Every decision in life involves a risk and reward, this is how you establish ROI. Without anything at stake, it’s not really a “decision.”

Some decisions are straightforward: when picking a restaurant, you will want to know how expensive, how far and how crowded it is (your risk) versus the quality of the food, service and overall experience (the reward). However, there are even more complex decisions when knowing which risks to focus are worth addressing.

The world of cyber security is a great example of the latter – especially when determining your cloud security ROI.

Cloud Security ROI Checklist

Securing your cloud workloads can quickly escalate from “buying a few tools and getting a part-time IT guy” to a long – and expensive – checklist. Beyond obvious tasks such as OS patching, configuring firewalls and installing malware protection, you’ll discover that being secure in the cloud is only the start.

  • Security Operations Center: A SOC isn’t optional. What you need are a centralized group of experts to architect your systems, design and implement processes, monitor activity logs, test vulnerabilities and orchestrate the security policies across your technologies. They don’t just manage your cloud security, they are your security – and essential to getting any return on your security investment. A world-class security operations team orchestrates the policies across their tech in a dynamic fashion to stay ahead of threats.
  • Core Security: Core security tools must be applied and maintained for every virtual machine in your environment, including vulnerability monitoring, log management, malware protection, patch management and file integrity monitoring. Multiply that by your five or 10 servers for a sense of scale.
  • Network Security: It’s critical to know (and control) what goes in and out of your environment. For that purpose, you’ll need to maintain a web application firewall (WAF), a database of “bad” IP addresses (IP reputation management), network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) and DDoS mitigation tools. None of these components are of the “set and forget” type. They require regular care.
  • Tools: After you’ve realized how much money it costs for labor, the tools to equip your SOC will give you the second sticker shock. A Security Intelligence and Event Management system (SIEM) is expensive to buy and just as expensive to configure. Subscriptions to intelligence gathering and threat sharing platforms are also required for your SOC to be effective and ahead of threat actors.

Avoiding the Easy Route

And then you have the other option: do nothing.

Surprisingly, a significant number of companies still consider that as an option. But there is a cost of “doing nothing,” and it’s not cheap. In a comprehensive study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, it’s estimated that the average cost of a data breach is $4 million, and it has increased 29% since 2013. Each stolen record costs on average $158.

If doing nothing is expensive and doing everything is expensive, can you ever win?  Yes, you can: a managed security provider like Armor can offer the highest level of security at a fraction of the cost of insourcing.

With a SOC that monitors billions of events for thousands of customers, the cost of security is diluted. Additionally, the levels of experience and maturity take efficiency and effectiveness to the highest level. Your cloud security ROI becomes a known quantity, and your decision becomes as easy as picking a restaurant for dinner.