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Securing the Virtual Environment: How to Defend the Enterprise Against Attack, Included DVD by Matthew Wallace, Davi Ottenheimer

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Chapter 9

Abusing Software as a Service

The Past: Our cradle, not our prison; there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.

— Israel Zangwill

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a fast-moving and fast-growth sector of the IT industry. When markets were down after the infamous dot-com crash, the managed services industry was one of the first to recover and grow through delivery of software. This was perhaps a normal reaction after a steep market correction that left those with large amounts of depreciation in a tough position to compete. The recognition of the need for a more agile development option was timed perfectly with the emergence of a managed service provider industry and a recession. Why take on the risk of building infrastructure when the option to lease or rent (immediate availability and pay-as-you-go) was available from sprawling infrastructure providers in need of a service to sell and fill their datacenters?

Analyst firms predict continued SaaS sales growth for years to come. A Zinnov study suggests that the cloud market will reach $70 billion by 2015, creating more than 300,000 new jobs in India1 from just the $650 million local SaaS market.2 International Data Corporation (IDC) pointed out in 2009 and 2010 that IT cloud services are growing 26 percent annually. This is six times more than on-premises IT and was the key driver of growth.3 IDC adapted its study to the National Institute ...

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