Skills shortages driving the need for MDR services

The shortage of skilled and experienced security professionals is a problem that receives widespread recognition. ISC2 has recently estimated that the global shortfall could be as high as four million worldwide. According to research from the 451 Group, 78% of organisations are facing a skills and expertise gap in security—something that impacts organisations of all sizes, even the largest enterprises. Having skilled resources on hand is key for managing and effectively responding to the sophisticated threats that organisations face and for making sense of the hugely complex technologies that have been developed to do this.

Lack of skilled resources and complex technology are among the main reasons driving vendors to expand their offerings into managed detection and response (MDR) services. Overall, the market for cybersecurity services began outpacing spending on products in 2018 and Gartner estimates the spending on security services will account for 50% of cybersecurity budgets in 2020. Spending on security services is expected to grow at rates in double figures.

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But does outsourcing to MDR service providers really provide access to skilled staff? Will they not be facing the same staffing problems as end user organisations?

Not according to many of the vendors that Bloor spoke to in putting together its new MDR market guide. The word is that MDR service providers give opportunities for more interesting, career-building work. Analysts get the opportunity to work on hundreds of investigations per year, each of which presents its own challenges. A fair number of them give their security analysts and engineers ample opportunity to expand their knowledge, encouraging them to work 50% to 60% of their time on security research.

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It is little wonder that skilled professionals are drawn to these MDR providers and as the market continues to expand, so will their opportunities. The uncertain times that we are all currently facing are complicating hiring issues even further. There has never been a better time to engage a security services provider.

This is the fifth in a series of MDR blogs by Fran Howarth. Links to the previous pieces are below:

Fran Howarth

Seasoned, results-driven industry analyst, with research and consulting experience of 20 years. Strong analytical ability and communications skills, with experience in consulting, marketing, analytical and business development roles. Differentiator is ability to analyse, understand, explain and articulate information. Specialties: Security, both IT and physical, and information governance.

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