With mid-market companies feeling an increasing need to devote time and resources to network security, the security-as-a-service model is gaining traction, according to new research released yesterday by .

“The security challenge for mid-tier businesses is multi-dimensional,” Daniel Cummins, analyst at 451 Research, said in a statement. “For these businesses, everything seems to be increasing — attack frequency, compliance requirements, complexity, costs and the number of security products that need to be managed. Cloud-based security-as-a-service offers potentially significant advantages in terms of simplicity and access to security that may prove to be less complex and expensive than traditional approaches.”

451 Research’s Network Security Market Study was commissioned by Herndon, Va.-based security-as-a-service provider . The study was fielded in the first quarter of 2017 and surveyed 301 IT security professionals at U.S.-based businesses with 500 to 2,500 employees.

Eighty-two percent of study respondents said they spend 20 to 60 hours a week of in-house staff resources to procure, implement and manage security products. Nearly 75 percent of respondents said they dedicate three to five full-time employees to manage their security. The financial hit to these businesses averaged $178,000 annually just for network security, representing 39 percent of an organization’s total IT budget.

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