carriers Ovum analyzed for this report stated that they will continue to make investments, recruit outside talent, and rely on strategic partnerships to develop their managed security services portfolios and security expertise.

Security now cuts across many different enterprise services, going well beyond the network and defend-the-edge (perimeter) approaches. Owning the network and having visibility of network traffic provides a distinct advantage for telco MSSPs. With the ongoing digitization of consumer and corporate life and functions, ever more people and devices will depend on connectivity, which will make network ownership and related traffic visibility an even more compelling advantage. Managed security services have become a major opportunity, with the prospect of double-digit growth in revenues. After all, security is a required element of every enterprise service. Ovum’s global service contracts analysis shows that managed security services are approaching 10% of the total value of the large global deals signed recently.

There is increasing demand for managed security services, and we expect further growth in demand from enterprise customers that are frustrated with the increasing cost and complexity of securing IT and networks. Enterprise customers need help with responding to new threats, managing multiple security solutions, and analyzing disparate security information that still keeps them open to breaches. Threat management, cybersecurity, and analytics are now being added into the solution mix so that enterprises can attain the appropriate security level, and MSSPs need to strengthen their capabilities in these areas.

It’s still early days, but enterprises are starting to supplement historical defensive security measures with new preventative, real-time, automated measures to defend against, predict, and remediate security incidents faster and with more accuracy. Carriers are already in the game, but will need to make the right investments, pick the right partners, speed internal development, and integrate new security services to stay relevant and become trusted advisors and successful MSSPs.     

Key findings

  • Telcos are global ISPs and IP backbone providers. They already see and manage high volumes of security incidents, breaches, malware, and hackers. 
  • Managed security services is already a large services revenue stream for telco-led MSSPs.
  • MSSPs addressing the enterprise market have high potential for growth.
  • Security is and will remain one of the critical requirements for enterprise customers of all sizes, and must be an integral part of any managed network and IT service now. 
  • Managed security services are extending beyond perimeter solutions to include more complex core solutions that lend themselves to both network- and cloud-based platforms.
  • New security solutions are emerging that will supplement - but not necessarily replace - perimeter solutions.    

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