Cybersecurity from the Cloud: Why Security-as-a-Service Is Set to Become More Prevalent

The concept of security-as-a-service (SECaaS) is relatively new, but it is already being embraced by many organizations. Security firms are now offering cloud-based solutions that integrate their security services into a client’s infrastructure. The solution is offered on a subscription basis, which makes it a cost-effective option for organizations of all sizes.

SECaaS follows the software-as-a-service model, wherein on-premise hardware and large upfront expenditure for security systems are no longer needed. Maintenance costs, software updating, and other related expenses are also avoided. The benefits are undeniable, that’s why the SECaaS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.3 percent (forecast period: 2021-2026) according to Mordor Intelligence.

Protection through the cloud 

Many things have been moving to the cloud, so it is unsurprising that cybersecurity is also keeping up with the trend. The ability to secure workloads from anywhere, after all, is indisputably advantageous. The increased use of cloud computing makes organizations more vulnerable to attacks with the addition of more access points or the broadening of cyber-attack surfaces. Security-as-a-service effectively provides a dependable buffer against a wide range of cyberattacks.

The cloud-based platform Sonar SaaS, for example, is offering a solution designed to protect the digital experiences of not only the organizations using the system but more importantly the customers’ digital experiences. It provides a combination of edge, data, and application security—something that cannot be achieved by conventional security solutions.

Edge security ensures that systems are protected from DDoS and DNS attacks, as well as other assaults aimed at impairing website or web service availability. Application security is achieved through web application firewalls, advanced bot protection, supply chain defense, API security, and runtime protection. Also, SECaaS guarantees data security across different cloud storage platforms with the added benefit of optimized data performance and maximum security visibility.

Addressing complex cloud security challenges

The Cloud Security Alliance released in early April a survey showing that SaaS misconfigurations are likely the cause of up to 63 percent of security incidents. This infers a need for a paradigm shift in the way cybersecurity is undertaken. With more organizations turning to cloud-based solutions, it is inevitable for cybersecurity to morph into something more suitable to address the growing complexities of cloud use.

“This survey shines a light on what CISO’s and cybersecurity managers are looking for and need when it comes to securing their SaaS stack — from visibility, continuous monitoring, and remediation to other ever-growing, critical use cases such as third-party application control and device posture monitoring,” an excerpt of the report writes.

No organization instantly gains expertise in cloud security upon moving to the cloud. It takes time for the cybersecurity team or the IT department itself to have the proficiency to properly address the challenges. It is a welcome development that security firms are now developing cloud-based solutions to help organizations manage their cybersecurity posture as they embrace new technologies.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Cloud Security Alliance survey finds that not even half, at 46 percent of organizations, regularly check for and rectify SaaS misconfigurations, which are often brought about by changes in the security settings and the complicated management of handling multiple access to SaaS security settings. The survey also highlights the role cloud-based cybersecurity platforms or SaaS security posture management solutions play in addressing emerging risks and threats that affect modern organizations.

SECaaS is far from perfect. It also has its share of challenges, particularly the opportunities it creates for threat actors, as it adds at least one “across-the-net” round trip with every security service request it makes. This results in security handling uniformity, which mostly means that if security is breached in one request, it most likely means that security is compromised for all other requests. However, the benefits are too significant to be ignored or downplayed.

Cloud-based cybersecurity benefits

As mentioned, SECaaS is expected to grow at a 16.3 percent CAGR, which is in line with the average growth for the entire cloud computing market. This rapid growth confirms the palpable benefits organizations are seeing with SECaaS adoption.

For one, SECaaS helps organizations cut cybersecurity costs. The cost reduction is not only about the on-prem hardware and software acquisition. There are also savings made from the elimination of the need to train personnel and do maintenance work. Organizations may reduce their reliance on costly expert assessments that are supposed to be undertaken continuously and consistently to address evolving and emerging threats.

Another important benefit of Security-as-a-Service is its consistency and continuity. With the security assessments conducted by experienced security experts ceaselessly, organizations can expect significantly improved protection from a wide range of threats. SECaaS providers are teams of security specialists with combined expertise in different areas of concern, something only a very few in-house cybersecurity teams can match.

Deployment flexibility and scalability are also associated with SECaaS. Being a cloud-native cybersecurity model, it can be used in a wide range of settings regardless of the nature of operations of an organization. There are no multi-site hardware installations and client software configurations to worry about. Also, since it is subscription-based, the features and functions provided can be adjusted depending on what is necessary with the service rates correspondingly adjusted.

Moreover, SECaaS entails faster security provisioning and greater efficiency. There is no separate multiple hardware to set up and software to configure. Administrative tasks such as log management and evaluation are also effectively outsourced. This means an organization’s IT personnel can be assigned to other, more important tasks that require complex decision-making.

Not everything is relegated to third-party management under SECaaS, though. Usually, providers have a web interface that allows an organization’s own security people to oversee or administer tasks. Users of SECaaS solutions indeed gain greater security visibility through a unified dashboard that makes them more aware of their cybersecurity situation and not blindly reliant on external security provisioning.

Effectively addressing the security needs of the times

SECaaS addresses a wide range of cyber needs including the need for better identity and access management, data loss prevention, email security, security posture assessment, security information and event management (SIEM), and network security. It is effective against identity theft, excessive privileges, data integrity compromises, keyloggers, bot networks, spam, most social engineering attacks, insecure architecture problems, data loss and leakage, malicious insider threats, and a host of other risks.
Essentially, the threats conventional cybersecurity solutions handle can also be dealt with by SECaaS. With an overwhelming majority of organizations worldwide already using cloud services, it is only logical to consider the idea of security as a service. As organizations strive to reduce operating costs and make the most of their resources to survive or thrive amid the current economic conditions, SECaaS presents compelling benefits with minimal challenges.