What is Security as a Service?
Every time you turn around, it seems like there is a new “BLANK as-a-Service” provided. These services are generally a business model that allows for web-based outsourcing. Security as a Service, or SECaaS, refers to web-based security solutions delivered over the cloud. SECaaS allows for a company to have an outside company to handle and manage their cybersecurity.
For many small businesses, platforms that offer “as-a-service” are an ideal way to ensure they keep costs down while getting essential tools and services they need. With as-a-service small businesses get what they need for their IT environment faster, easier, and more affordable than with creating their own infrastructure where they must invest in developing, maintaining, and creating these resources.
Worldwide, it’s estimated there are 1 million unfilled security jobs. Many companies just cannot find a qualified candidate to create an in-house cybersecurity team. If they can find these professionals, they come at a high price. This talent gap is one factor that is driving the popularity of SECaaS.
What Types of Services Are Offered with SECaaS?
Security is a broad term when it’s applied to IT infrastructures. Security as a service encompasses:
- Disaster recovery and business continuity: Tools that create backups of your data in case of a disaster. This tool ensures your back up and online with all of your data right away if a disaster were to strike.
- Continuous monitoring: Tools that monitor the traffic flow in and out of your network to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary, helping to manage risk.
- Data loss prevention: Tools that protect, monitor, and verify the security of all of your data.
- Email security: Tools that protect your business from phishing, spam, and malicious attachments and links.
- Encryption: Tools that make your data unreadable to anyone who might intercept it.
- Identity and access management: Tools for authentication, access intelligence, and identity verification, and user management to ensure only those with permissions access data, in and out of your network.
- Intrusion management: Tools to detect unusual activity using pattern recognition to detect intrusions.
- Network security: Tools and services that help you manage network access and distribute, protect, and monitor network services.
- Security assessment: Tools to audit the current state your of security measures and compares them to industry standards.
- Security information and event management: Tools that aggregate and log event information, which can be analyzed in real time to detect possible intrusion.
- Vulnerability scanning: Tool to detect any existing vulnerability in your network or IT infrastructure.
- Web security: Tools to protect online applications that are accessed by the public in real time.
Benefits of Security as a Service
With all of the capabilities of SECaaS, the benefits for small business are pretty easy to identify.
- The latest and greatest: when you work with a SECaaS provider, you’re going to have the latest and most updated tools available. This is especially important when you’re looking into security because for an anti-virus tool to be effective and useful, they need to be the latest virus definitions, stomping out all threat, including the new ones.
- Top talent: As mentioned above, security talent is in high demand. Finding someone to staff would be incredibly difficult. When working with a SECaaS provider, you can rest assured that you’re working with IT security experts who have the talent and experience to get you through any challenge or roadblock.
- Instant Access: SECaaS gives your users access to these security tools instantly. They are provided on-demand. This also means you can scale up or scale down as needed quickly and efficiently.
- Focus for you: You don’t have to put any more time, effort, or brain cells into your cybersecurity. This means you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important for you to succeed at. Let your new outsourced IT team take care of the security, while you tackle the next challenge.
- Easier in-house management: Managing your data, who access it internally, and how it’s used will be made a whole lot easier when you engage with a SECaaS provider. If you have protected data, they will put the measures in place to ensure only users with permission and legitimate need access any one piece of data.
- Cost savings: A major draw for as-a-service platforms is that you do not need to buy the hardware, licenses, or pay the salary and benefits upfront that you typically would if you had an in-house team. You replace that upfront capital with the variable operating expense, typically much lower in price when compared to upfront costs.
What to Look for in a SECaaS Provider
Now that you know all about SECaaS and how it has the potential to improve your business let’s talk about finding the right vendor. Not all tech providers are created equally. You should find someone who it going to be the right fit for your unique business. Here are a few things to look for:
One of the best parts about working with an as-a-service vendor is that you should be able to get the services you need; nothing more, nothing less. Vendor lock-in can put you in a tough situation later on. A vendor with a 30-day-out is often a good choice.
- Low TCO
This is all about the fine print. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is a good criterion for SECaaS providers. Be sure that the fine print does have a few loopholes that could lead to you paying more in the end than a package with a bit of a higher initial cost.
Although you want a provider who takes care of everything for you, you still want to be able to see the reports on the significant security events, attack logs, and other significant data. Be sure that your SECaaS provider has a reporting mechanism in place. This transparency will also give you peace of mind that your provider is working hard on your behalf.
Cybersecurity has never been more important. Hackers work around the clock to exploit weaknesses in small businesses, especially.
Luckily, it has also never been more accessible with SECaaS. You don’t need to put all of your trust in one IT security professional that you may or may not be able to attract in today’s security professional shortage; you can find one company with several professionals who will be able to find the right mix of solutions for your small business at a smaller, monthly cost.
Security as a Service isn’t revolutionary, but it can make an enormous difference in your business.