Revisiting the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services from Jan 2017

Written by

With the evolving data threat landscape, there has been an increase in the risk of cyberattacks for all organizations. According to Dell Security, the costs incurred due to malware attacks doubled to $8.19 billion in 2016.

In addition, Juniper Research has estimated that the cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019. Organizations that handle sensitive data of clients are at high risk of a cyberattack. To tackle this, organizations are in the constant need of a systematic approach to manage security needs and protect their confidential data.

Businesses and organizations that are small or have limited staffs and low budgets often lag in security management. For such organizations, Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) not only help with cost-efficient threat detection but also timely maintenance.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services offers well-respected analysis of important players in the tech industry. It has been successfully evaluating the service providers’ capability to deliver:

  • Firewall and intrusion detection and prevention functions
  • Log analysis
  • Reporting services

While the scope of the assessment relates to global managed service providers, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services in January 2017 was as follows:

Figure 1: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services, Worldwide (Jan 2017)

Source: Gartner

Analysing the Leader’s Quadrant

The ‘leaders’ quadrant includes players with robust MSS delivery capability, enough visibility of their security offerings in the market, and their ability to compete with other vendors on a global basis. Organizations which seek an established MSS with a global presence and a security focus were the ones who opted for leaders.

Players in this quadrant showed a firm presence in North America, Europe, and Australia. Many leaders like Symantec were found to be equipped with a full-featured MSS portal, with support for alert assessment and investigation, log search, workflow, and reporting.

Players in another quadrant, called ‘visionaries,’ are basically the consultants of managed security services that require frequent interactions with analysts, flexible service delivery options, and active customer service.

Where did the Challengers Stand?

Many players were reflected in this quadrant due to their global delivery capability and the current state of their threat manager. Mature security monitoring and management services, along with flexible delivery options, added the cherry on the cake.

Furthermore, players in the ‘challengers’ quadrant showed the strength of their global capabilities, focused on network-based security event monitoring, and addressed the lack of visibility for stand-alone MSS among buyers.

We can say that challengers acquired their position thanks to the multiregional MSS and consulting delivery resources and support capabilities for large service engagements.

The Opportunistic Niche Players!

‘Niche players’ were characterized by the service offerings available primarily in specific market segments, or mainly as part of other service offerings.

Niche players were seen reflecting their focus on delivering MSSs as part of broader IT outsourcing deals. Although characterized by limited visibility, many players like Atos showcased broader IT services engagements and gained access to high-profile digital business projects at large enterprises.

Other players like BAE Systems showed high-level experience with Big Data platforms and advanced analytics, which offered solutions for advanced threat defence, as well as financial crime and fraud detection.

Another player, HCL Technologies, was found to support a number of third-party security technologies in major security market segments. As a result, this increased its ability to support existing technologies already deployed in the customer environment. So, we can say that the niche players mainly depicted a highly customizable solution to customer’s requirements.

What can Change in 2018?

Simply put, we can expect some players to move one quadrant higher than their position in January 2017. For instance, leaders becoming visionaries, challengers becoming leaders, and niche players becoming challengers. Although this is easier said than done, requirements of customers with service needs in multiple geographic regions may play a vital role in this game.

At the same time, we cannot ignore the possibility that MSSPs which do not meet the criteria for inclusion in a particular magic quadrant may still deliver high-quality services within a continental or geographic region.

In both mature and emerging regions, several large and midsized organizations are in their first cycle of building threat detection. This will be an excellent break for the niche players in those areas to seek ways to conform with a variety of compliance concerns.

Take, for example, SMEs which are frightened continuously by the continual flow of bad news regarding data breaches and how hackers are creating digital disruption and hampering their day-to-day business.

Niche players need to wisely assess their technology partners to ensure that their security abilities are well rooted in all of the offerings. This mainly will include managed hosting, managed services, network solutions, co-location, and the cloud. Only then will they be able to help organizations transform into secure hubs for innovation. Also, the players need to develop their capabilities for advanced threat detection and analytics as far as gaining a competitive edge is concerned.


Successful managed security service providers will be those that can demonstrate trustworthiness in remediation without disturbing their customer operations.

Developing a strong vertical industry knowledge and winning customer trust will remain the key. Furthermore, the players who will offer complete security solutions instead of merely generating low fidelity security alerts will maintain, or in fact, can upgrade their position in the magic quadrant.

Considering the fact that the security challenge and complexity of organizations will only increase in the coming years, active MSSPs will have to interact closely with customers and offer the best solutions to keep them safe. So, let’s wait for the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services from January 2018 and see if our analysis remains true!

Article Categories:
Computer · Software

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *