Traditional approaches to cybersecurity such as simply installing antivirus software are losing their edge, according to many in the industry. As a result, companies are increasingly looking to more comprehensive solutions, including additional security training, advanced malware detection, vulnerability scanning services and managed network security services.

The shift away from basic antivirus tools has been occurring for several years now, a recent Wall Street Journal article noted. One executive for one popular antivirus software told the publication that antivirus “is dead.” Instead, companies are increasingly shifting their attention from keeping threats out to detecting intrusions more effectively and minimizing the impact.

Reflecting this trend, recent years have seen rapid growth in investment in services such as advanced malware detection and managed network security, a recent ESG research study found. Six in 10 enterprises working with managed services providers in these areas have increased their use of the services somewhat or substantially in the last two years. In particular, 41 percent are investing in managed network security services, 39 percent are investing in risk assessment services and 39 percent are investing in vulnerability scanning services as well. Around 23 percent of organizations have completely outsourced incident detection and security response or are using a provider for staff augmentation.

“[M]any firms realize that chasing anomalous behavior and malcode demands time, resources, and the right technologies,” Network World contributor Jon Oltsik wrote. “Given this, an average regional bank, process manufacturing company, or teaching hospital may not want to play cyber cops and robbers anymore.”

By outsourcing security tasks and relying on a third-party vendor for services such as managed network security, companies can free up resources to focus on their core competencies, while at the same time improving their effectiveness in fighting today’s advanced security threats.