The world is becoming increasingly more digitized every day with most businesses conducting at least some of their operations online. Incredibly high amounts of data float around networks and servers, ready to be threatened or stolen by malicious threat actors.

Consequently, security has become a pressing concern and more highly prioritized than ever before. That said, many organizations lack the necessary resources to secure their information and IT systems themselves. Whether it’s a restricted budget or insufficient access to adequately trained professionals, many companies are left without the necessary protections.

For some organizations, they’ve turned to vendors providing security as a service (SECaaS) to implement relevant protections and increase security posture. But what is security as a service? This blog fills you in on this security service option, why it may be beneficial to your organization, and how to choose a provider.

What is Security as a Service?

In short, SECaaS is a service whereby security providers offer their expertise and incorporate their products and strategies into clients’ infrastructure on a subscription basis. These services are an attractive alternative to in-house security because it’s more cost-effective than hiring full-time security experts and can provide greater protection.

Security as a service is conducted from a security operations center (SOC), which acts as a central hub for monitoring data, IT infrastructure, and activity in a customer’s environment. SOC experts track and enhance their clients’ security posture by preventing, detecting, analyzing, and recommending next steps for any potential cybersecurity threats and/or incidents that have occurred.

Types of Security as a Service

It’s crucial to note that SECaaS is a catch-all term, and it can encompass a wide range of specialized services, each tailored to meet a particular security need:

  • Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR or BC/DR): Planning how to continue and recover organizational operations following an incident.
  • Continuous monitoring: Constantly tracking IT networks and systems to detect security threats, performance problems or non-compliance issues.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP): Assessing, identifying, and blocking sensitive information either while in use or at rest.
  • Email security: Protecting email accounts and networks by preventing unauthorized access and compromise.
  • Encryption: Converting information into code to obscure it from would-be attackers.
  • Identity and access management (IAM): Granting access and permissions to specific users and devices.
  • Intrusion management: Getting real-time visibility and insight into network and server activity.
  • Network security: Preventing, monitoring and detecting unauthorized action, use, and modification taking place on a network.
  • Security assessment: Testing and evaluating security controls to ascertain if they’re implemented correctly, operating properly, and delivering appropriate outcomes.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM): Using software to protect data and perform damage control when security is breached.
  • Vulnerability scanning: Discovering, calculating, and communicating security weaknesses and faults.
  • Web security: Implementing protocols and measures to protect applications, browsers, and networks.

Benefits of Security as a Service

Apart from the added security support, companies that utilize a SECaaS provider can also benefit from:

Cloud protection

Most larger businesses have hundreds — if not thousands or millions — of devices and pieces of hardware. Providing security across vast networks and systems using that physical IT equipment would be nearly impossible. Fortunately, security as a service is a cloud-based service, meaning security professionals can monitor and access servers and data from anywhere, at any time.

Resource and talent allocation

The world is facing a massive labor and skills shortage, particularly in the IT sector. With SECaaS, businesses don’t have to scramble to find qualified professionals to secure their IT framework. Security as a service providers have all the necessary specialists on hand to carry out security tasks, and the resources to scale these activities up or down based on a company’s changing needs. Integrating security services means IT employees won’t have to juggle numerous, disparate security jobs.

Log management

Every single action taken on a network or server leaves a digital footprint ripe for tracing. SECaaS providers have the expertise and experience to monitor this activity by managing activity logs. These experts can hunt down the source of all doings on any given system, ascertain whether they’re suspicious or benign, and act accordingly. This is especially relevant in the case of compliance audits, where organizations need to show that they’re managing their logs.


Using security as a service is far more cost-effective for mid-size organizations than locating, training, and hiring additional in-house security team members. Because it is usually offered on a monthly subscription, clients know exactly what to pay out each month. Additionally, the aggregate of any or all services they choose to subscribe to is usually more affordable than expanding their own security team.

4 Things to Look for in a Security as a Service Provider

Despite offering many of the same services, not all SECaaS providers are the same. Potential clients need to do their homework when shopping around for a provider. Organizations look to partner with a Security as a Service provider should consider the following factors when evaluating whether a provider will fulfill their unique business requirements:

Threat intelligence

The ideal Security as a Service provider can monitor and assess all network activity and detect and communicate potential security risks timeously. However, threat intelligence is about more than the mere existence of a possible hazard: A security service must be able to inform clients about the risk’s context, mechanisms, and likely outcomes.

24/7 threat monitoring

Cyber criminals don’t wait for the sun to go down to launch an attack. Assaults can happen at any time, and the perfect service provider can respond at all hours of the day. Security consultants need to have a team that’s on-call round the clock to deal with any future or current incidents.

Rapid response and triaging

When it comes to cyber-attacks, it’s not enough to respond within several hours. Sensitive data can be siphoned or otherwise breached incredibly quickly, and security as a service organizations must be able to react on a dime. It’s also necessary to categorize and prioritize threats based on their credibility and potential impact.

Zero-day threat research

It’s all well and good to have protections in place against known threats. But it’s the unknown ones that pose the most danger. As such, SECaaS providers need to perform vulnerability management by threat hunting: constantly looking for unanticipated vulnerabilities before attackers have a chance to become aware of them.

Alert Logic Product Management Team
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Alert Logic Product Management Team

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