Select Page

Aug 15, 2023

‘As-a-Service’ Could Become the Biggest Security Threat of All


As the Hillstone Networks team looks out across the cybersecurity landscape, we are starting to notice some disturbing trends. Chief among them is a tendency toward more destructive attack vectors thanks to prepackaged solutions sold to cyber criminals via the ‘as-a-service’ model. If things continue as they currently are, as-a-service could become the biggest cybersecurity threat of all.

Security risks continue to escalate as cyber criminals come up with new and better ways to get around security procedures. Their attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Threat actors are also becoming more aggressive, looking to cause as much damage as possible.

Why As-a-Service Is So Dangerous

So, what is it about the as-a-service model that has us so concerned? Motivation. In the early days of cybercrime, hackers were looking for big paydays with every attack. Maintaining a steady revenue stream wasn’t difficult for a clever cyber criminal with the right knowledge and hardware. Today, it is not so easy.

It appears as though some cyber criminals have developed the as-a-service model as a way of maintaining a stable revenue stream without having to do the actual work required to hack networks. It’s an easier pay day for them. They are selling services rather than trying to penetrate secure systems. As a result, Hillstone Networks is seeing more incidents of:

  • Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS)
  • Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)
  • Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS).

In relation to CaaS specifically, we expect to see service providers putting more time and effort into pre-attack intelligence and weaponization. Like any legitimate business, service providers want to offer the best services they can. For that to happen, they need to get better at learning about the security measures taken against them and how they can get around such measures.

The Ball Is in Our Court

It is clear that cybersecurity is evolving at breakneck speed. With every solution the cybersecurity industry comes up with, threat actors introduce a new attack vector. The attacks are becoming more sophisticated with every stage of the evolution. Here’s the bottom line: the ball is clearly in our court.

Those of us in the security industry need to be at the top of our collective game at all times. So do CISOs, security team personnel, data center operators, software developers, etc. The criminal element is now starting to build and distribute cyber attacks-as-a-service. They have become highly organized and professional. We need to make sure we’re up to the task.

The Basics Have Not Changed

Here at Hillstone Networks, the basics have not changed. We still emphasize cloud and edge protection. We still help enterprises improve their application and server protection. We still believe in firewalls, ZTNA, micro-segmentation, and all the other tools and strategies for which we have long advocated. What we are calling for now is greater diligence.

CaaS is a very real threat we are just now beginning to understand. As it gradually emerges from the shadows, we expect to see more attacks launched via products produced under the as-a-service model. As those products get better, service providers will sell more of them on the dark web. That ultimately means more attacks coming from more angles.

Forget Cybersecurity on the Cheap

The best advice Hillstone Networks could offer enterprises and CISOs is this: don’t go cheap on cybersecurity. The opposition is continually ramping up its efforts to utilize cybercrime as a tool to both destroy and make money. Threat actors are not going to suddenly cease activity and close up shop. As they capitalize on the as-a-service model, the rest of us need to be ready to stop new attacks.