#CyberFLASH: Behind the rise in Canada of managed security providers

image-2It’s taken a while but Canadian CISOs are increasingly outsourcing elements of IT protection to managed security service providers (MSSPs).

The logic is inevitable: Faced with attackers who are well funded — sometimes by nation states — while their own budgets are constrained, and with no assurance that any combination of defences will set up an impenetrable wall, infosec pros need help.

In fact, a recent IDC Canada survey of 178 security professionals noted 61 per cent said the biggest reason they chose an MSSP is because the provider can offer staff round the clock.

The second biggest reason is security isn’t a core to the business (39 per cent), while 37 per cent cited “staff knowledge of security threats,” and one-third admitted they don’t have the needed technology.

The cost of providing the best security was only cited by 27 per cent of respondents.

Mark McArdle, chief technology officer at eSentire, a Cambridge, Ont.-based MSSP with offices in the U.S. and Europe, noted in an interview that regulators are also increasing pressure on CISOs to improve security. Last year, he noted, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) circulated a 28-question survey to 50 publicly-traded financial institutions asking how they handle risk management.

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