Security As a Service Appearing Up and Down the Food Chain

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

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