|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.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 6, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 794
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,086
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:15 AM EST Reads: 755
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:00 AM EST Reads: 450
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 1,643
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 04:45 AM EST Reads: 996
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 1,928
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 developm...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 1,752
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 03:45 AM EST Reads: 816
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 6, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,848
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 852
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
Dec. 6, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,889
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 6, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 1,198
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Dec. 6, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 4,589
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
Dec. 5, 2016 11:45 PM EST Reads: 4,321
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
Dec. 5, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 2,080
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 5, 2016 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,059
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 5, 2016 10:30 PM EST Reads: 989
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Dec. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 4,964
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Dec. 5, 2016 08:45 PM EST Reads: 541