A new wave of data confirms that the exploding number of media reports on cybersecurity is not just hype: Organizations of all sizes are deeply concerned about their exposure to cybercriminals and preparedness to ward off attacks, and they’re turning to MSPs for support.
In Australia, end-user spending on security and risk management will grow 11.5% to Aus$7.74 billion in 2024. This is slightly lower than the global increase in spending (which will be 14%), but still a substantial double-digit growth. Aotearoa New Zealand is roughly parallel to Australia and will see security spending increase by 11%.
Meanwhile, a Cisco-commissioned Canalys study has found that cybersecurity will be at the heart of a 14% growth opportunity that will continue through 2025.
“Growth in managed services is projected to surpass growth in overall IT spending, fuelled by a rising demand for cybersecurity services and expertise. More than half (56%) of channel partners expect revenue growth from cybersecurity managed services in 2023,” the report notes.
Customers Know They’re Facing Major Security Risks
The crux of this opportunity seems to sit with the awareness among enterprises that they’re facing some very difficult times ahead. “Australia is not prepared for the next wave of cyber-crime,” Mark Gregory, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at RMIT University, noted in a recent report on InnovationAus.
Gregory’s great concern is that the security best practices that organizations have relied on for years are no longer effective in and of themselves, and yet Australian organizations and a lagging government alike are simply not moving with the speed needed. “Two factor authentication using codes sent to a mobile is not acceptable if the mobile has been compromised. Lax security questions are ineffectual. Voice recordings of phone conversations may not be sufficient evidence,” he wrote.
“It is time for government to hold an inquiry into the use of artificial intelligence and the potential for new forms of cyber-crime. It is vital that this nation be prepared for what is to come.”
Unfortunately, “preparing for what is to come” is being further compromised by a deepening skills crisis for cybersecurity in Australia. The country is on-track to hit 30,000 unfilled positions, and neighbours in New Zealand and the APAC region aren’t much better off, meaning opening the borders to skilled migrants simply won’t fill the shortfall.
This is where the MSPs come in. Those organizations that know that they need help will also realise how difficult it will be to scale up the cyber response via internal hires. They will be looking to MSPs, who already have the skills on-board and are up to date with modern security best practices, to help them de-risk in an increasingly risk-filled Internet environment.
For MSPs, this is not an opportunity to miss. It will, however, require that they themselves quickly scale to meet the expected security demand, and then make sure they’re holding on to the staff so they can continue to fully service their clients. For MSPs building a security practice, that employee churn rate is going to be the critical number to watch, as they work to capitalize on the double-digit revenue growth opportunity in the years ahead.