Once again, we are celebrating another major achievement at IBM Security, having been named leader in the recent IDC MarketScape: Asia-Pacific Managed Security Services 2016 Vendor Assessment.

This honor is especially momentous since it is the third time this year we’ve been recognized a top global analyst firm for our leadership in managed security services (MSS). IBM was also recognized in both “The Forrester Wave™: Managed Security Services, North America, Q3 2016” in September and the 2015 Gartner Managed Quadrant for Managed Security Services (MSS) in January.

IBM Recognized for Asia-Pacific Managed Security Services

The IDC report described IBM as “one of the strongest and most complete portfolios among all the MSS providers.” The report also stated, “Leveraging on the global scale of IBM, extensive intelligence everywhere and state-of-the-art security technology, IBM helps organizations transform and optimize their security operations.”

This is especially compelling since the Asia-Pacific marketplace has experienced rapid adoption of new technologies. Subsequently, cybersecurity investment is expected to grow the faster than any other region by 2020, according to Fortune.

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Paul Garvey, director of IBM Security Services, Asia-Pacific, and Mathew Newfield, director of IBM Managed Security Services. We discussed some of their key observations related to the changing nature of the cybersecurity market in Asia-Pacific and why MSS plays an important role in decision-making for businesses.

Adoption Ascending in Asia-Pacific

Question: Paul, what are some of the top priorities for enterprises in terms technology adoption in Asia-Pacific?

Garvey: Most chief information security officers (CISOs) I meet are concerned about technology adoption and their ability to demonstrate a good return on investment. Funding requests are significant, and the board expects immediate results. Helping CISOs set the right expectations on risk reduction through technology deployment is key to ensuring the right context for project success.

Many CISOs still struggle to demonstrate adequate visibility into their overall infrastructure, so before making any significant technology investment, we conduct a detailed assessment of the environment as is, the remediation activities road map and the overall benefit in terms of reducing risk to the enterprise. This helps ensure an understandable and achievable program of risk reduction is delivered.

How are businesses managing transitions to the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile? What are their current cybersecurity challenges?

Garvey: Many CISOs are being driven to adopt new technologies that, in many instances, represent an increase to their overall threat posture. In the absence of an appropriate baseline into their existing infrastructure, the appetite for new delivery models is resulting in an extremely difficult supply chain for the CISO to adequately control.

The risk is lowered where the CISO has good engagement with business and IT. Where security is immature or nascent, however, the opportunity to have a voice is minimized, and the enterprise carries significant additional risk as the business model transforms.

The Future of MSS

Question: What industries in Asia-Pacific appear more likely to choose MSS and why?

Newfield: We see any critical national infrastructure entity consuming third-party services to augment their existing capabilities. The appetite to accelerate visibility and control into the security infrastructure is particularly notable in the finance industry right now due to increasing regulatory pressures.

What are some key reasons why IBM’s MSS is the first choice for clients in the Asia-Pacific region?

Newfield: IBM’s MSS team brings regional and global expertise to clients in the Asia-Pacific region. By ensuring our teams are distributed around the world and available in all time zones, we can bring nonlocal threat intelligence to our regional customers. This enables us to help clients move from a reactive security posture to a proactive one by implementing controls for issues that may not have proliferated in their region yet.

How is IBM’s MSS different from other solutions?

Newfield: IBM has invested in not only the latest security tools and monitoring centers, but also its team. We have the most highly skilled security teams around the world, and use that expertise to deliver timely and effective security management and advice to our clients.

What does the future of MSS offer clients?

Newfield: Our primary goal is to bring greater intelligence to our technology to secure our clients and their data. We are focused on launching cognitive-based solutions to change the face of the fight against cybercrime. Organizations need faster, proactive and fine-tuned responses to internet dangers well ahead of exposure. Cognitive approaches bridge the gap between human expertise and security analytics, which helps organizations combat the increasing skills shortage with speed, accuracy and dependability.

MSS will continue to be an important factor in strategic business and operational decisions for many CISOs throughout the world as they combat the skills shortage and adopt new technologies to accelerate performance and address global competitive pressures.

For more information, download the IDC MarketScape: Asia-Pacific Managed Security Services 2016 Vendor Assessment.

Download the IDC MarketScape: Asia-Pacific Managed Security Services 2016 Vendor Assessment

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