The Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) market has exploded since the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). Showing few signs of slowing, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.22% through 2020.

Forward–thinking companies are seeking new ways to incorporate XaaS offerings to improve speed to market and flexibility.

Below, we explain what XaaS is, common business applications and security risks.

What is XaaS?

XaaS refers to products and services that are available over the Internet via the cloud. It spans commonly known as-a-service models like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), as well as more niche markets like DRaaS (Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service) or marketing-as-a-service.

The State of The Industry

As customers flock to XaaS services, businesses in nearly every industry are adapting to on-demand or subscription-based models to streamline operations or monetize opportunities. For example, Uber and Lyft are leveraging the as-a-service model in the transportation industry. The XaaS model offers the following advantages:

  • Improved flexibility and scalability. Companies are no longer confined by time.
  • Significant cost savings, resulting from streamlined processes, quicker implementation and reduced maintenance requirements.
  • Easy access to new technologies.
  • Speed-to-market and quicker responses to market developments. Companies can introduce new products in weeks as opposed to months.

Protect Your Business from XaaS Security Hazards

While XaaS can provide exceptional benefits, it also has created new security challenges. The first is the rise of Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS), Distributed Denial of Service-as-a-Service (DDoSaaS) and Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). These services allow users with limited coding backgrounds to execute hacks on business systems and data. By expanding the pool of potential cybercriminals to include non-coders, breaches may increase.

In addition to a more pervasive hacker network, use of XaaS solutions also introduces network security concerns. Whenever company information is hosted online, businesses need to be proactive in implementing security best practices.

Before adding XaaS applications to your network, ensure they have strong data encryption, data loss prevention, tokenization and monitoring capabilities. Hold external applications and providers to the same standards you would for in-house builds. Include security expectations in your service level agreement (SLA).

In addition, approach access control strategically by granting logins only as necessary, restricting privileges based on roles, and enforcing enhanced security measures like multi-factor authentication.