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Security as a service offers promise for telecoms operators aiming to boost enterprise revenue, Analysys Mason report

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have compelling reasons to invest in cyber security and telecoms operators are in a strong position to offer these services.

Patrick Donegan, Senior Contributor, and Tom Rebbeck, Research Director, at Analysys Mason comment on their latest report Cyber-security services for small and medium-sized enterprises: opportunities for CSPs.

The report explores the opportunity for telecoms operators to sell cyber-security services to SMEs.

Security offers a way for operators to stem the decline in enterprise revenue. 

However, selling security to SMEs is not straightforward and operators have a low share of this market.

Only 13% of SMEs that buy IT security solutions do so from a telecoms operator.

The report highlights:

  • strengths that operators can exploit to sell to SMEs
  • security portfolio design and the need to build awareness of cyber-security solutions
  • case studies of two operators that offer security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solutions – Deutsche Telekom (Europe) and M1 (Singapore).

According to the report, telecoms operators should build their security propositions around six key principles.

  1. Leverage their inherent advantages of scale and connectivity footprint
  2. Prioritise ease of use. If security solutions are difficult to use, SMEs will either not buy them, or will make lots of customer care calls that will deplete margins
  3. Demonstrate the value of solutions. Many SMEs need to see demonstrable – rather than theoretical – value before purchasing. A free customer trial that illustrates the unique threats to which they are subject is the best way to drive willingness to pay.
  4. Provide a rich portfolio. SECaaS value propositions need a rich portfolio of services beginning with a firewall and evolving towards IDS/IPS, DDoS protection, malware detection and other services, including cyber insurance for when attacks get through.
  5. Educate customers. CSPs need to lead in providing customer education on the unique ways in which cyber threats put SMEs at risk. CSPs should actively support cyber awareness programmes run by national, regional and local government as a new, and potentially important, channel to market.
  6. Use a highly software-controlled infrastructure platform. This is critical for delivering SECaaS to SMEs as it should enable faster instantiation and updating of services

"Cyber security solutions offer a promising area of growth. Operators will need to make solutions easy to use, tightly manage costs and help build demand with SMEs if they are to be successful in this market," report author Patrick Donegan commented.

"Most telecoms operators have a very low share of the SME security market – they have a significant opportunity to increase their share," added Tom Rebbeck, co-author of the report.

Link to analyst comment

Security-as-a-service solutions offer operators the chance to boost enterprise revenue -

Link to report

Cyber-security services for small and medium-sized enterprises: opportunities for CSPs –