Security as a service offers promise for telecoms operators aiming to grow enterprise revenue

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have compelling reasons to invest in cyber security and telecom 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 SME security services: the opportunity for telecoms operators. []

The report explores the opportunity for telecoms operators to sell cyber security services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Security offers a way for operators to stem the decline in enterprise revenues. (see editor’s notes)

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 telecom operator.

The report highlights:

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

According to the report, telecoms operators should build their security propositions around 6 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 value – not 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.

To discuss the report findings or to arrange an interview with the authors, Patrick Donegan or Tom Rebbeck, please contact Sarah-Jane Humphries at the Analysys Mason Press Office via

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

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

About Analysys Mason (

Analysys Mason is a global specialist consulting and research firm specialising in telecoms, media and technology (TMT). Since 1985, Analysys Mason has played an influential role in key industry milestones and helping clients through major shifts in the market. We continue to be at the forefront of developments in the digital economy and in digital services and continue to advise clients on new business strategies to address disruptive technologies. Our teams of consultants and analysts have developed skills, techniques and methodologies that deliver tangible results for clients the world over.

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