We’ve all become familiar with SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) cloud computing models that are used to provide a range of software and other applications. You may have even come across the term IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), which allows companies to configure and deploy virtual technologies that are hosted in a data center and managed remotely.
Exploring the Concept of XaaS
Collectively, these cloud computing approaches are sometimes referred to as XaaS or anything and everything as a service models. Included in the rapidly ballooning use of the cloud as well are Storage-as-a-Service applications, which provide data and backup systems, Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) offerings for access to database platforms, Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS), which guards against ransomware, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Communications as a Service (CaaS) and Network as a Service (NaaS) solutions.
What all that really references is the vast and growing number of software services being delivered over a network, such as the internet, instead of on-site. Transportation companies are using the as-a-service model because it lowers costs for in-house IT infrastructures by requiring fewer servers, hard drives, network switches and software. There’s also less overhead for equipment space, power and cooling, and it can enable reductions in IT staffing, or more importantly allow personnel to focus on other projects.
But despite those benefits, and while the combination of cloud computing and high-bandwidth internet access promotes XaaS growth, some companies have understandably been reluctant to adopt these solutions. That’s because when multiple parts of a business operation, and its vendors, partners and customers are all accessing data in the cloud there are understandably cybersecurity concerns.
How XaaS Providers are Addressing CyberSecurity
XaaS providers are increasingly and proactively addressing the issues above with cloud security tools. And they are deploying features that reinforce cloud security and help users protect their business systems.
In fact, these providers are often quick to point out that their most advanced cloud security practices are often better than what enterprises have developed internally. They also say that one of the biggest obstacles to cybersecurity are user practices. While identity and access management controls have become common in the cloud, they add that there is still a need to help customers protect themselves from their own mistakes.
In reality, there’s not much that a cloud-based application vendor can do to avoid user error, something providers liken to “leaving your door open” with the result being the theft of information that is valuable and often proprietary. At the same time, they are adding capabilities to help customers unintentionally avoid those types of problems.
Included are new configuration rules that flag potential exposure, email alerts about vulnerabilities and even machine learning services that can detect anomalies. The push for new cloud security tools, which are always under development as providers learn what attackers are doing to compromise data, is making it harder to allow for malicious access.