Shifting IT Landscape Boosts Demand for Security Application Services

By: Jacqueline Lee| - Leave a comment

As more organizations shift workloads to the cloud and platforms turn toward a service-oriented model of application access and delivery, demand for security application services is increasing, according to a new survey from F5 Networks.

Services in top demand include Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which 29 percent of respondents plan to deploy in the near future. Meanwhile, 30 percent intend to use distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation, and 29 percent are looking for web application firewall (WAF) services.

In addition to seeking security-as-a-service (SECaaS), the shift to the cloud is pushing more organizations to adopt DevOps methodology for application deployment and maintenance. Although the main selling point for DevOps has been speedy deployment, HelpNet Security writes that scalability is quickly becoming the main driver of DevOps adoption.

Although security awareness and mitigation responses are on the rise in most organizations, prioritizing security hasn’t slowed the pace of digital transformation. F5 found that the move to SECaaS is a response to organizations trying to balance data and customer protection with high availability and fast time to market.

The Growing Security Application Services Market

According to security firm Tripwire, the SECaaS market is expected to increase at a rate of about 20 percent over the next three years, bringing the global market from $3 billion per year in 2016 to nearly $8 billion in 2020.

SECaaS is a cost-effective alternative to on-premises security hardware, especially for organizations without internal IT security expertise. It also slashes false positives, since alerts are vetted by dedicated network security personnel. In addition, Cloudbric points out that centrally consolidating security infrastructure makes it easier to maintain the security database, delivering protection based on timely information and ending the need to update and maintain hardware at every business location.

Top SECaaS Services

Accessing more application services remotely means greater potential for certain attacks. DNSSEC, for example, mitigates situations in which an attacker would hijack a browser session initiated for accessing a remote application and direct the user toward a malicious IP address. WAFs help to protect remote applications from cross-site scripting and SQL injections by attaching rules to HTTP exchanges.

Businesses aren’t the only actors making the most of application services. According to Tripwire, an attacker can purchase DDoS-as-a-service for the cost of a nice dinner for four in New York City. The ease of launching a DDoS attack requires organizations to maintain their defenses 24/7, a service that’s easier for a dedicated security provider to deliver.

DevOps, SECaaS and Application Availability

The automation components of DevOps can be a major aid to incident response. If a remote attack exploits a vulnerability in a new version of an application, automatically rolling back to the last stable version can mitigate the attack and maintain availability while security personnel address the issue. More attackers are targeting applications directly, with many using fileless malware to introduce malicious PowerShell scripts and establish persistence in Windows Management Instrumentation.

SECaaS improves the ops side of DevOps by ensuring quicker, more effective responses to attacks against application services. When organizations need to scale an application to maintain availability, adding a bunch of new IP addresses to the network, centralized SECaaS makes it easier to protect those new connections. F5 says the organizations that feel most confident about their ability to protect their applications under any circumstances are those that have a WAF installed.

New Application Delivery Models Driving SDN Adoption

With more organizations accessing IaaS and PaaS, resulting in greater dependency on API-enabled infrastructure and a need to orchestrate more applications across multiple environments, F5 also predicts an increase in the use of software-defined network (SDN) frameworks. Over half of respondents agreed that API-enabled infrastructure and templates were important, compared to one-third of respondents who said the same a year ago.

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About The Author

Jacqueline Lee

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Lee specializes in business and technology writing, drawing on over 10 years of experience in business, management and entrepreneurship. Currently, she blogs for HireVue and IBM, and her work on behalf of client brands has appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to writing, Jackie works as a social media manager and freelance editor. She's a member of the American Copy Editors Society and is completing a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute.

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