Managed IT security to 'grow exponentially'

Credible providers and a more favorable corporate mindset will spur the growth of managed security services within next three years, says Verizon Business' security chief.

Managed security services in the region will "grow exponentially", particularly in the next two to three years, predicts the regional security head for Verizon Business.

Robert Lording, security director for the Asia-Pacific region at Verizon Business, told ZDNet Asia that while the concept of outsourcing security services is not new, the market for managed security services is now being bolstered by credible market players and a shifting user mindset.

Lording explained: "Traditionally, there's been a reluctance [among organizations] to outsource some of the security services, particularly around data, because that [involves] the heart and soul of your business."

However, this perception has since changed and companies are now more willing to allow their IT security services to be "provided by someone else", he said. Today, there are "reputable players" that offer such services and businesses are "significantly more at ease" to outsource functions to reap benefits, said Sydney-based Lording, who oversees Verizon Business' overall security well-being.

His own experience has been such, he pointed out. There was some struggle initially to move job tasks under his department's purview to other departments in the company, but Lording's team came to realize there were "significant advantages" in subscribing to managed services. These benefits include bypassing the need to invest in training and pay for specific skillsets, he said

Lording believes other organizations will go through the same struggle and revelation, and eventually also decide to outsource their security requirements.

"It's a little bit like how, once upon a time, companies used to employ their own security guys who would sit at a front desk or entrance to the building," he said. "These days, very few companies employ their own security guys--they [view] physical security guards and guarding services as not their core business, so what we see is that they've outsourced that to reputable suppliers.

"The same thing is happening in IT security," he said.

He noted that industries such as healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods, legal and manufacturing, will be more receptive toward managed security services, while government and banking and financial services will go through a slower adoption curve.

Organizations are also appreciative of security elements that are bundled with other outsourced services, Lording said, adding that Verizon Business has been increasing its focus in this area. He reported that the sales of security services for the company this year increased about 50 percent globally, noting that the bulk of these services were bundled as a package with Verizon Business' other outsourced services.