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ENGAGING THE EXPERTS: A LOOK AT THE MIDDLE EAST MSS MARKET

By Stephan Berner, CEO at Help AG  |  Posted Sunday, 15th July 2018

It’s been just over last three years that Middle East organizations have begun to explore and adopt Managed Security Services (MSS). As one of the first entrants into this segment, Help AG was quick to identify the trend and our early and ongoing investments in technologies and skilled resources have enabled us to establish ourselves as the market leader, trusted by some of the biggest names in the banking, government and enterprise sectors. So where does the market stand at the moment and how can you ensure success when you opt to engage the services of an MSS provider?

Market Drivers

While uptake in the region lags more mature markets, Middle East organizations have become more receptive to MSS of late. Cyber criminals are more active than ever before and breaches entail significant financial impact- estimated on average to be $3.62 million, with additional losses due to reputational damage. This drives the necessity of having a 24/7 SOC, which however is difficult to set up, operate and manage for an organization whose core business is not IT security. The primary reason for this is the unavailability of skilled resources and the cost involved.

Managed Security Services address both these challenges as it helps move IT budgets from intimidating CapEx to more manageable OpEx while trusting the security operations to a team of qualified experts. This is especially helpful in the current period wherein the lack of qualified cyber security professional is a pressing concern. Additional benefits of MSS include the upward or even downward scalability (enabled by the pay-as-you-go model); and enhanced availability as with an MSS provider, customers get 24×7 support with assured 99+% availability which ensures that business is always on.

A Snapshot of the Middle East MSS Market

Currently the Middle East MSS market is being catered to by three types of providers- the telecom operators, international providers and local channel players- and each touts its own set of advantages.

Telecom operators have the necessary infrastructure, brand value and existing penetration into customer accounts but aim to deliver a one-size-fits-all approach focused on quantity over customization of services. International providers bring a wealth of experience but fail to alleviate security concerns as they require customer data to be managed and stored in out-of-region data centres. And while the local players can tailor their services to the specific needs of the market, only a few have invested in developing the technical skills sets needed to deliver service of international quality such as Help AG. This has left gaps in the market resulting in a lack of faith by customers. By understanding these shortcomings, customers will be able to better evaluate MSSPs and identify the few that have taken the steps necessary to deliver true value by addressing these challenges.

Potential Pitfalls

Before launching our MSS offering, we conducted a year-long comprehensive market analysis, which revealed that data confidentiality, location and handling of data, and management of SLAs were the main concerns that customers had.

While we specifically addressed each of these concerns when defining and designing our MSS offering, such analysis has been overlooked by a number of providers. Therefore, many of the existing MSSPs are unable to deliver the correct service level to their customers. Also, while they may have a portfolio ready today, their service offerings remain inflexible and unable to meet specific customer requirements.

Setting Ourselves Apart

Simply put, Help AG’s MSS delivers a commitment of focused local delivery with international standards. Besides the unmatched technical expertise of our team, we have invested in certifying our MSS services in compliance with the Information Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification. This has involved exhaustive internal and external audits to confirm that we implemented over 110 stringent security controls relating to Physical & Environmental Security, Technical Security, Personnel Security, Supplier Relations, Operations Security, Business Continuity, Incident Management, and Compliance. This certification thus stands a clear proof of our expertise and investment!

Setting a Starting Point

If you are looking to engage our services, but find yourself wondering where to start, why not consider some of the main managed services that our customers are opting for. These include 24×7 Security Event Management and Incident Response; Managed Remediation Services; Managed Web Defence (Application Layer DDOS, Anti-Defacement, Anti-Phishing); Managed Web Application Firewall; Managed Vulnerability Assessments; Managed Endpoint Security; Managed Endpoint Threat Detection & Response; and Managed Threat Intelligence.

So, if you’re struggling with any of the challenges outlined above and are looking for a provider that stands out from the pack (with certifications and qualifications to back up this claim), I can assure you that Help AG is the right choice! The biggest and most reputed companies in the region trust us and there is no doubt that our MSS team  can efficiently and cost-effectively elevate your organization’s security posture too.

Blog by:

Stephan Berner, CEO at Help AG

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