Future trends for MSPs: evolving network security with SSE

Future trends for MSPs

In the evolving MSP market, network security is undergoing a revolution thanks to Security Service Edge (SSE). This new approach, vital in a cloud-centric world, replaces outdated perimeter-based models with a more integrated, flexible strategy. 

SSE combines multiple security services for comprehensive protection across all locations. This shift towards agility, scalability, and user focus is crucial for MSPs to meet their clients' changing needs. 

Let’s see what trends emerge in the future of the MSPs market and what experts have to say about it.

Is the MSP market growing?

Managed services involve outsourcing various IT and computing processes like cloud computing, IT infrastructure, and managed IT security.

In 2022, the value of the global managed services market approached $279 billion, with North America leading (a share of 36.6% in 2022 and a projected CAGR of 10.6%) and Asia Pacific emerging (a projected CAGR of 11.2%) as the fastest-growing region. By 2026, this market is projected to surpass $400 billion.

The managed services market is projected to expand to $680.08 billion by 2030, advancing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.9% from 2023 to 2033.

In 2022, the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector dominated the managed services market with the largest revenue share of 18%, and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% during its forecast period of 2023-2033.

What products will MSPs focus on selling?

In terms of popular products, security, and business applications lead in Europe and North America as of 2023. 

These services offer the advantages of extensive IT infrastructure without requiring substantial in-house hardware. Additionally, managed services in the cloud are poised for growth due to their increasing adoption in organizations' digital transformation strategies worldwide.

IT security services encompass various sectors, including: 

  • cloud security

  • data protection

  • identity access management. 

These tailored managed security services are essential for businesses globally to defend against cyber threats, comply with regulations, and secure their digital assets.

In 2023, Statista survey participants from North America and Europe indicated that they plan to allocate, on average, 12 percent of their 2024 IT managed services budget to both security and hosting services. Conversely, data analytics is expected to receive a smaller portion, with an average allocation of just 6 percent of their companies' managed services budgets.

The future of MSPs, driven by technological advancements and evolving business needs, indicates a strategic shift toward more sophisticated, integrated, and efficient approaches, such as adopting the SSE framework.

Justas Morkūnas answers why SSE is critical for MSPs

From the surge in automation and cloud-based security services to the harmonization of diverse tools and infrastructures, these developments signal a new era of agility and resilience for MSPs. 


Embracing technologies like AI for improved efficiency and task management. This trend indicates a shift towards automated processes for routine tasks, enhancing operational productivity.

Moreover, tools that provide automation solutions besides AI also help minimize repetitive tasks and increase attention to detail. It allows security administrators to avoid overlooking or missing important indications that may lead to a data breach. 

MSPs as service providers will benefit from platforms that allow bulk onboarding of an organization's users, whether tens or hundreds of them. 

From the security perspective, for instance, setting up internal rules, if a non-compliant device tries to access the company network with a feature like Always On VPN, it will be automatically rejected, and the user account will be blocked until further admin action is taken. Such functionalities help reduce manual monitoring and resources, preventing human errors that could lead to incidents.

Reliance on security as a service

With cybersecurity threats evolving, MSPs will likely increase reliance on cloud-based security services. This shift highlights the importance of robust, scalable cybersecurity measures in a digitally interconnected landscape.

Cloud-based solutions like a cloud firewall help transition existing infrastructure to a more modern and up-to-date setup, adapted to contemporary technological and security challenges. These solutions are easy to deploy as they don’t require hardware or manual labor, and they can be launched and operational without needing on-site presence.

More importantly, security as a service is instant. When the right solution to the existing problem is selected, MSPs can onboard entire organizations within hours, if not minutes, rapidly shrinking the attack surface and enforcing security policies to protect a business. Meanwhile, MSP customers are safe without having specific knowledge of network security.

Cross-platform tools and infrastructure deployment

The anticipated growth in integrating diverse tools and infrastructure systems indicates a move towards more cohesive and flexible IT solutions. In this case, smooth integrations of different vendors’ tools and solutions are critical for seamless implementation, ensuring successful business continuity.

Compatibility with existing tools is beneficial, for example, to simplify the process of user management. SCIM user management with market leaders Okta and Azure AD (now Entra ID) allows smoother user provisioning by reducing manual handling time case by case and improving security levels by sorting access right effectively.

Besides user onboarding and offboarding processes, integrations with JumpCloud, OneLogin, Google, or the same Okta and Entra ID enable more secure access to the systems as Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Single sign-on (SSO) are implemented for strong user authentication.

Adoption of managed cloud security services

There's an expected rise in the adoption of cloud-based security services, reflecting the growing need for specialized security solutions in cloud environments. This trend underscores the recognition that cloud security needs specialized solutions beyond standard IT security measures.

Multi-cloud strategies, hybrid models, and an array of diverse services and apps require stepping up the game in cloud security to meet the specific needs of these environments. 

There's an increasing need for continuous monitoring, real-time threat detection, and rapid response mechanisms. Managed cloud security services are equipped to handle these demands, offering round-the-clock surveillance and immediate action against potential breaches to protect sensitive data and ensure uninterrupted business operations in the cloud.

Expert advice for MSPs incorporating SSE

Tendencies clearly direct us to cloud-based services and infrastructures. SSE framework fully addresses projected needs, so more and more managed service providers will incorporate it into their client offerings.

SSE dominance naturally raises questions about its potential to replace a VPN and what its strongest attributes are that MSPs can benefit from.

We asked our internal experts on the matter to understand the benefits and potential of the SSE framework for MSP partners. One thing is clear: the framework in question holds the future of cybersecurity. It supports various business models and needs, providing an integral approach to security challenges.

Zero Trust, and more specifically, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), is one of the core SSE framework components. Alongside Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), ZTNA is the most advanced and prominent part of the framework.

Zero Trust's role in SSE framework

The following question is whether the SSE framework is capable of replacing Virtual Private Network (VPN) tools. While both solutions ultimately serve the same purpose of securing the network, they have quite different roles in cybersecurity.

Answers on the question whether SSE replace VPNs

A VPN tool connects devices, while SSE ensures overall security layers essential for devices’ and, ultimately, networks’ security. They complement rather than replace each other. Thus, VPN tools that go beyond primary connection and encryption but evolve into solutions with functionalities of SSE ensure more robust protection against digital threats.

Industry experts’ perspectives

We asked major MSPs in the industry to share their view regarding SSE adoption in a modern business environment.

With the subject focusing on SSE popularity and adoption, experts reveal what tendencies show clients’ demand for cloud security services and what implications create the need for such technology integration in the infrastructure.

Has adopting remote work and cloud services impacted MSP clients' demand for SSE solutions?

Impact of remote work and cloud services on Managed Security Service Provider clients' demand for SSE solutions

Are there any specific industries, sectors, or types of businesses where SSE adoption will be particularly critical in the near future?

Importance of SSE adoption in key industries and sectors

What are the predictions for cloud and network security in the next 5 years? How can MSPs prepare for this change?

Experts predictions and MSP industry trends for the next 5 years

Why should MSPs offer solutions to their clients based on an SSE framework? 

Explanations why MSPs should offer solutions to their clients based on an SSE framework

The experts’ insights highlight the growing demand for SSE solutions among MSP clients, driven by the widespread adoption of remote work and cloud services. 

Both TEKRiSQ and Sequentur emphasized that while remote access increases vulnerability to security breaches, implementing SSE frameworks can mitigate these risks through layered security controls, such as phishing-resistant MFA and stringent device usage policies.

Key expert insights

1. Increased demand for security: the shift to remote work has made SSE solutions more critical for ensuring secure access to networks and protecting against breaches.

2. Industry-specific needs: sectors with sensitive data, like healthcare, finance, and accounting, face higher regulatory pressures, making SSE adoption crucial for compliance and protection against financial penalties.

3. Future security trends: the next five years will see a focus on enforcing basic security measures, such as phishing-resistant MFA and tighter controls on how employees use their devices. Regular cyber risk assessments will become essential for identifying and addressing security gaps.

4. MSP engagement and compliance: MSPs must regularly reassess their clients' security needs in light of technological changes and regulatory requirements. Ensuring the implementation of recommended security measures is crucial, rather than merely suggesting them.

5. Layered security approach: with hackers employing increasingly sophisticated tactics, MSPs need to offer solutions that provide multiple layers of security, addressing both digital and physical vulnerabilities.

6. Staying relevant: offering SSE solutions is not just about enhancing security. It's also critical for MSPs to remain competitive and relevant in the industry.

The insights underscore the importance of proactive security management, the need for continuous reassessment of security protocols, and the critical role of MSPs in guiding their clients through these challenges to ensure robust protection against evolving threats.

The primary goal of Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) is to proactively protect organizations from cyber threats and ensure regulatory compliance through a blend of technology and expert analysis.

Implementing SSE framework-based tools into the clients ' infrastructure is an effective and trusty way to achieve these goals. Luckily, NordLayer's secure remote network access solution is built using technology-forward SSE design. It makes the tool comprehensive and robust for securing and enabling businesses of all sizes and industries.

A cloud-based network security tool for data protection and access control

Since MSPs will mainly focus on cloud security, data protection, and identity access management in 2024, NordLayer offers a solution that is exactly for it. 

  • Being a cloud-native solution, NordLayer is hardware-free, thus deployable remotely from any location to any setup. 

  • Built on the SSE framework, NordLayer's design combines security services based on SSE’s components like ZTNA, SWG, and FWaaS. 

  • The features and capabilities can scale and add up to create a layered network security shell against digital internal and external threats.

  • Seamless integration with identity management tools enables smooth user identification and robust access controls.

  • The ability to set up and implement a set of security rules and policies allows automated monitoring and actionable network protection.

  • Functionalities that are based on automation ensure every connection is encrypted and secure from malicious actors whether the team is working remotely or in a hybrid setup.

  • Online browsing on untrusted networks is secure whether employees work from a coffee shop, home, or hotel while on a business trip.

  • 24/7 active tech-savvy customer support and an extensive materials base don’t leave partners and users alone in the unknown.

  • Easily deployable and manageable, NordLayer doesn’t require manual work and maintenance, letting it optimize resources and not rely on the user’s extensive expertise.

  • NordLayer helps companies adhere to ISO 27001, GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2 Type 2, and PCI-DSS regulatory requirements and stay compliant in the market.

The key takeaway is that NordLayer is extremely easy to use, manage, and deploy while ensuring stress-free and robust security implementation to any infrastructure, industry sector, or organization size.

Try it yourself—book a demo call with our tech-savvy experts and get all the answers you need to become a member of the NordLayer Partner Program.

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