Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, ChandraShekar Dattatreya, David H Deans, Trevor Parsons

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: 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.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...