Master Agents and MSSPs: Taking a Bite Out of Cybercrime

Master agents are helping their partners provide their clients with the specialized security services they need.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

December 1, 2018

3 Min Read
Frustrated Hacker

Consider this: The World Wide Web will turn 20 in 2019. It existed for two years before the first website went live. Today, there are more than 1.6 billion websites worldwide, according to the Netcraft October 2018 Web Server Survey.

Cybersecurity Ventures reports there are more than 4 billion people online worldwide and by 2022, there will be 6 billion internet users (75 percent of the projected world population). By 2030, more than 90 percent of the population over the age of six will be online. That’s 7.5 billion people.

Advances in digital technology are transforming the way the world’s population lives and works. Unfortunately, they’re also creating an attractive target for cybercriminals.

Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Of note to the channel is the prediction by Juniper Research that data breaches will cost businesses more than $2 trillion by 2019, almost quadruple the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. Juniper further predicted that the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020, as more business infrastructure gets connected.

Cybercrime – phishing, hacking, malware, DDoS, identity theft, ransomware and more – is among the greatest challenges facing businesses today. According to a report from Kaspersky Lab, the average cost of a data breach in North America is $1.6 million for enterprises and $149,000 for small and medium-size businesses.

Given the complexities of modern technology and the sophistication of cybercriminals, ever more businesses are outsourcing the management of their security rather than attempting to deal with it internally. In a survey conducted by Forrester, half of respondents said that they have engaged the services of a managed security services provider (MSSP), and an additional 28 percent said they planned to do so within the next year. The key drivers for the use of MSSPs include competencies to enhance protection, address infrastructure challenges and attain security priorities.

In the channel, master agents are working to provide their partners with the managed-security services their clients need. In November, Telarus added to its growing set of managed security services when it signed a deal with Thrive Networks that enables the more than 4,000 Telarus subagents to sell Thrive’s managed services — including security.

At Channel Partners Evolution in October, Avant Communications announced an alliance with MSSP Trustwave that gave Avant’s channel partners access to Trustwave’s portfolio of managed security services covering threats, vulnerabilities and compliance.

Dallas-based eXemplify Group, a Verizon platinum master agent, provides its partners with managed-security service tools, training and technology through the Verizon Partner Program.

Sandler Partners’ provider portfolio gives its channel partners access to a number of top managed security services providers, including AireSpring, Bell Canada, ByteGrid, Masergy, NetWolves, Nitel, NTT Communications, QTS, Steadfast, TierPoint, US Signal and Windstream.

Sandler notes on its website, “With the uptick in cybercrime and the increased exposure from mobile endpoints, it’s clear that organizations must do more to stay ahead of threats and effectively manage risks.”  And organizations are more and more likely to use managed security service providers to help protect them against cyberattacks.

MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global managed security services market will grow from $24.05 billion this year to $47.65 billion by 2023, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7 percent, with North America expected to dominate the market. This represents tremendous opportunities for master agents and their partners.

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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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