Security for small business – How to make the most of managed security services

By Bob Violino, ITworld |  Small Business, managed services, SMB

A growing number of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to managed security services to protect their networks, systems and information. Using managed services can be a sensible strategy for companies that have limited security staff and resources—and it gives them access to expertise they don't have in-house.

Managed services are “both appropriate and highly appealing, because SMBs are faced with more complex requirements than ever,” including regulatory compliance and changing IT dynamics such as mobility, external collaboration, virtualization and cloud computing, says Jonathan Penn, vice president at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge Mass.

“These are some general trends that were occurring before the recession,” Penn says. “The recession has merely served to accelerate the recognition that the operational aspects and skill [sets] around many security tasks are not strategic to SMBs.”

Managed security services are set to grow among SMBs, driven mostly by skill needs and cost savings, according to a Forrester report on the state of security at SMBs in North America and Europe, released in December 2008. Other top drivers include reducing complexity and the desire for continuous security coverage.

Security as a managed service

SMBs adopt managed security services for added competancy and cost savings

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