Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Aruna Ravichandran, Dalibor Siroky, Kevin Jackson, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

So, Just What Is REACT? And How Does It Change Security Strategies?

Examining the advantages of cloud-based unified security

Last month, I published an article about a new unified security platform called REACT (Realtime Event & Access Correlation Technology).  All in all, it received some very positive notices, but also raised some questions as to what exactly the platform is, and why it should matter.

Simply put, REACT is an approach whereby an organization leverages the capabilities of several security solutions into one central correlated repository of security intelligence. For instance, key information from an Access Management tool (such as SaaS SSO logins or views of/modifications on/additions to protected data) can be shared, processed and analyzed through a SIEM correlation engine. When this is done in real time, not only do you expand the centralized visibility, but more importantly any suspicious activity is immediately identified and alerted.  When these systems are running in parallel, but not unified, it might be days or weeks before these anomalous instances are discovered and remedied.

REACT incorporates four elements: SIEM, Access Management, Identity Management and Log Management. Each, independently, addresses certain security and/or compliance functions. As a deployment of centralized and unified security, they enhance the enterprise’s ability to perform, improve the granular visibility across independent silos and provide a true field of play in which to… yes…react!  But the key is this monitoring must be done in real time to gain the advantages of proactive readiness and agile and accurate response.

Think of REACT like an apple pie. You might have apples, dough crust, butter and spices. Each can be used on their own. However, when using each of the ingredients together, you create a tasty result that is more than the sum of its parts. As a platform, REACT is similar. Your organization may already have Identity Management or SSO, but if it isn’t “baked” together with forensic analytics like SIEM and/or Log management, you only get a portion of the information and a slice of the capability.

Why does that matter? Let’s break it down into 3 key business advantages:

1. Creating 360o Visibility -In the current complex, multi-networked and interlaced  business environment, the ability to know who is doing what, when and where to any part of the monitored IT landscape has moved beyond the “nice-to-have” strategy. Anything less is short sighted, and honestly, dangerous. It seems every few weeks, we hear about a large organization suffering some kind of breach. It could be internal sabotage, user carelessness, or hackers, but either way, sensitive data has been put at risk. By employing the unique advantage of multi-silo correlation and information distillation, the ability to expand visibility manifests as a huge return on investment through prevented breaches, supported work practices and easier compliance.

This enhanced visibility goes a long way toward internal proactive defense planning: who is logging in (or failing), modifying records, accessing data from any affiliated app across the entire extended network. When you have the right level of visibility, you can make better decisions faster...especially when factoring Big Data and BYOD.

2. Improved compliance - One of the top concerns for enterprises are compliance requirements. Hundreds of man-hours and other resources must be deployed per month just to provide the reports auditors require. When approaching security from a non-unified approach, IT needs to look at machine data and logs from many different servers from many different sectors of the network. It’s a Herculean task given the best of circumstances. With multiple audits from multiple agencies, it takes an inordinate amount of time away from other core business needs. Yet when unifying and centralizing (and automating) the data required by audits, compliance becomes less of a burden. The automations across the enterprise now deliver the prescribed data in the right format, fully completed by the imposed deadlines

And also consider, requirements from agencies like HIPAA, PCI, FFIEC, CIP GLBA, SOX are not going to lessen. If history teaches us anything, the demands of such organizations are only going to increase as the usage cases of your online assets continue to diversify and evolve.

3. More capability for less cost - In many circumstances, asking an organization to make investments in all sorts of security solutions is cost prohibitive. Not to mention all the other time, personnel and computing resources needed to properly deploy the initiative. By leveraging the security functionality from the cloud, companies gain additional and immediate solution bandwidth along with expanded capabilities. As a unified security deployment from the cloud, the cost-to-function ratio dramatically drops. Colloquially speaking, you get more bang for the buck. But because the solutions are managed from the cloud it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. REACT can work as an on-premises platform, but through multi-tenancy, centralization and other economies of scale, cloud-based security users get best of breed solutions for pennies against the on premises dollar. In short the cloud provides a unique advantage in functionality, affordability and control for any sized company—not just the big boys.

So to recap… REACT is not a collection of individual solutions and functions, but an interpolation of all the data across the enterprise to gain a truly holistic security vantage point. AND REACT matters because you can see more, see it faster, manage it cheaper and protect a greater swath of your enterprise. It’s a simple calculation-especially from the cloud.

Kevin Nikkhoo
A Cloud REACTionary

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
For many of us laboring in the fields of digital transformation, 2017 was a year of high-intensity work and high-reward achievement. So we’re looking forward to a little breather over the end-of-year holiday season. But we’re going to have to get right back on the Continuous Delivery bullet train in 2018. Markets move too fast and customer expectations elevate too precipitously for businesses to rest on their laurels. Here’s a DevOps “to-do list” for 2018 that should be priorities for anyone w...
If testing environments are constantly unavailable and affected by outages, release timelines will be affected. You can use three metrics to measure stability events for specific environments and plan around events that will affect your critical path to release.
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
DevOps failure is a touchy subject with some, because DevOps is typically perceived as a way to avoid failure. As a result, when you fail in a DevOps practice, the situation can seem almost hopeless. However, just as a fail-fast business approach, or the “fail and adjust sooner” methodology of Agile often proves, DevOps failures are actually a step in the right direction. They’re the first step toward learning from failures and turning your DevOps practice into one that will lead you toward even...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
While walking around the office I happened upon a relatively new employee dragging emails from his inbox into folders. I asked why and was told, “I’m just answering emails and getting stuff off my desk.” An empty inbox may be emotionally satisfying to look at, but in practice, you should never do it. Here’s why. I recently wrote a piece arguing that from a mathematical perspective, Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized. While it validated the genius of my friends with messy desks, it also gener...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
The enterprise data storage marketplace is poised to become a battlefield. No longer the quiet backwater of cloud computing services, the focus of this global transition is now going from compute to storage. An overview of recent storage market history is needed to understand why this transition is important. Before 2007 and the birth of the cloud computing market we are witnessing today, the on-premise model hosted in large local data centers dominated enterprise storage. Key marketplace play...
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the phase of proof-of-concepts into a truly mainstream adoption. One of most popular enterprise-wide initiatives currently going on are “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to...
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task ...
Following a tradition dating back to 2002 at ZapThink and continuing at Intellyx since 2014, it’s time for Intellyx’s annual predictions for the coming year. If you’re a long-time fan, you know we have a twist to the typical annual prediction post: we actually critique our predictions from the previous year. To make things even more interesting, Charlie and I switch off, judging the other’s predictions. And now that he’s been with Intellyx for more than a year, this Cortex represents my first ...
"Grape Up leverages Cloud Native technologies and helps companies build software using microservices, and work the DevOps agile way. We've been doing digital innovation for the last 12 years," explained Daniel Heckman, of Grape Up in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Toyota Production System, a world-renowned production system is based on the "complete elimination of all waste". The "Toyota Way", grounded on continuous improvement dates to the 1860s. The methodology is widely proven to be successful yet there are still industries within and tangential to manufacturing struggling to adopt its core principles: Jidoka: a process should stop when an issue is identified prevents releasing defective products
We seem to run this cycle with every new technology that comes along. A good idea with practical applications is born, then both marketers and over-excited users start to declare it is the solution for all or our problems. Compliments of Gartner, we know it generally as “The Hype Cycle”, but each iteration is a little different. 2018’s flavor will be serverless computing, and by 2018, I mean starting now, but going most of next year, you’ll be sick of it. We are already seeing people write such...
Defining the term ‘monitoring’ is a difficult task considering the performance space has evolved significantly over the years. Lately, there has been a shift in the monitoring world, sparking a healthy debate regarding the definition and purpose of monitoring, through which a new term has emerged: observability. Some of that debate can be found in blogs by Charity Majors and Cindy Sridharan.
It’s “time to move on from DevOps and continuous delivery.” This was the provocative title of a recent article in ZDNet, in which Kelsey Hightower, staff developer advocate at Google Cloud Platform, suggested that “software shops should have put these concepts into action years ago.” Reading articles like this or listening to talks at most DevOps conferences might make you think that we’re entering a post-DevOps world. But vast numbers of organizations still struggle to start and drive transfo...
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.