Security As a Service Appearing Up and Down the Food Chain

Even large enterprises are taking a second look at security appliances and considering a move to the cloud.

 By Larry Barrett
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Whether you're the CIO of a Fortune 500 conglomerate or a one-man band running a boutique brokerage firm, the days of simply downloading and installing the latest antivirus software to your PC are over.

With the proliferation of mobile devices, social networking sites and the growing dependence on user-generated content for business purposes, analysts say the breadth and depth of gaping security holes grows faster and more insidious by the hour.

Throw in the fact that employees have a nasty habit of downloading stuff they shouldn't while at work -- and installing devices and applications that are usually riddled with vulnerabilities that hackers love -- it's easy to understand why more companies are turning to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) security vendors to lock down their ever-expanding organizations.

Gartner predicts that the so-called security-as-a-service market eclipsed $820 million in sales in 2008, up from $643 million in 2007, and will continue to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 30 percent for the next three years.

If these analyst predictions are on target, companies will spend in excess of $3 billion by 2012 for this cloud-based solution to their omnipresent security concerns.

"Gartner clients are showing increased inclination toward deploying security SaaS solutions in threat- and vulnerability-focused markets where up-to-date protection and expertise is paramount," Gartner analyst Arabella Hallawell said. "Security as a service also offers the potential for lower-cost delivery of security controls and functions with faster implementation cycles."

That's likely to be a major selling point in today's increasingly complex security environment. Hackers, phishers and other ne'er-do-wells have figured out that employees love to use security-challenged sites such as Twitter and Facebook or read blogs on company time. Read the rest at InternetNews.com.

This article was originally published on Sep 9, 2009
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