Important Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) Considerations

What Is Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS)?

Security-as-a-Service is a new business trend to bring improved cybersecurity to the masses. Over the last few years, cybercriminals no longer care the size of your business – they care most about breaching any high-value data from your business. Therefore, much small organizations are now being forced to step up their cyber defenses. In many industries, compliance requirements or partner relationships are also driving the need for increased security focus. In the end, protecting corporate data is the right thing to do, and Security-as-a-Service vendors are emerging to help resource-constrained businesses, that lack on staff security expertise and solutions, to rise to the occasion.

Unfortunately, a well-tuned security program can be difficult to achieve for many reasons including:

  • Cybersecurity is complex – requiring the need for solutions and expertise across multiple security disciplines
  • The threat landscape is constantly changing – requiring a vigilant staff to stay ahead of the threat curve
  • Hiring and maintaining cyber professionals is a challenge – requiring out-of-the-box thinking of how to have the best security talent available to your organization

Many of the organizations now facing a cybersecurity or compliance challenge may not have a single dedicated resource to address cybersecurity, in a world where a team with in-depth network and security knowledge is required to achieve an effective security program. A highly qualified Security-as-a-Service provider can help these types of businesses fill important security gaps – no matter if the gap is small (i.e., filling a single deficiency in on-staff capabilities) or large (i.e., a need for a SECaaS provider to bring an entire security program into play).

Isn’t SECaaS The Same as SOC-as-a-Service?

Although the terms are closely related – they are not a representation of the same level of service. Unfortunately, many vendors use the terms security-as-a-service and soc-as-a-service interchangeably, when they probably shouldn’t. Educated consumers looking to subscribe to managed security services should understand the differences in the services a provider delivers as to determine what vendor best matches the security needs of your business.

To fully understand what drives managed security services one has to understand a little bit of history. Outsourcing security has its roots in the emergence of Managed Security Service Providers (or MSSPs) where businesses managed security boundary solutions (e.g., firewalls) using a 3rd party. MSSPs came out of the woodwork, with each MSSP competing on the depth of networking and monitoring technology they provided. Along the way, multiple security monitoring solutions (e.g., log management and security information and event management or SIEM) emerged. Historically, these solutions required a dedicated staff which became untenable for many businesses. As a result, multiple managed log management or managed SIEM vendors emerged that offered outsourced 24x7 security operation centers (SOC) that can monitor client networks around the clock (and tune the monitoring solutions for optimal value). Some managed SOC vendors have their origins in the delivery SIEM and log management solutions and services. Over the last few years, there has been great strides in what “security controls” a company should consider in their efforts to reduce cyber risks. These include comprehensive incident detection and response, vulnerability and patch management, among other things. When considering a SECaaS provider, it is important to understand the breadth of security services offered.

5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Security as a Service Provider?

It is not a secret that a data breach (or regulatory non-compliance) can have a significant financial impact on a business. The SANs 2017 Incident Breach Report found that the average cost of a data breach is around $3.6M. When considering a SECaaS provider, it is important they can assist your company become more secure across multiple important considerations including:

1. Depth of staff expertise
This consideration is probably the most important criteria when selecting a managed security provider. A key objective of partnering a SECaaS partner is to fill gaps in your company’s security team. You should ensure that the vendor you select has the right resources to fill the gaps your company may need to fill. Important skills to assess includes (1) executive advisory, (2) security program managers, (3) security monitoring experts, (4) vulnerability and patch management specialists, (5) threat hunters, and (6) 24x7 security operations staff.

2. Technology coverage
There are many technologies a company can consider when looking to improve security. Some might say there are too many solutions to choose. A key question business must ask themselves – are we prepared to make effective decisions around security and related compliance concerns? If the answer is no – a well-qualified security-as-a-service provider can help via their cybersecurity advisory services.

Regardless of the technology stack in place to address security concerns (e.g., network security, application security, cloud security, etc.) it is important for businesses to have clear visibility into these systems and to make sure the systems are free from vulnerabilities. The best SECaaS providers will ensure these fundamental security controls, including robust security monitoring, patch and vulnerability management, are addressed.

It’s important the SECaaS provider you select can work with solutions you already have in place in, deliver the required solutions as part of the service, or can provide guidance on the best technology to acquire as part of their cybersecurity advisory services. An additional consideration in this area is ensuring that the vendor you choose can leverage the security stack your business has already invested to protect your investment these solutions.

3. Operational capabilities
This consideration is probably the most difficult to surface while collecting due-diligence on Security-as-a-Service providers. The best security service providers have a robust set of automated operational procedures for the services they provide – much of which should be hidden from customers (unless they want access to it). The best way to know if your service provider has strong operational procedures in place is that they can present important findings and not just security “noise.” Unfortunately, security solutions are all about synthesizing huge volumes of data so it’s important that the vendor you choose can narrow the potential of millions of events collected daily down to just a handful of insightful security findings.

4. Focus on proactive and reactive security measures
Assessing a vendors ability to address proactive and reactive security measures is an important consideration as it’s important to select a vendor that can address both. On the reactive side, it’s important that the vendor can address important proactive security measures (e.g., vulnerability and patch management) in addition to strong reactive security measures (e.g., incident detection and response).

5. Compliance expertise
Meeting industry and government regulations can be a key driver for enlisting a security service provider. There isn’t a single bullet to meeting a cybersecurity regulation or best practice. It is important to understand what regulatory concerns a vendor addresses, and which concerns they do not. It is important that the vendor can provide relevant compliance reports in the areas they do address.

Increasing Threats Is the New Normal

Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their hacking techniques. It is difficult for businesses, let alone cybersecurity professionals, to keep up the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape. When selecting a SECaaS company, it’s important to understand the depth of threat detection capabilities the partner can provide. The capabilities should include ensuring the vendor commits to staffing well-qualified security analysts that engage within the cybersecurity community stay up to date on the most effective techniques to detect threats and provide effective guidance on how to best address any threat discovered.

How to Get Started with a Security-as-a-Service Provider

The best way to get started with a Security-as-a-Service provider is to engage with them to get an overview of their service offering. It’s important to make a checklist of considerations that is important to your business before having your first meeting. A key to success in using a Managed Security as a Service provider is that their service aligns with your business requirements. It will be difficult to find a vendor that addresses every business technology need. However, it’s important that they can address all critical security concerns, but most importantly, can provide trusted advice when working to navigate the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape.

Cygilant Is A Trusted Security-as-a-Service Provider

Cygilant is proud to be a trusted security advisor for our clients. Cygilant Security-as-a-Service provides unrivaled depth of security knowledge, the ability to deploy and manage some of the best proactive and reactive security technologies, and strong operational procedures to provide an enterprise-class cybersecurity program, at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. Cygilant SECaaS provides to customers a single security advisor to help our customers navigate the path to improved cybersecurity. Behind the scenes, Cygilant has an extensive team of highly qualified security professionals that can engage on a broad range of cybersecurity topics with clients.

Cost effective Security-as-a-Service from Cygilant delivers:

  • An army of well-trained cyber professionals to guard against threats
  • The best security solutions to monitor and detect threats
  • Actionable information including threat remediation guidance to quickly respond to threats
  • Supporting capabilities to meet compliance reporting requirements

Feel free to contact us to see how Cygilant can be of assistance if If you have concerns that your business is not properly prepared to protect against threats or meet your compliance burden

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