What is Security as a Service (SaaS)?

Posted by MailGuard Editor on 15 May 2012 02:42:00 AEST


Security-as-a-Service (a.k.a. Software-as-a-Service), often referred to as cloud security is a delivery model for security management solutions.

Traditionally, security solutions for business such as virus protection and spam filtering were delivered locally by appliances with in-house responsibility to ensure that all security updates and policies were properly installed and maintained. This of course involved upfront costs in hardware and ongoing costs for software licences.

Rather than managing security in-house, companies can now rely on Security-as-a-Service where solutions are delivered via a web browser from a specialist cloud provider.


SaaS and SecaaS

Like many phrases related to cloud technology, Security-as-a-Service is a relatively new expression. In some instances it is abbreviated to SaaS. However this may cause confusion because SaaS can also refer to Software-as-a-Service (and it’s a sub-category in any case). In other instances it is referred to as Secaas.

When seeing the phrase SaaS it’s best to check the context in which it is used to avoid confusion.


Benefits of Security-as-a-Service

saas-diagSaaS has a number of clear benefits including:

  1. Automatic updates – such as virus definition and changes to spam filters –meaning you no longer have to depend on user compliance.
  2. You no longer need a dedicated IT resource to perform system maintenance, upgrades, and end user training.
  3. Specialised security exceeds that typically found within an organisation.
  4. Available on demand leading to greater speed, scalability and agility.
  5. A web interface (in some instances, offered in a unified management console like the one pictured below) means administration, control and visibility can all be achieved in-house without any specialised computer knowledge.
  6. With no license fees or hardware costs you can replace the traditional up-front capital investment with a pay-as-you-go operating expense at a reduced rate.


The Market

Security-as-a-Service is a sub-category of the Software-as-a-Service market. Software-as-a-Service currently makes up 89% of total cloud computing spend and is the most mature of cloud offerings. But cloud itself is still a relatively immature business. The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend, according to Gartner, Inc.


Solutions available

Cloud security offerings include a number of solutions: email security, spam filtering, web monitoring and filtering, archiving, email continuity, and email hosting to name just a few.
There are a plethora of cloud security providers in the market, each offering different solutions. Here at MailGuard, we offer a comprehensive suite of solutions which can all be managed and customised via a single management console.


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Topics: Web Security Email Security SaaS

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