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As the global workforce largely shifted to work-from-home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on online services soared. Many businesses were able to successfully pivot to this new normal as remote connectivity allowed access to vital systems and data. But as is often the case, no good deed goes unpunished. As the latest NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report shows, cybercriminals have exploited new vulnerabilities created by remote work across a wide variety of vertical industries.

Making matters worse, perpetrators no longer have to be particularly technology-savvy in order to pull off attacks. Today, it is easy and relatively inexpensive to access sophisticated attack tools via for-hire services: A cottage industry has sprung up to support these nefarious activities.

One result of this trend has been a marked increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which has heightened the need for enterprises to be prepared to combat the growing threat.

Increasing Demand for MSSPs

As enterprises face this heightened threat landscape, there is a growing demand for managed security service providers (MSSPs). This is reflected in the growth of the managed security services marketplace, which is expected to expand from $27.7 billion in 2020 to $64.73 billion by 2026.

The increased adoption of managed DDoS protection services is reflective of a lack of internal security resources within many companies. A recent survey found that 9 percent of respondents did not have any dedicated cybersecurity professionals in their organizations. For companies lacking internal resources, MSSPs make good sense.

According to NETSCOUT’s 16th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR), MSSPs experienced an increase of 69 percent in enterprise demand in 2020. In particular, the survey notes a significant increase in demand from the education and healthcare sectors. These sectors, which have become increasingly reliant on pandemic-driven online services, have sustained increases in DDoS attacks and DDoS extortion attempts.

Other sectors that have reported increased interest in MSSPs include government, cloud/hosting providers, financial services customers, e-commerce, ISPs, media and entertainment, and retail.

Third-Party Mitigation Services: A Growing Part of the MSSP Landscape

As the size, frequency, and complexity of DDoS attacks increase, MSSPs are expanding the types of DDoS protection they offer customers. According to the WISR, 11 percent of MSSPs are offering third-party DDoS mitigation services. This suggests that demand may be outstripping MSSPs’ ability to deliver sufficient protection services.

Further evidence of growing demand is the fact that MSSPs are increasingly offering multiple tiers of DDoS protection services. The WISR found that such multitier services have more than tripled year over year.

One thing is clear, MSSPs are adding more advanced value-added custom services, and third-party DDoS mitigation services are fast becoming an important part of such offerings.

As cyber attackers broaden their target base to exploit vulnerabilities exposed by a massive shift to remote work, the demand for managed DDoS protection services has become greater than ever. Businesses of all sizes and from all vertical industries are increasingly taking notice, recognizing the importance of putting protective measures in place before they become a victim of an attack and the damage is done.

Read the full WISR

  • Enterprise
  • Security
  • Service Provider

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