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Security-as-a-service gaining popularity

Bob Violino | Feb. 7, 2013
Security delivered as a cloud service has several benefits, including costs and flexibility, but there are some cautions, too, adopters say.

Cloud applications, including security, cost about 25% less than they would via traditional licensed software, Diab says. In addition to cost savings, Sirva is benefiting from the reduced internal support needed for things like applying hardware and software patches and bringing systems back up after an outage -- vendors perform those tasks now.

At the same time, the company has been gradually retiring some of its aging servers and moving applications to the cloud. The level of maturity of cloud services is no longer an issue, Diab says, and in fact many cloud-based offerings have proven to be reliable in terms of providing high-performance services globally, which is increasingly important as the company expands its overseas operations and looks to standardize on hosted services.

Identity management and single sign-on

Tickr.com, a San Francisco-based company that sells technology to allow customers to track mentions of their company and products on social media sites, in early 2012 began using security-as-a-service offerings from Symplified Inc. for identity management and single sign-on.

As part of its product development process, Tickr.com needed to provide secure access to some of its own proprietary applications as well as to Google Apps and Salesforce.com, says Bobby Mukherjee, vice president of business development at Tickr.

Providing easier and quicker access to the apps for developers was especially critical for the company, which needs to rapidly turn out new releases of its products, Mukherjee explains.

With the service from Symplified, "I'm able to simplify access to cloud- or on-premises apps for my users in a more secure way than other options on the market," Mukherjee says. "The solution also integrated easily with other Web and SaaS apps we were already using. It also has an intuitive admin interface, which has made configuration changes easy." 

As he recalls, "We had some rather expensive engineers who were consuming considerable blocks of time logging in and out of multiple critical applications and keeping track of user passwords as part of their daily workload." 

Engineers were spending up to 10% of their time dealing with application log-in, password and security issues. " This was disruptive and expensive for us, so we looked for a single sign-in security solution" that would greatly simplify the process of granting access while at the same time maintaining a high level of security, Mukherjee says.

Tickr decided to go with the cloud-based offering from Symplified. Tickr had already been using a variety of cloud-based services for applications such as email and customer relationship management, and had seen a number of benefits such as cost savings and greater flexibility.

The cloud "has worked out very well for us because of the economics of it; you buy what you need," Mukherjee says.

 

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