Network security includes any solutions that your organization utilizes to protect its network applications, devices, and users. You can purchase network security software and hardware. Or, you can leverage network security as a service (NSaaS), which lets you receive some or all of your network security services through the cloud.
What is network security?
Network security refers to any protections you use to safeguard your network against cyberthreats. A network security solution protects your network against unauthorized access, misuse, or theft. It also lets you set up a network infrastructure in which your apps, devices, and users work together without compromising your security.
You can purchase network security products that let you manage and implement security policies and controls. Additionally, these products help you protect any information shared on your networks against cyberattacks.
What is security as a service (SECaaS)?
Security as a service, sometimes referred to as cybersecurity as a service, involves outsourcing your cyber protection. SECaaS reduces or eliminates the need for traditional security software and hardware, since you can run some or all of your security operations in the cloud. With SECaaS, you let a third-party vendor manage a portion of your cyber protection or all of it. Your SECaaS vendor delivers your security services through the cloud. And, you pay for these services via a subscription.
Many SECaaS options are available, including network, email, and database security. Depending on the SECaaS options you choose, you can protect against malware, botnets, and other cyberthreats.
What is network security as a service?
With network security as a service, you can scale your network protection as your organization grows. NSaaS lets you avoid the time and costs associated with building a network security infrastructure. Instead, you can pick and choose the network security services that you want and run and manage them through the cloud.
Types of network security as a service
Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)
Firewall as a service follows predetermined rules to control incoming and outgoing network traffic. In doing so, the service protects your network against attacks before they happen.
With network segmentation as a service, you separate assets within a network group that share a common function, risk, or role. For example, you may use a network security solution that lets you set up a perimeter gateway, which keeps your organization's network off the internet. This helps you keep your organization's data safe against web-based threats.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Thanks to data loss prevention, you can make sure that your organization's data is not misused, lost, or accessed by unauthorized users. DLP as a service lets you classify your data based on policies. The service notifies you if your data is ever compromised. It also helps you comply with HIPAA, GDPR, and other data security mandates.
Network access control as a service enforces security policies across your network devices. The service provides you with visibility into your devices and any network threats they face. It can help you protect against network risks.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
You can use zero trust network access to securely connect your network users to applications. ZTNA as a service follows a zero trust security model in which only authorized users are allowed to access various apps and data. You can also block compromised network devices from accessing your network.
Network security challenges
Many organizations manage global networks. If your organization has a network in place or wants to set one up, it needs to prioritize security. Otherwise, ransomware, viruses, and other cyberthreats can infiltrate your network. At this point, your network is compromised, and your organizations, its employees, and its customers are exposed.
Meanwhile, traditional network security solutions can be difficult to manage. You may need to commit significant time and resources to find and deploy the right network security software and hardware. On top of that, you need to keep these software and hardware up to date — if you choose not to do so, you risk a cyberattack and data breach.
Why network security as a service is important
Network security as a service simplifies cyber protection for networks. You get the same security capabilities and features you receive from traditional network security solutions, without the need for any software and hardware. Instead, you entrust a third-party network security vendor to provide you with a subscription-based service run through the cloud. You select the network security services you want, and they're readily available to you. And, you can upgrade or downgrade your network security solution whenever you'd like. Most importantly, you can protect your network against current and emerging cyberthreats.
Network security as a service benefits
With NSaaS, you won't have to worry about building and maintaining a network security infrastructure. You can put some or all of your network security operations in the hands of a third-party vendor. From here, your NSaaS provider watches over your network infrastructure and manages it from the cloud. This means you can focus on running your organization, while your NSaaS provider keeps your network safe.
Along with cost savings, network security as a service can help you make the most of your time. Your NSaaS provider monitors and manages your network security operations 24/7. If a network security issue comes up, your NSaaS provider will notify you about it and respond accordingly. While all of this is happening, your organization can stay on track with its day-to-day work, without having to worry about cyberattacks that can disrupt your network.
Fast respond to security incidents
When you have a best-in-class NSaaS provider at your side, you'll likely be able to respond to security incidents faster than you could if you managed your cyber protection on your own. As soon as a potential security incident is found, your network security as a service company lets you know and addresses the issue. It also takes steps to prevent a single cyberattack from becoming a recurring issue.
Access to advanced network security technologies
Your network security as a service provider may use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other state-of-the-art technologies to protect your network. This gives you access to network security technologies that can help you maximize your cybersecurity posture. Plus, your NSaaS provider continues to look for ways to level up its technologies. If it updates its technology stack for network security, you're automatically covered.
Access to network security experts
You don't have to conduct a lengthy and expensive search for cybersecurity professionals to handle your network security operations. By partnering with an NSaaS provider, you can get help from network security experts any time you need them. These experts can track your network security operations and answer any questions you have about cyber protection for networks.
How to Get Started with Network Security as a Service
1. Conduct a Network Security Assessment
Let an NSaaS provider evaluate your network security posture. Next, you can learn about any gaps in your network security coverage and find out how a provider can help you address them.
2. Identify the Network Security Services You Want
Select network security services to maximize your security posture. An NSaaS provider can help you pick out the right network security options in accordance with your organization's size, industry, budget, and other factors.
3. Deploy Your Network Security Services
Incorporate NSaaS into your day-to-day operations. Your security provider will manage the deployment and make sure that your network apps, devices, and users are protected.
4. Track Your Results
Keep your NSaaS provider in the loop about any deployment issues or security problems if they arise. Remember, there is no such thing as a "small" issue when it comes to your network security. When in doubt about a network security issue, share your concern or question about it with your provider.
5. Scale Your Network Security
Notify your NSaaS provider if you add to your workforce or expand your operations. That way, you can scale your network security in alignment with your organization's growth.
Need to Secure Your Network Better? Sophos Can Help
Sophos offers network security solutions that can help your organization achieve superior cybersecurity outcomes. To learn more, please contact us today.