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What is Security “as a Service”?

August 18, 2022
 - Created by 
Charles Ho
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Cybersecurity has become a top-of-mind concern for many organizations. The cyber threat landscape is evolving rapidly, and companies face near-constant attacks. These attacks are growing more sophisticated and subtle as well, making them more difficult to detect and remediate.

At the same time, companies face significant barriers to their ability to protect themselves against these attacks. The cybersecurity industry is facing a significant talent shortage, making it difficult for organizations to attract and retain the cybersecurity professionals that they need to fill critical roles.

As a result, companies often lack the expertise, resources, and time required to build a fully functional security department. Relying on an understaffed and immature security team can leave the company vulnerable to expensive and damaging attacks.

Companies have always partnered with key vendors to bolster their security. In some cases, this involved deploying a particular technology. In others, an organization might lack in-house expertise, outsourcing security responsibilities to managed detection and response (MDR), managed service providers (MSPs), and managed security service providers (MSSPs).

With the growth of cloud computing, a new model for managed security has emerged — Security as a Service (SECaaS). Just like how with a S3 bucket you no longer need to worry about the underlying infrastructure, scalability or availability, SECaaS makes things simple.

What is SECaaS?

The growth of the cloud has created numerous “as a Service” offerings where infrastructure and services that an organization traditionally maintained in-house is hosted and managed by a cloud service provider. SECaaS is a cloud-based model of outsourced cybersecurity.

Like other cloud-based services, the goal of SECaaS is to provide an organization with an outcome without the need for in-house infrastructure or expertise or a 18 month project timeline. With SECaaS, an organization can achieve cyber resilience simply by adopting the service. A SECaaS offering provides everything needed to implement a mature security program including prevention, detection, response and security technology.

Benefits of SECaaS

With SECaaS, an organization has access to a mature security stack and operations that are completely managed by the service provider. By outsourcing its cybersecurity to a SECaaS provider, an organization can reap numerous benefits.

Always on

Cyberattacks can happen at any time. Cybercriminals don’t work standard business hours and may deliberately time their attacks on holidays, weekends, or nights when a company may be slower to respond. By choosing an inopportune time for an organization, the cyber threat actor gains a window in which they can deploy malware, access sensitive data, and perform other malicious activities without interference by an organization’s security team.

To effectively protect against cyber threats, an organization’s security team must be active 24/7; however, achieving this with in-house personnel is not feasible for smaller organizations. SECaaS enables an organization to enjoy the benefits of continuous threat detection and monitoring, as well as always-on response capabilities by cyber resilience to the service provider.

Born in the cloud

In the past, most of an organization’s IT assets and employees were located on-site, so it made sense for security to be deployed there as well. However, the growth of cloud computing, remote work, and the Internet of Things (IoT) means that corporate assets are rapidly moving off of the corporate LAN (local area network) and outside the traditional security perimeter.

This means threats are also targeting the cloud. Savvy attackers know that company assets are available off local servers and are shifting their targeting towards cloud-based servers and applications.

As IT infrastructure moves to the cloud, it makes sense for security to do so as well. SECaaS solutions are hosted in the cloud and are designed to address the unique cybersecurity challenges of cloud-based solutions. Additionally, cloud-native cybersecurity can take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud, including improved flexibility, scalability, and availability.

Reduce vendor evaluations

The landscape of cybersecurity solutions is crowded with many different solutions with overlapping capabilities, advanced technology services, and an abundance of AI/ML marketing. It can be difficult to know which kind of solutions are effective at reducing cyber risk; making the wrong choices can jeopardize corporate security. Deploying too many overlapping solutions can lead to alert overload and wasted resources, while overlooking a crucial solution can create visibility and protection gaps.

SECaaS helps to eliminate these challenges by providing a comprehensive, integrated security solution. Instead of evaluating multiple security tools, implementing them and then integrating these standalone solutions together, an organization only needs to select a single SECaaS provider.

Beyond alerting

A modern Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can help an organization to identify potential attacks by performing monitoring and sending alerts to the organization. However, the company is still responsible for investigating and remediating the potential attack.

SECaaS is an expansion of MSSP capabilities, taking over where it leaves off. The MSSP alerts on potential attacks, and the SECaaS provider manages threats. This includes both proactive threat prevention — identifying and closing security gaps — and reactive incident response — investigating, remediating, and recovering from a potential security incident. The reactive incident response will also ensure that you don’t succumb to the same attack again.

Faster time to security

Building a mature cybersecurity program can take significant time and resources. In addition to building a security architecture that offers comprehensive protection against the cyber threats that a company may face, the organization also needs skilled personnel to deploy, monitor, configure, and operate those tools. Cybersecurity solutions are not “set it and forget it” and need to be managed by personnel that can correctly configure them and respond to generated alerts.

The time that an organization spends working toward a mature cybersecurity program is time that it is exposed and vulnerable to attack. A comprehensive security program can take more than 18 months to roll out. SECaaS is designed to speed up the process of deploying security with single-vendor onboarding and easier integration of security solutions into an organization’s infrastructure. By providing a quicker path to security, SECaaS reduces an organization’s probability of suffering an expensive cyberattack.

Conclusion

When you want the ability to store your files in the cloud and be able to access them anywhere, you buy a SaaS provider like dropbox. SolCyber is a SECaaS provider that enables your business to be cyber resilience - simple as that. SOC as a Service (SOCaaS) providers like MSSPs fall short as they only provide expertise and alerting and require you, the customer, to bring and do everything else.

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