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The cloud computing paradigm has introduced the concept of obtaining various components of an IT environment as a service. Using offerings such as software as a service (SaaS), organizations can add substantial functionality and flexibility to their IT resources without capital expenditures on hardware or hiring support personnel. 

Security is an area of heightened concern across the business landscape. Protecting data assets from threats of cybercrime such as ransomware is an essential activity. Cloud providers are addressing this need with security as a service (SECaaS) offerings that can help bolster any organization’s level of protection. Enterprises can use these services to address the security skills gap that is plaguing the IT world.

Benefits of Security as a Service

There are many advantages to implementing SECaaS solutions.  

  • Access to cutting-edge security tools - Security tools like antivirus software need to be constantly updated to address new emerging threats. Using a cloud service eliminates the need for users to keep their software up to date and guarantees that systems are protected with the most current virus definitions. 
  • Highly-skilled security personnel - Cloud providers have dedicated security teams who are usually more skilled and experienced than those available with in-house resources. 
  • Enhanced provisioning and flexibility- The on-demand nature of SECaaS services allows organizations to scale up and down easily and enables users to access tools instantly. 
  • Simpler security management - Using a dashboard or web interface allows internal team members to administer and control security processes.

What SECaaS Can Provide an Organization

Cloud SECaaS providers charge their customers a monthly subscription fee for their services. Here are some of the areas of focus for SECaaS offerings. 

  • Web and email security - Redirecting traffic to the cloud enables the provider to implement an extra layer of web security. Email standards such as encryption and acceptable use policies can be centrally enforced for the entire organization. 
  • Network security - Cloud services tailored to the network needs of individual clients can be provided with a combination of physical and virtual devices that would be difficult and expensive to replicate with in-house resources. 
  • Security assessments - The SECaaS model can monitor and perform assessments that inform an organization of security flaws and provide information that results in developing more robust data protection. 
  • Intrusion detection - Keeping computing resources safe from unauthorized entities is an essential part of cloud security. Relying on the expertise and advanced tools deployed by cloud providers helps organizations keep informed regarding suspicious activity impacting their IT environment.

Choosing the SECaaS Provider

Many large and small cloud providers offer SECaaS solutions. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing one for your organization.  

  • The level of the provider’s technical expertise
  • Specific organizational security requirements
  • Certification and compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA or GDPR
  • The availability of service level agreements to solidify expectations of both parties
  • Comprehensive threat monitoring and incident response procedures
  • A detailed risk management strategy

The vendor you choose for your SECaaS implementation should be able to demonstrate the ability to satisfy these concerns. You need to trust the provider implicitly, as they are being engaged to secure your computing resources. Make sure they are up to that vitally important task. 

 

Last modified on Monday, 18 May 2020
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 Robert Agar

I am a freelance writer who graduated from Pace University in New York with a Computer Science degree in 1992. Over the course of a long IT career I have worked for a number of large service providers in a variety of roles revolving around data storage and protection. I currently reside in northeastern Pennsylvania where I write from my home office.

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