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Why is SaaS important for business network security?

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

With increasing cybersecurity threats and web service demand, cloud-based network security solutions are becoming increasingly prevalent and are continuing to grow at a significantly high rate. Organisations now already rely on software as a service (SaaS) suppliers to provide best-in-breed applications and specialised services. As SaaS moves into the mainstream across industries, it comes as little surprise that IT security providers are also exploiting this phenomenon.

Cloud-based network security can help businesses to monitor real-time threats and protect their data, whilst also bringing businesses greater flexibility. In fact, this is especially the case for small-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who often find it a struggle to adequately defend their networks as a result of a lack of time, investment and skills. SMBs can now use cloud-based technologies to their advantage in a number of ways including; meeting customer expectations, leveraging existing resources and improving efficiency within the business.

Opting for a SaaS solution is proving to be a mitigation strategy as it enables IT teams to keep security measures up-to-date and in line with modern technologies; simultaneously keeping persistent and ever-evolving cybercriminals at bay.

Traditional security measures aren’t enough

Amid a cybercrime and AI warfare climate, SMBs with limited resources are of course most vulnerable, but not exclusively so. Larger enterprises have just as much – if not more – to lose, and the benefits that SaaS can provide in combating the threat crosses the border of company size.

A move to the cloud for all companies, especially SMBs, is necessary due to the rise of big data and AI, but with this comes a vital need to veer away from traditional security solutions in order to shield against the threats that big data and AI equally present.

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) has already become more widespread in 2019 as a way of offering real-time monitoring and protection of networks; able to silo threats before they have a chance to deploy. Sandboxing is also proving an effective strategy in the cloud as a more diverse and customisable way to set up defences.

Either way, businesses can’t afford to wait for their firewall or virus checker’s next upgrade to deal with real-time insecurity. And this is where SaaS serves as a natural next venture for businesses in a fight against cybercrime that they’re actually favourites to win as long as they prepare accordingly.

Big data analytics offer greater protection

Where there is demand, there is inevitably response among the tech community, and SMBs certainly aren’t short of allies when it comes to this potentially daunting strategy.

A growing number of cloud analytics service providers are now available to aid both them and managed service providers through their responses to network threats.

The key word is ‘control’. Rather than holding out for and putting trust in firewall upgrades while cyberthreats evolve and change tact; SaaS solutions such as ATP and sandboxing bring real-time responsiveness and inherently adapt in line with technological advancements in the same way that malware will.

This prospect of control doesn’t further strain already sensitive time and resource restraints either. In fact, cloud-based visual analytics and reporting solutions mitigate these concerns by working discreetly in the cloud and centralising the overall view and collation of threat data. IT personnel can then pull relevant stats and data at their own discretion before taking more informed countermeasures against the threats being spotted and posed.

In-depth analytics provide clear insight into attacks made on the network, empowering ATP and USG firewall users to take the right course of action and better defend their businesses against cyberthreats.

Prepare for the future

The question now facing SMBs is not whether to explore the possibility of cloud-based network security solutions, but which provider to put their faith in. SaaS is a cost-effective, flexible, accessible and scalable model that is often pitted over the more traditional models of business software installation. Yet increasingly, SMBs are ready to invest more to safeguard their businesses to get the right levels of protection. Whilst SaaS not only helps cybersecurity solutions to evolve in accordance with the threat landscape, it in fact helps to continue the improvement and expansion of a company.

With the extent of data under each company’s roof these days, it’s almost unwaveringly better placed under a third-party specialist’s roof that can properly protect against the elements.

And of course, parameters like ‘efficiency’, ‘cybersecurity’ and ‘futureproofing’ are relevant beyond the baby-steps of SMBs. We’re entering a business world driven by data that will manifest in volumes relative to the size of the company generating it.

An increasing number of SMBs are turning to SaaS platforms as they provide a central role in attempting to optimise the efficiency and scalability of a firm’s technology resources, it seems to ultimately be a foundational tool for companies of all sizes.

Thorsten Kurpjuhn, Security Marketing Development Manager, Zyxel

Thornsten Kurpjuhn is the European Market Development Manager at Zyxel.