Welcome to SaaS thoughts

Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.

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SaaS for Web Security


You are accustomed to web filtering being done via a desktop application or by your firewall. Now, the benefits of SaaS are combined with strong web filtering. It’s time for it.

The IDC recently released a report discussing the top 10 threats to Network Security. Top 3 threats include exposure of confidential information, malware threats and spam. Interestingly, not only are they the top threats to network security, but the security technologies used to address these issues are those most likely to be adopted and deployed by a SaaS model.

Additionally, a 2007 survey discovered that while greater than 90% of companies deploy some form of virus and/or spyware protection, greater than 50% of organizations are still being infected by viruses and spyware. The Web is quickly emerging as the vector of choice for malware writers.

Not surprising news but, use a SaaS for what has traditionally been a function at the firewall? Yes. Here’s why.

Superiority of SaaS

If you can do get the service previously performed by an appliance with the same (or greater) facility but without the appliance to purchase, power, cool and maintain, why wouldn’t you?
There are three main advantages over on-premise installations.

  • Better Manageability
    • No hardware or software to manage
    • Upgrades, patches and threat definition updates are managed by the Service Provider
    • Because the service is managed at the Internet layer, there is the opportunity to provide seamless protection to mobile users
    • A redundant data center environment eliminates the single point of failure at the gateway
    • And the solution is highly scalable based on the per user fee schedule. Should an organization wish to grow, simply add additional users to the contract.
  • Better value
    • An appliance will cost an organization a little less than $100 per user, with about 60% of this being allocated to personnel costs. With a SaaS solution, because it is a service requiring no on-site maintenance, the personnel costs allocated to this solution are significantly reduced providing a lower total cost of ownership, per user. Total cost here is a little less than $60 per user per year.
  • Better protection and better overall security
    • Ability to update service infrastructure quickly with latest definitions, heuristics, and web and email reputational analysis
    • Protection from DHA and DDoS attacks by virtue of intercepting email traffic at the Internet layer prior to it reaching a corporate network
    • Advanced features that are not typically included within standard on-premise solutions
    • Ability to enhance layered approach advocated by Chenxi and many other security industry experts
    • Built-in data center redundancy
    • Service level agreements that guarantee service availability

So, you can now protect your users and their on-premises or mobile laptops against the growing threat of spyware and malware at a better price point using SaaS than using an appliance. We can show you how that is possible in your organization. Just contact us and arrange for a demonstration or evaluation at 877-603-0301.


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