RAP-as-a-service refers to a business model where the product or service aids in implementing a risk assessment program (RAP). A RAP is a set of tools and procedures that help IT professionals assess potential and existing risks.

RAP-as-a-service enables organizations to check the health of their IT environment. For instance, the service compares an organization’s cybersecurity policy implementation against industry standards or regulatory requirements. From there, it can identify gaps in tools or processes and present ways to remediate them.


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Although some people call RAP-as-a-service “RaaS,” there is a tendency to confuse it with ransomware-as-a-service that has the same acronym. We will continue calling the business model by its full name to avoid this.

RAP-as-a-service joins other everything-as-a-service (XaaS) offerings in delivering risk assessment processes over the Internet.

What Is a Risk Assessment Program (RAP)?

To fully understand RAP-as-a-service, it’s essential to learn what RAP is. RAP stands for “risk assessment program” but is also called “risk and health assessment program.” Aside from evaluating potential risks, the program also aims to ensure the client’s environment is healthy.

The overarching goal of RAP is to protect the client from the cost of potential dangers. For example, a retailer’s buggy point-of-sale (PoS) system that constantly crashes can result in customer dissatisfaction and eventual sales loss. RAP can detect and assess the issue so it can be remedied before causing any damage.

How Does RAP-as-a-Service Work?

Like software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), RAP-as-a-service relies on web services, removing the need for on-premise tools and software. IT specialists and engineers connect to a client’s systems remotely to analyze and diagnose issues.

In our retail PoS system example above, a RAP-as-a-service vendor may detect the issue while doing a remote routine checkup on the retail company’s system. In a different scenario, the company’s employee might report that the PoS system constantly crashes, prompting the RAP-as-a-service vendor to analyze and investigate the event.

The results of both scenarios would then be shared with the internal IT staff for further action and a detailed remediation plan. Since risk assessment services are delivered through the Web, there’s no burden on the client’s cyber systems and human resources.

What Are the Benefits of RAP-as-a-Service?

The key benefits of employing RAP-as-a-service are:

  • IT staff can focus on other tasks, including implementing security policies, instead of spending most of their time scanning, monitoring, and analyzing risks. 
  • Since services are delivered remotely, company systems aren’t overwhelmed.
  • RAP-as-a-service allows organizations to gain insights into the health of their environment.
  • Gaps between policy implementation and requirements can be detected before regulatory audits.

What Are the Downsides of RAP-as-a-Service?

RAP-as-service provides organizations with convenient risk and health assessments that can be requested on-demand or as a routine process. However, there are costs to using the service.

The primary issue is security since providers must collect system data to perform assessments and analyses accurately. Although RAP-as-a-service implements credentialed access to client environments, third-party risks are still possible. If the vendor suffers a security breach, client information may also be compromised.

What Is Microsoft RAP?

Microsoft is one of the primary RAP-as-a-service providers. One of its services is Active Directory RAP (ADRAP), which checks the health of an organization’s Active Directory, a crucial component of business applications.

Microsoft RAP-as-a-service is also called “IT Health and On-Demand Assessments,” which are offered to premier customers and performed by a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. Other companies that offer RAP-as-a-service include SharePoint and Lumen21. 

Risk assessment and management have become vital business processes. Governments have even required private companies to regularly perform risk assessments and develop a clear risk management strategy, specifically in their IT and cyber systems. RAP-as-a-service helps IT professionals perform risk assessments better and more accurately.

The ultimate goal of RAP-as-a-service is to prevent system issues from happening and affecting the company’s critical processes. It is also helpful in ensuring the company adheres to regulatory requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • RAP-as-a-service falls under the umbrella of XaaS, where risk assessment services are delivered over the Internet.
  • RAP-as-a-service providers examine risks, such as system crashes, downtimes, and failure to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Microsoft, SharePoint, and Lumen21 are among the providers of RAP-as-a-service.
  • In RAP-as-a-service, IT experts connect to the client’s system remotely and collect data for analysis.
  • RAP-as-a-service helps detect and assess system issues before they can damage an organization’s core processes.
  • Since RAP-as-a-service is delivered remotely, it doesn’t affect Internet or on-premise environments and IT staff.
  • Security is the primary issue when using RAP-as-a-service since clients can be exposed to third-party data breaches.

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