Cloud security grows up

Comprehensive cloud security services are taking over the market.

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There was a time where cloud security was a bit of an oxymoron. But the fact is that the cloud has given the security industry a chance to reimagine and innovate to secure data both in the cloud and on premises. We are seeing sophisticated cloud security suites now that offer Security-as-a-Service and a higher level of security.

We have seen a steady evolution in cloud security from the early days. Initially, it seemed we were merely “cloud washing,” as Rich Mogull of Securosis calls it. That means we were taking older security solutions, moving them to the cloud, and just calling them cloud security. Call them what you will, but those solutions were not cloud security.

The next evolution of cloud security brought cloud security point solutions. Cloud virtual firewalls, WAFs, threat detection, identity and access control, log management and more. It seemed like cloud security was going to become a tower of Babel, with a multitude of solutions, none of which spoke the same language.

Taken together, you could cobble together a cloud security solution, but between managing so many different security vendors, plus the security that your cloud provider supplied, managing your cloud security was a bigger job than security was before the cloud. This was not a final solution.

We are entering the age of the cloud security suite. CloudPassage was one of the first full suites of cloud-optimized security that I saw. Its HALO suite with several modules offered everything from firewall to file integrity, multifactor authentication to vulnerability assessment and configuration monitoring. Available in public IaaS, hybrid and private cloud, CloudPassage had a pretty full-featured offering.

Now Alert Logic, which has been a leader in Security-as-a-Service for a long time now, has wrapped up its point solutions into what it is now calling Cloud Defender. In addition to Alert Logic’s Log management, threat detection and analysis and WAF, it has wrapped its own new, managed SEIM service on top of it.The service provides analysis, analytics, and intelligence in a full-featured managed service.

I had a chance to meet with Alert Logic co-founder Misha Govshteyn at Amazon’s re:Invent. We discussed this new offering.

While Cloud Defender may not be the first cloud security suite, Govshteyn’s point is that with Alert Logic’s partnerships with most of the leading cloud providers, Cloud Defender can be deployed across virtually every cloud (pun intended) you use. Whether it is Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace or VMware, Alert Logic and its Cloud Defender is available to you.

Cloud Defender, more than the CloudPassage offering, is also a managed service. It allows an organization to assign a security specialist to deal with the security. This represents not just cloud security, but truly Security-as-a-Service.

Cloud security is no longer an inside joke. In fact, you can probably do as much or more to secure your cloud infrastructure than you could do with your own on-premises security. As such, security is not really seen as an inhibitor to cloud adoption anymore.

In fact, security may in fact be a reason to move to the cloud. Be more secure with full-featured cloud security suites and leave the management to someone who is qualified to do so.


Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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