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Defining Security-as-a-Service

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Defining Security-as-a-Service

While the term Security-as-a-Service or SECaaS may not be an entirely new concept, the term has picked up steam over the past several years because of the invasion of vicious and costly cyber-attacks Malware, spam, viruses, advanced phishing techniques, ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are just a few of hackers’ favorite attack strategies of 2017.

To fight off the onslaught of cyber intrusions, many leading organizations are turning to security as a service or cloud-based Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) for help. MSSPs deliver specialized information security services such as anti-virus, anti-malware software or firewall protection over the internet or through a cloud-based model. The term can also refer to security management provided in-house by an external organization.

Why SECaaS now?

Whatever acronym you choose, it’s hard to ignore that information security protection delivered as a service is gaining significant traction, and for good reason. Analyst firm Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global cyber security spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021. (Source: Cybersecurity Ventures). Part of the attraction comes from the sheer cost of data breaches and cybercrime. The Ponemon Institute reports the average annualized cost of cybercrime incurred per individual U.S. organization was $12.7 million in 2014. Faced with that level of risk, most organizations need to augment their internal security resources.

Unprepared and overmatched

A study by Tripwire Survey tells us that only three percent surveyed feel they have the technology to address attacks such as DDoS, malicious Insiders, phishing, and other vulnerabilities. While only 10 percent believe they had the proper skill set to defeat these types of attacks (Source: The State of Security). Those considering a cloud-based model for the management and delivery of IT security services should take a closer look at the potential benefits.

  • Quick to deploy and scale- Instead of purchasing dozens of best-of-breed malware and antivirus applications, a unified SECaaS system offers a comprehensive security platform (i.e. firewall protection, network behavioral analysis and protection, anti-virus, anti-malware software, etc.) that can be switched online and activated immediately.

  • Unified security management- With a Managed Security Service Provider in place, organizations have a centralized IT security framework that includes continuous protection for servers, networking components, data centers, IT infrastructure, PCs, mobile devices and smartphones. Businesses also benefit from the ability to capture and analyze activity logs from switches, routers, servers & applications, and firewalls for rules-based analysis and monitoring on an ongoing basis. Not only that, these security models simplify administration by offering to monitor and reporting for compliance and internal reporting. When evaluating services, look for those with security dashboards for a single-pane-of-glass view into all known threats. When critical threats are highlighted quickly and include recommendations for remediation, risks associated with security breaches are greatly minimized.

  • Proactive monitoring and continuous improvement- With an IT security service provider, organizations have continuous monitoring from a team of dedicated certified security analysts. These experts are up-to-date on the newest threats, IT security technology, and remediation factors. They also leverage the latest in anti-virus and anti-malware software and threat analytics. Analytics can show vulnerabilities and threat trends by aggregating massive data sets and information collected from alert logs and behavioral profiles. This information will go a long way in detecting problems early.

Those looking to help fill the gaps in their IT security framework and to catch even the stealthiest cybercriminals should consider security-as-a-service for greater real-time visibility into threats and better overall security control and oversight.

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