The cloud has enjoyed emergence into the mainstream over the past decade or so. Its rise has been methodical, with more and more companies relying on cloud-based applications each year, and more and more users coming to recognize the superior ability of the cloud itself. Even if not everyone fully understands what the cloud actually is.

The cloud contains a variety of elements, one of which is known by the acronym SaaS. This acronym represents Software as a Service, which is the basic delivery method for subscription based services that are hosted in a central location and provided to multiple users in multiple locations.

The rise of SaaS applications has mirrored that of the cloud. AngelList, a website that allows investors to back entrepreneurs, lists more than 11,000 U.S. based SaaS startups in the U.S. alone. Meanwhile, the IDC estimates that the SaaS market will expand beyond $112 billon by 2019.

Just like cloud security is becoming more of a focus in the tech sector, the rise of SaaS necessitates a parallel growth of security to protect the growing reliance and dependence, something identified and elaborated upon in a recent publication from Training Industry.

Of course, SaaS application are not currently open game for hackers. Major companies have been relying on the software for years, and have not been doing so while throwing caution to the wind. However, an increased focus has given rise to products like CASBs, or cloud access security brokers, and other tools that add layers of security.

As Training Industry points out, such measures may ultimately hurt the functionality of any applications classified as SaaS. Such measures are therefore counterintuitive to the original purpose of the applications. Though the issue is one that companies will face in coming years, it only serves to highlight the importance of successful integration between security and functionality.