Gartner Highlights MSSP Opportunity As Security Market Set To Hit $86.4B In 2017

As the security market continues its rocketing growth, Gartner said managed security service providers (MSSPs) are one of the key benefactors riding that opportunity to new heights.

In a recent report, Gartner said it now predicts the worldwide information security market will reach $86.4 billion by the end of 2017, up 7 percent year-over-year. That growth will continue in 2018, the report said, with the market hitting $93 billion.

"Rising awareness among CEOs and boards of directors about the business impact of security incidents and an evolving regulatory landscape have led to continued spending on security products and services," Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

[Related: Gartner: 10 Biggest Cybersecurity Consulting Companies By Revenue]

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Gartner said there is a particular opportunity around security services, saying that area is the fastest growing segment of the security market. The research firm said those services include IT outsourcing, consulting, and implementation services.

Gartner also said there is a growing opportunity around managed security services as companies look to develop a more mature security program and look to outsource more of those capabilities. Gartner said 40 percent of all managed security services contracts will be bundled with other security services and IT outsourcing projects by 2020.

Partners said they are also seeing that same opportunity. Ted Clouser, executive vice president of Little Rock, Ark.-based PC Assistance, said he is "absolutely" seeing more opportunity around managed security services than ever before. He said his company fully embraced the MSSP model about a year and a half ago and it is "beginning to really take off."

"I firmly believe that the entire industry is going to move that direction," Clouser said. Clouser said his own business' growth is in line with Gartner's predictions for the market overall.

Clouser said he is seeing the opportunity for managed security services across all technology areas of security. He said his business usually starts with a vulnerability assessment of a client then builds a custom security strategy for technology and services improvement from there.

Clouser said clients are paying attention to security more than ever before, with recent events like WannaCry and NotPetya driving awareness to new heights.

"That was the best thing that could happen for awareness," Clouser said. "That just brought it to the forefront."

Chris Jordan, CEO at College Park, Md.-based Fluency, said he is also seeing a growing opportunity around managed security services. That role is becoming more important as businesses face a growing security talent shortage but also must handle an increasing amount of critical security alerts and complex incident response needs. Jordan said MSSPs are becoming more critical to filling that gap for customers.

"Services are more important than ever before," Jordan said. He predicted most companies outside of the Fortune 300 will ultimately need to engage with an MSSP around security services. He said Fluency is working to invest in building partnerships with MSSPs for that reason.

PC Assistance's Clouser said he doesn't expect the security or MSSP opportunities will slow down anytime soon. He said he sees security becoming more intertwined with all other areas of technology, including networking and the cloud, which will make it even more critical in the years to come. He said that need is only amplified further with the security talent shortage, which he said causes more clients to turn to MSSPs for help.

"It's hard not to grow because the need is there," Clouser said.