It seems not matter who you speak to, they all agree that managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) have a bright future ahead of them. More and more organizations of all sizes are looking to outsource IT in general and security and compliance in particular. While IBM, AT&T, Symantec and the like offer traditional outsourced managed security, there are a new breed of MSSPs that offer novel approaches to either the technology or delivery of services that give them a distinct advantage. So much so that Forrester Research released a new Wave report highlighting these "emerging" MSSPs.
I had a chance to speak with Ed Ferrara, the lead analyst from Forrester, on this Wave report. While Forrester already has a Wave report for MSSPs, Ed thought the space was dynamic enough, with so many new technologies and delivery methods to warrant a separate report on the leaders in this emerging sector.
The report looked at several criteria for each of the MSSPs:
- Business and technical value
- Client references
- Client success metrics
- SLA adherence
- MSS employees
- Security services
- SOCs and BC/DR
- Portal functionality and reporting
- Threat intelligence and analytics
- Key differentiators
- R&D investments in 2012
- Innovation for 2H 2012 and 1H 2013
- Geographic/vertical reach and future expansion
- Corporate and MSS revenues
- Number of unique MSS clients
Each of these criteria was weighted on a 0 to 5 scale. Some of these were weighted with more importance than others. The final rankings are in the chart below:
I was proud to note that two companies I have a connection to were included in the wave report. One was StillSecure, a company I helped launch way back in 2001. I was also a leading contributor in helping StillSecure move to an MSSP model. The other company is Alert Logic, a company I consult for. Alert Logic was also deemed a leader in this report, while StillSecure was a strong contender.
I had a chance to speak with Urvish Vashi, VP of marketing at Alert Logic. Urvish and I worked together back in the dotcom days for another company called Interliant, which ironically was founded by some of the founders of StillSecure as well. Urvish felt that Alert Logic was deemed a leader in the report because of the high references returned by some of its customers and partners, as well as Alert Logic's by-the-cloud, for-the-cloud model. The company has built its business by working with cloud and hosting providers in securing their infrastructure both in the data center and in the cloud. As the cloud becomes a larger piece of the puzzle of organizations' IT infrastructure, Vashi thinks Alert Logic is well positioned to continue its leadership position in this market.
Other MSSPs included in this Wave report are CompuCom Systems, Integralis, Network Box, Perimeter E-Security, Savvis, A CenturyLink Company, Secure Designs, Tata Communications and Vigilant.
Alert Logic is making copies of the report available for download. While this is the first emerging MSSP Wave Report, I am looking forward to future reports to see if new players emerge and how this group fares as the market continues to mature.