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Financial Services Cybersecurity: MSSPs, MSPs Can Capture Greater Market Share

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Increased spending in cybersecurity and digital transformation (DX) among financial services and alternative investment businesses will trigger greater reliance on MSSPs and MSPs to protect digital assets.

That conclusion comes by way a new white paper from ECI, a public cloud and cybersecurity managed services firm for the global financial services industry. To better understand the intersection of cybersecurity and DX for global alternative investment institutions, ECI commissioned market intelligence firm IDC to write, "Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation of Global Alternative Asset Institutions: A Critical Pairing.”

The survey of senior leaders from 400 global alternative investment institutions in U.S., Canada, France, U.K. and Germany found that spending around cybersecurity and DX is growing. However, in-house execution is decreasing and outsourcing trends are increasing. As such, 51% of respondents said they will either heavily outsource to MSSPs or use a mix of MSSPs and managed threat detection and response providers in the next two years.

In addition, nearly 30% of institutions plan to heavily outsource to MSPs in the next two years, more than doubling the current usage (12%). Beyond specific project work, 67% of respondents listed expanded staffing as a core reason to leverage cybersecurity related consulting services.

Cybersecurity Drives Greater Reliance on MSSPs and MSPs

IDC envisions a “dramatic shift” over the next two years of institutional outsourcing to an MSSP. In fact, the use of MSSPs for cybersecurity purposes is expected to more than double to 29%, compared with 12% today.

The study also found:

  • 57% of respondents identified security/privacy as their top concern round implementing DX.
  • 35% said policy development and investigations were a top concern.
  • 61% had undertaken security-focused DX projects in 2021.
  • 47% indicated that risk assessment management was also a top priority for their DX efforts.
  • 42% ranked security strategy and road mapping as a priority.

ECI CEO David Andrade offered his take on the survey results:

“What these findings show is that the alternative investment market recognizes the value of coupling digital transformation and cybersecurity strategies, and firms are prepared to invest in such efforts, but struggle with execution due to obstacles outside of their control like staffing shortages. This presents an enormous opportunity for third-party vendors, such as consulting firms and managed services providers, to step into more of a strategic partnership with these institutions and help enable lasting change.”

Organizations Need Outside Cybersecurity Expertise

Threat monitoring, alerting and response is a time-consuming activity requiring specifically skilled and trained personnel, EDC says. However, given the industry-wide skills gap, organizations are exploring vendor managed security solutions as a more cost-effective approach. That allows in-house teams to focus on routine business and DX efforts.

For that matter, the study found that 81% of organizations in North America and 81% in Europe indicated that cybersecurity consulting services are critical to digital transformation efforts.

Philip Harris, Director, Cybersecurity Risk Management Services at IDC, added his perspective:

“Digital transformation initiatives with embedded cybersecurity are top of mind for most industries due to the significant impact DX can have on a company’s profitability, growth and risk management. With security taking a critical role, companies are turning to outsourced resources to both scale initiatives and build or maintain a strong security posture in the process.”

To learn more, download the full IDC white paper.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.