|By Kevin Nikkhoo||
|March 1, 2013 12:00 PM EST||
With all the talk of fiscal cliffs sequestrations, financial binds and “next year’s budget,” I started thinking about cloud security in more tangible ways. Specifically returns on investment, economic impact and total costs of ownership. Just like death and taxes, businesses can add intrusion and attack to the list of sureties. I can hear CFOs all over the world sigh in exasperation as they feel pressured to add another expense line item to minimize the building security threats to their enterprises.
Before you add another decimal place to security budgets, maybe it’s time you consider the how cloud-deployed security options can not only address the complexities of enterprise security ably, but do so at considerable savings.
Study after study promotes that a cloud computing model saves organization money. We know that more and more functionality is moving to the cloud. For things like CRM or other standard business applications, it simply makes sense. We recognize the limited time and funding to run and maintain enterprise applications and the cloud provides that great equalizer. This model extends itself to cloud security and security-as-a-service.
First there are the over-arching savings of cloud-computing in general:
- Elimination of CapEx costs: no hardware or software to buy (Any “cloud” company that asks you to install a server on your premises to monitor your enterprise isn’t cloud)
- Pay-as-you-go scalable: Most cloud providers can offer considerable cost savings through economies of scale. The ability to adjust the level of service necessary (elastic provisioning) creates flexibility for increased margins and cost-controls.
- Zero-day start/On demand delivery of service: no waiting time after the service has been purchased to develop and configure a complex system. This means no development hell or waiting for Phase 2 to be complete in order to start reaping benefits.
- Head count savings: included in most cloud services are the personnel costs (salary, benefits, overhead, churn/hiring costs) a company does not need to invest in more people and gains the benefit of the security expertise and tribal knowledge of the cloud security provider.
- Best-of breed resource/expertise expansion: Companies improve their overall business agility through proven technologies supported and updated by the core competencies of the developers. Meanwhile CIOs get to move more IT budget to innovation or enablement programs.
But where are the benefits of cloud security from an ROI perspective:
- 24/7 Availability: Cloud security is about continuous monitoring. To properly secure the expanding footprint of an enterprise’s IT landscape, there must be the vigilance to catch analyze and remediate issues as quickly as possible. Like a cancer, if security issues go undetected, they can metastasize and spread. Having a professional monitor a network 7/24/365 (in real time) seems like a luxury for Fortune 500 companies. Cloud security makes this option available for the most modest organizations. The holes in security that are created through intermittent monitoring, vague automation settings and periodic machine log reviews will cost an organization. But continuous monitoring isn’t a cost center. Preventive and proactive security creates reduced risk (without additional man hours) which allows for redeployed resources and a realignment based of business needs.
- Unification: The agility from the cloud allows companies to leverage the capabilities of various security solutions looking at multiple parts of the enterprise. This includes intrusion detection, credentialing, access, SSO, web authentication and compliance audits. It not only allows an enterprise to acquire more and greater functionality for virtually the same cost, but it also centralizes the collective intelligence and provides the advantage enhanced visibility through correlated and situational context. This, in turn, creates better and faster decisions which streamline resources and save money.
- Improved productivity Although there are many examples of this within cloud based security, I will point to one (and use future blogs to expound on others). Using identity management, companies can automatically provision and deprovision users. This service alone can save 75% of the requests across the enterprise. Imagine the additional savings when IT is not slogged down with forgotten password requests/resets along with managing credentials. There are studies that prove that this alone saves companies nearly $200K per year. Now with better employee productivity (because this helps solve BYOD issues) and certain portions of your network safe from data theft and leakage, IT can concentrate on business issues that drive revenue.
- Compliance: Dozens of man hours are typically needed each month to complete all the reports needed to satisfy a regulatory agency auditor; and for most companies, it’s not just one agency, but several. Through real time correlation, most of the work of identifying, capturing, encrypting and storing(or destroying) certain pieces of information and providing the proof your best practices are in line with internal and external policies is easier. Because of unification, multi-silo collection and security centralization, 75 hours per month becomes 10. And more importantly, the degree of accuracy of the reporting is significantly better. And with better reports, the threat of fines disappears.
Gartner estimates the annual cost to own and manage traditional on premise security software applications can be 4X the initial purchase. This is chiefly due to the need to acquire and maintain the resources to support the deployment. In many cases, for less than what a company pays for in support and maintenance of these on premise initiatives, they could have twice the capability from the cloud.
When it’s money that matters, the bottom line should be as much about saving as it is spending; as long as the result is a positive return on the investment. Enterprise security is not different. For years seen as a cost center, through cloud-based solutions it can now be redefined as a revenue enablement mechanism. Certainly there are costs involved in a maintaining a safe network perimeter, protecting and securing data and compliance auditing. However, by exploiting the benefits and strengths provided by cloud based security, you can prudently and effectively contain the issues with plentiful resources to reinvest in your core competencies and focus on driving business forward. Security issues will not go away, but you can direct less at them and in return, receive more greater results.
When looking at the cloud in term of security…sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.
To support developers and operations professionals in their push to implement DevOps principles for their infrastructure environments, ProfitBricks, a provider of cloud infrastructure, is adding support for DevOps tools Ansible and Chef. Ansible is a platform for configuring and managing data center infrastructure that combines multi-node software deployment, ad hoc task execution, and configuration management, and is used by DevOps professionals as they use its playbooks functionality to autom...
Sep. 3, 2015 09:15 PM EDT
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and e...
Sep. 3, 2015 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 137
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small,...
Sep. 3, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 161
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Sep. 3, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 441
Puppet Labs is pleased to share the findings from our 2015 State of DevOps Survey. We have deepened our understanding of how DevOps enables IT performance and organizational performance, based on responses from more than 20,000 technical professionals we’ve surveyed over the past four years. The 2015 State of DevOps Report reveals high-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times. They have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster
Sep. 3, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 103
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Sep. 3, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 532
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Sep. 3, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 544
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 259
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Sep. 3, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 187
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 481
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 963
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 415
Microservice architecture is fast becoming a go-to solution for enterprise applications, but it's not always easy to make the transition from an established, monolithic infrastructure. Lightweight and loosely coupled, building a set of microservices is arguably more difficult than building a monolithic application. However, once established, microservices offer a series of advantages over traditional architectures as deployment times become shorter and iterating becomes easier.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:15 PM EDT
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 435
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Sep. 3, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 574
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 367
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Sep. 3, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 638
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Sep. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 137
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,603
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 455