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Virtually All Enterprises Will Outsource Security

The need to stay ahead of the hacker curve will drive nearly 90 percent of U.S. enterprises to outsource their security to managed service providers by the end of the decade, a report released Monday suggested.

According to the Yankee Group, businesses will hand over security -- initially for perimeter defenses but eventually for inside-the-firewall protection -- to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to the tune of $3.7 billion by 2008, a jump from 2004's estimated $2.4 billion.

"Enterprises are outsourcing more technology in general," said Matthew Kovar, a vice president with Yankee's security solutions group. "But we'll see a lot more in the security space. Enterprises know what they have to do, but more of them will see that [security] isn't a core competency," he added, and will hand the reins to an MSSP.

Security outsourcing will prove attractive, said Kovar, for reasons other than the cost-savings typically cited by firms farming out business processes. Among the drivers toward managed services are the accelerated attacks of today's threats -- giving enterprises virtually no time to put up defenses on their own before an attack infiltrates a network -- legislative requirements such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, and the trend toward pushing out the network perimeter to include partners and remote workers.

"The well-defined perimeter just doesn't exist anymore," said Kovar.

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