Cybersecurity Leaders Report Reduction in Disruptive Cyber Incidents with MSS/MDR Solutions

Optiv Survey Highlights Organizations’ Need for Talent, Challenges with Sophistication of Threat Actors and Expanding Attack Surface


DENVER — July 12, 2023 — Optiv, the cyber advisory and solutions leader, has published a report based on a recent survey of cybersecurity leaders that reveals 73% of organizations saw a reduction in the impact of disruptive cyber incidents due to their partnership with managed security services (MSS) and managed detection and response (MDR) providers. That compares favorably to 14% seeing no impact.


The survey further explores the many dimensions of user experience and preferences related to MSS and MDR services. Conducted from December 2022-April 2023, the survey was in collaboration with Information Security Media Group (ISMG).


View the webinar and download the full analysis of the ISMG MSS/MDR Survey:


“We are working in an environment where speed, budget and talent retention are vital to staying at least one step ahead in today’s threat landscape,” says Jason Lewkowicz, executive vice president and chief services officer at Optiv. “If you don’t have the budget to have the right talent, retain the right talent, invest in the right talent and move at the speed of technology changing, you will absolutely be left behind. Everything ties back to speed, which is why many organizations rely on managed security solution providers to provide rapid protection, rapid detection and rapid response.”


As the cybersecurity talent gap widens, MSS and MDR services allow organizations to leverage outsourced solutions to advance cybersecurity maturity without increasing headcount. Clients can take advantage of external experts to effectively manage security resources without overloading their IT staff.


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With an evolving threat landscape, security leaders increasingly turn to MSS/MDR solutions to tackle new concerns quickly thanks to the advanced capabilities and technologies of external providers. Sixty-four percent of respondents characterized running their security operations (SecOps) program as “challenging” or “extremely challenging.”


When asked to identify the top three challenges (from a list of eight options) to their SecOps program, the following were the most frequently ranked:


  • Hiring/retaining security talent (58%)
  • Increasing sophistication of threat actors (57%)
  • Constantly expanding attack surface (57%)


Additionally, 33% of respondents identified “too many security tools that are not well integrated” as a top three challenge, closely mirroring a trend Optiv has seen in the market.


MDR Provider Satisfaction Is Relatively High


  • Satisfaction with current MSS/MDR providers from 1 (low) to 5 (high)

    • Thirty-one percent rated their provider 4-5
    • Thirteen percent rated 1-2
    • Fifty-six percent were satisfied (score of 3)


Organizations Seeing Benefits from Using Partners for Holistic Security Needs
When asked if they would prefer to procure security consulting services from an existing MSS/MDR provider:


  • Yes: 31%, because the incumbent provider might have better familiarity with the environment, which could enhance outcomes for services engagements
  • Yes: 14%, because this could help consolidate vendors


The 426 responses came from various sectors, including financial services, manufacturing and health care. Fifty-nine percent of respondents are at the CISO/CSO, CIO, vice president and director levels, and 48% are at organizations with over 5,000 employees.


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Optiv Security: Secure greatness.®

Optiv is the cyber advisory and solutions leader, delivering strategic and technical expertise to nearly 6,000 companies across every major industry. We partner with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration and technology solutions. With clients at the center of our unmatched ecosystem of people, products, partners and programs, we accelerate business progress like no other company can. At Optiv, we manage cyber risk so you can secure your full potential. For more information, visit