Migrating to the public cloud in at least some capacity is no longer an optional move for the vast majority of companies, regardless of industry. It is no longer if, but when. From managing web applications to providing additional computing power to developers, the flexibility, scalability, and ROI the cloud offers are unmatched.
And this trend is backed by compelling numbers.
Gartner projects the global public cloud services market will grow 18 percent in 2017 to reach $246.8 billion, an increase from $209.2 billion the previous year. The Cloud Security Alliance has also previously reported that Microsoft is gaining ground on industry leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) and when combined with Google, the three companies enjoy 82 percent of IaaS market share. Those are staggering numbers when you consider this industry has only existed for about a decade.
With proven tech behemoths going all-in on the cloud, and providing the technology and expertise to make it easier than ever to leverage, businesses would be remiss if the benefits the cloud could potentially offer weren’t fully explored. During this due diligence, the inevitable questions of data security rise to the forefront in short order.
Shared security responsibility
Despite all of the conveniences, some still have reservations about relinquishing their data offsite and tend to get an eye twitch when they imagine that their data doesn’t reside in a closet or data center down the hall. But the fact is, because of real-time patching and system updates, security is yet another area where the cloud can shine — if properly managed. This boils down to the “shared security” precept that the major cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft place upon their users.
The shared security model is very simple: Cloud providers commit to security from one aspect, and users have their set of obligations. While there’s not a lot of ambiguity, without managing their share of the security equation, the true advantages of the cloud can’t be fully realized by its users.
For clarity sake, here’s the shared security responsibility in Cliff Notes brevity. From an infrastructure standpoint, cloud providers protect their platform at a baseline level, including computing processes, storage, database operations, networking, and physical security of servers. In short, they manage the “interstate” and the analogous, off-ramps, signs, and lights that cloud systems utilize.
When a customer chooses a public cloud platform, they are expected to secure a number of important components such as data, platforms, applications, identity and access management, operating systems, networks, and firewall. Basically, this translates to all of the vehicles and corresponding safety systems (locks, brakes, etc.) that ride along this hypothetical interstate.
Leveraging threat intel
While it may seem daunting to have the weight of security rest on the shoulders of customers, cloud security vendors that can reside on the popular cloud platforms are almost legion. But the notion that security can be achieved with a set-it-and-forget-it mentality equates to the proverbial fool’s gold.
There are a number of key elements that must be considered, including usability and reliability that must be vetted to ensure that the tools being selected align with a company’s needs without interfering with productivity.
Most importantly, is the ability to calibrate and manage a security solution, complete with the skill to process reams of threat intelligence data to determine what does and does not constitute an actual threat. After all, with limited resources, most companies can’t afford to encrypt and secure all of their data and should focus on information that needs to be protected most, such as intellectual property and personnel records. Constantly flagging false-positive threats wastes time and is a distraction when an actual attack is underway.
Expertise is key
Armor has been at the forefront of cloud security from its outset. The Armor Anywhere addresses the various demands of the shared security model and more. It empowers customers to instantly monitor and defend operating systems with advanced security technology and controls. These dynamic capabilities are managed by an elite security operations center (SOC) that utilize the latest threat intelligence for around-the-clock security, patch monitoring, log and event management, malware protection, file integrity monitoring and external vulnerability scans.
All of these capabilities combine to meet the shared security responsibility model dictated by cloud providers as well as the myriad of compliance standards ranging from HIPPA to PCI. In short, while Armor Anywhere might be plug-and-play for the user, but there is a myriad of moving parts behind the scenes from a human capital and technology perspective that can’t be duplicated in the industry.
Before taking the plunge to the public cloud, it’s important to understand exactly what data needs to be protected and align with a security partner that can seamlessly manage the process. This is critical in today’s competitive economy where businesses are focused on market share and growth, not the complexities of security. This doesn’t diminish its importance, however. Armor helps bring calm to this storm.
For more information, visit www.armor.com.