As the relevance of cloud services rapidly increases, IT infrastructure is becoming more and more outsourced across the business world. Companies leverage subscription-based services to gain access to advanced computing and storage resources that help run their applications and websites more efficiently. Hypervisors and similar technologies allow enterprises to make use of high-level APIs, and third-party providers are also being used to access entire platforms that include operating systems, servers, databases, middleware, applications, and software. Upcoming ‘as-a-service’ solutions make it easier, faster, and more affordable for enterprises to fulfill their IT demands without requiring heavy infrastructural investments, and security as a service is no different.
What is Security as a Service?
Security as a service, commonly shortened to SECaaS, is an outsourcing model wherein an outside vendor manages the cybersecurity of a company. A basic example of security as a service is using an antivirus software without having to install it—the software scans files remotely over the Internet, usually for a small recurring fee.
In a broader sense, security as a service removes the need for locally-delivered security solutions: IT departments no longer need to install virus protection software and other security solutions on each endpoint or even on the server or network of the workplace. With SECaaS, enforcement and constant updates are a thing of the past. Management teams may also be familiar with the fact that the old way is expensive due to upfront costs for software and hardware as well as recurring costs for maintenance and licenses. With security as a service, the same tools can be accessed simply by using a web browser, making the entire IT upkeep process affordable and direct.
Benefits of Security as a Service
Numerous advantages exist for users of SECaaS solutions. Few of these benefits include:
Access to cutting-edge security tools
For cybersecurity solutions to be effective, they need the latest threat definitions that allow them to neutralize even the newest threats. Through security as a service, tools will always be updated with the newest threat definitions and security options, giving organizations granular control over network security without having to rely on patchy employee compliance.
Skilled IT workforce
Security as a service vendors often employ expert personnel to ensure high-quality digital security for their clients. These IT security experts are available for consultation at a moment’s notice and come with years of experience and a well-honed set of skills.
Security as a service gives users out-of-the-box access to security tools, and additional SECaaS offerings can be obtained on demand. This gives users the ability to scale up or down as needed.
Ability to focus on core competencies
Digital security is a critical aspect of the daily operations of most organizations, and when it is entrusted to reliable experts, these organizations can focus their resources on other important processes. With SECaaS, the management team can control security processes through a web interface or a dashboard, giving employees the freedom they need to focus on the core competencies of the organization.
Simplified in-house data security management
Protected data needs to be secure from external and internal threats. Security as a service simplifies data management by notifying security teams when internal security is breached, such as when an employee accesses confidential data without having any legitimate business reason to do so.
With SECaaS, companies do not need to pay for software licenses or buy hardware any longer. Instead, this upfront capital is replaced with a variable operating expense, and the scale at which most security as a service vendors operate usually means that their solutions come at a discounted rate when compared to upfront IT costs.
How to Choose the Right SECaaS Provider
When looking to partner with a SECaaS provider, there are some important factors to consider, such as:
Companies should research potential vendors carefully in order to avoid the risk of vendor lock-in. Flexibility can be achieved by opting for solutions that have no issues with interoperability.
Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a reliable measure when choosing a SECaaS vendor. Companies should look for hidden costs by reading agreements with their vendors carefully. Basic factors such as legal language need to be checked to ensure that no unnecessary costs are being borne.
Not all SECaaS solutions come with impeccable client control capabilities. Before a solution is chosen, companies should ensure that it contains a reporting mechanism that displays attack logs, major security events, and other critical security data to in-house teams. While having a third party to manage the full security picture of the company is a major benefit of SECaaS, management should still be able to review and control what is going on in terms of the digital security of their organization.
Enterprises of all sizes are using security as a service solutions today, and this increasing adoption of SECaaS is mainly due to a shortage of qualified InfoSec professionals coupled with an ever-expanding landscape of cybersecurity threats. For companies across industries, it is making more and more sense to outsource the implementation and management of the intricate realm of cybersecurity, and it is proving to be an economical investment for those organization that have taken advantage of it.