What is Security as a Service?

Security as a Service (SECaaS) is a business model in which a security company provides organisations with cloud-based access to cybersecurity solutions and services, such as Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), on a subscription basis.

How Security as a Service Works

Security as a Service (SECaaS) providers use the cloud computing model to provide organisations with access to security solutions and services, delivered over the internet. SECaaS solutions are hosted by a third-party service provider and accessed by the customer through a secure web-based interface, mobile app or both.

If this sounds a lot like Software as a Service (SaaS), that’s because it is. SECaaS is simply the SaaS model applied to information security services. For this reason, SECaaS solutions can be thought of as a specific type of SaaS product.

While implementation and deployment details vary according to the SECaaS product being offered, the process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Assessment: The SECaaS provider performs an assessment of the customer's business needs, data environment and security risks to determine their specific requirements and match them with an appropriate package.

  2. Configuration & Installation: Based on the assessment results, the service provider configures the SECaaS service to meet the customer's needs, installs the service on a cloud-based platform and provides the customer with access to the platform. If the security solution is designed to work out-of-the-box, such as antivirus software and password security platforms, the customer may be able to configure and install the software on their own.

  3. Monitoring: If applicable, the SECaaS provider monitors the security solution to respond to any security threats or incidents. 24/7 monitoring is a common feature when the product being offered is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution.

  4. Reporting: The SECaaS company provides regular reports to the customer on their security posture, including any incidents or alerts during the reporting period, and provides recommendations for improvement.

  5. Ongoing Maintenance: As with other SaaS products, the SECaaS provider handles all patches, upgrades and other backend maintenance for the security solution.

What are the Benefits of Security as a Service?

Security as a Service solutions let organisations leverage all the benefits of the cloud, including:

Access to cutting-edge technology and expertise: SECaaS solutions allow organisations to leverage the latest security technologies, designed and maintained by security professionals who have skills, experience and resources that most companies lack in-house. This improves security and helps prevent data breaches, ransomware and other cyber attacks.

Cost savings: Like other SaaS solutions, SECaaS products generally don’t require organisations to make significant capital investments in hardware. They also don’t have to pay internal staff to work on patching, feature development and maintenance of the SECaaS product, which reduces administrative overhead. Finally, SECaaS products are sold on a subscription basis according to specified metrics, such as users, bandwidth and/or various features, so organisations pay only for what they need.

Scalability and flexibility: Because SECaaS solutions run in the cloud, they’re highly scalable and flexible. Subscriptions can be adjusted to accommodate changes in an organisation's size, data environment or other needs. This makes SECaaS products ideal for organisations of all sizes.

Time savings: By outsourcing their security needs to a SECaaS provider, organisations can save time and focus on their core competencies. Instead of managing security infrastructure, internal IT personnel are freed up to work on internal projects that drive the business.

Compliance: SECaaS services can help organisations meet regulatory and industry compliance requirements.

What Are the Different Types of Security as a Service?

Many different types of security services are available as SECaaS solutions, including:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Platforms. SIEM SECaaS solutions offer remote access to SIEM services, which are used to collect and analyze security-related data generated by applications and network hardware. SIEM solutions are often sold with 24/7 monitoring and response services.

  • Firewalls. This type of SECaaS solution provides organisations with remote access to firewall services, which are used to control network access and block malicious traffic.

  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IPS/IDS). IPS/IDS systems are used to detect and prevent policy violations and malicious network activity.

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Organisations use VPNs to provide secure connections between remote users, their devices and the organisation's network.

  • Antivirus/Anti-Malware Software. As some of the most common SECaaS products, antivirus and anti-malware software detects and removes malicious software from workstations and networks.

  • Identity and Access Management. Organisations use IAM SECaaS products, which are sometimes called (IAMaaS), to control and manage access to their networks and data. Password managers and SSO solutions are common examples of IAMaaS products.

  • Data Loss Prevention. Sometimes called DLPaaS, this type of SECaaS product gives organisations access to data loss prevention services, which are used to prevent sensitive data from being intentionally or unintentionally leaked or lost.

Security as a Service solutions offer a flexible, scalable and cost-effective way for organisations to enhance their security. Instead of having to invest in expensive hardware or hire specialized IT and security personnel to build and maintain their own security software, organisations can subscribe to the security services they need on a pay-as-you-go basis, which puts world-class security within reach for organisations of all sizes.

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