What is the 'as a service' model?

Once novel, now ubiquitous, the as a service evolution has dramatically changed the way in which modern businesses operate and succeed. The movement has enabled businesses to focus on their core strategy, cut costs, improve security and more.

In a few years, the as a service movement is set to gather further momentum and is likely to become the predominant way in which businesses acquire… well, everything! Which could be a very good thing for businesses seeking to improve security, sustainability, and innovation.

The genesis of the movement dates back to the late 1990s, when businesses of all sizes were experiencing the nascent stages of the digital age as well as growing pains from the expanding technological functionality afforded by the Internet. As new technology, tools and platforms rapidly infiltrated offices around the globe, business leaders struggled to manage these innovations.

They began to selectively outsource core IT functions to free up internal resources, offloading tasks to experts who could do them more efficiently. The technology service model was born.

Today, we know these service-based innovations by the names of Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and so on.

In the on-demand economy, IT teams no longer want to buy a widget, they want to buy a service – for just about everything.

Why choose the 'as a service' model?

There are a multitude of benefits to adopting a service-based model, however the key driver behind the as-a-service model is illustrated by fact that 80 percent of customers use just 20 percent of the functionality of a product. 

Procuring an as-a-service offering not only gives you use of a product, but it also gives you access to support and expertise from the provider as an extension of your internal teams, maximising the return you’d expect to see after implementation. 

Other features and benefits the as-a-service model provides to business leaders, IT managers and employees include: 

  • Let providers get technical, so IT teams can get innovative 
  • Organisations can achieve more with less - through efficiencies and cost savings 
  • Functionality can be expanded to anywhere a business operates 
  • Maximises security, business continuity and resiliency 
  • Flexible pay-per-use subscription model 

The as-a-Service model delivers increasingly important benefits which help to protect the brand and keep businesses up and running, securely and efficiently... without disrupting the day-to-day. 

What is Cyber Security as a Service?

Cyber Security as a Service (CSaaS) is an outsourced model for cyber security management and represents the next evolution of the as-a-Service movement. 

Rather than managing an in-house cyber security function, where resources are limited and expertise can be hard to find and retain, an increasing number of companies are now choosing to outsource it to a trusted partner, typically on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

A good CSaaS solution will: 


*Free up internal resources 

One of the principal objectives of any managed service is to free up time to spend on other things – like core product and service offerings. 

With cyber security incidents becoming more pervasive, it requires a lot of effort to keep up. Whether it’s analysing network traffic, log management or performing system updates, the whole process can be very resource intensive. When done in-house, this can eat away at the time that organisations would normally devote to core operations. This can lead to decreased productivity and a diminished customer experience – neither of which is good. 

The beautiful thing about a managed service is that providers should take care of nearly all aspects of cyber security on behalf of an organisation – and they must be able to demonstrate how they are doing this and the value they are delivering via straightforward, jargon-free reporting for both business and technical stakeholders. 

It should be very hands off. In turn, this allows companies to focus on what’s really important – growing the business and improving the bottom line. 


*Offer complete visibility and transparency

Far from a dark art, measuring the efficacy and value of an organisation's investment should be integral to any managed cyber security service. From the Board level to the technology team, all stakeholders should have access to reporting that very clearly shows how all elements of the service are performing and their impact on the overall cyber risk position of the organisation. It should also include a summary of each pillar of a cyber security defence – process, people and technology – and give recommended actions for improvement. 


*Provide access to cyber security experts

Not every company has a dedicated team of cyber security experts capable of spotting and protecting against advanced attacks. And neither would they want to. Adopting an outsourced cyber security model gives businesses direct access to experts whose sole focus is on cyber security. These experts should be accustomed to working with a variety of infrastructures, for companies of different sizes and within multiple industries. 

The scarcity of cyber security experts means that top talent seeks out those companies that can offer exposure to a variety of threats, a diverse experience and an opportunity to develop so that they can stay ahead and evolve. 


*Ease the burden on HR

Demand for cyber security professionals has skyrocketed in recent years, and there is a significant cyber security skills gap – meaning that individuals working in or applying for cyber roles often lack the particular skills needed to perform those roles. 

Assembling a team of cyber security experts in-house can be a tall order even if an organisation does have the resources. But when money is already tight, it can be next to impossible. This creates some real challenges in terms of staffing and puts HR in a tricky predicament. There simply may not be enough manpower to acquire and manage cyber security talent. 

A managed cyber security provider provides support from certified experts on a 24/7 basis. The vendor should be able to guarantee they will have the necessary personnel to cover the workload at all times – ideally via a 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC). 


*Offer flexibility

Today’s businesses operate in a dynamic, fast-paced global economy that is constantly in flux. This has never been more true than right now – a global pandemic, lockdowns and the effective closure of many industries has hit organisations hard and forced them to adapt, or die. 

As with many economic and political developments, while some industries struggle, others will flourish, and after every economic downturn an upturn inevitably follows. New businesses spring up, established companies turn their hand to new offerings and the next generation of entrepreneurs finds its niche. All of which mean that an organisation’s cyber security needs fluctuate over time. 

A good managed security service partner will have the flexibility to scale up – and potentially down – as the business demands. 


Managed cyber security services are gaining traction as an affordable and scalable alternative to the traditional in-house procurement, deployment and management model. 

There are many benefits to choosing this approach, and one of the biggest advantages of the managed cyber security model is the opportunity to save costs – both immediately and in the long-term. An outsourced cyber security service completely negates the need to assemble an in-house team and acquire hardware and software. 

It’s also important to point out that investing in in-house cyber security is by no means a one-off deal. Organisations inevitably need to continually train team members, make new hires, buy new hardware and software, update it, and so on. This can quickly take a financial toll. 

CSaaS is an effective alternative because it allows businesses and other organisations to bypass these costs, while still giving them access to the latest technology and fully trained cyber experts. As an indication of the cost savings you should expect to achieve, the most advanced CSaaS offerings should allow subscribers to save between 60% and 70% of the cost of procuring and managing cyber security solutions in-house. 

Cyber security isn't everyone's cup of tea, which is why we created Cyber Security as a Service. Our customers no longer have to worry about becoming cyber security experts, they can rely on our years of experience and expertise to keep them safe! 
Ricky A

Ricky Abbs NormCyber Ltd.

Learn More:

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of CSaaS, or what to look for in a potential provider, you can find all of that and more in our Buyer’s Guide to managed Cyber Security Services here