BRIEF

Cloud Security Monitoring
for Hybrid Infrastructures

Cloud Security

The cloud provides businesses of all sizes with compelling benefits:

  • Low barrier to entry and low overhead–Software tools and applications can be rapidly deployed without capital expenditures, and leased resources are maintained by the cloud vendors themselves
  • Scalable–Cloud resources are nimble, which translates to greater agility for growing (but budget-constrained) enterprises
  • Real-time operations–Anytime, anywhere collaboration improves a company’s responsiveness for both employees and customers

Cloud-based resources have become fundamental to the development of better business operations at many growing enterprises.

Cloud applications and tools are largely affordable and easy to deploy and use. They offer flexibility for growing companies as they can seamlessly meet increasing demand. And the cloud knows no downtime or location restrictions so employees can conduct business 24/7 from wherever they are.

However, the cloud doesn’t necessarily replace on-premises infrastructure. According to RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud report, 67 percent of businesses that use cloud resources rely on hybrid infrastructure, i.e., a combination of public and private cloud, and on-premises deployments.

For many enterprises, this creates a unique security dilemma: How do they secure architecture while giving up much of their control?

Challenges of hybrid infrastructure

A cloud services provider is responsible for ensuring its own infrastructure and applications are secure, but that doesn’t mean cloud resources are automatically protected against cyberthreats. Insider threats, hijacked accounts, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and advanced malware still pose viable risks to cloud-based assets, and can disrupt business operations and harm important data.

Leading cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have developed resources to help businesses monitor data traffic and cloud-network activity. However, the onus is still on the customer to manage those resources. Furthermore, cloud vendors aren’t required to provide integration with other cloud services, or with on-premises IT assets. This makes it very challenging to develop a security information and event management (SIEM) resource.

A SIEM is crucial for centralization of all log data. Even outsourced security resources such as SaaS-based antivirus, firewall, endpoint detection and response, as well as application controls must be able to share data with a central management console. Likewise, data that lives with an IaaS provider, such as AWS, must consolidate in a single point of reference where it can undergo continuous threat monitoring.

In short, all network traffic must be brought together in one place so it can be monitored and, if necessary, subjugated to incident response. For enterprises with limited budgets and security expertise, however, that’s much easier said than done.

SOC-as-a-service: The unifying factor

The reason many companies gravitate toward cloud services is to reduce complexity. This lets them then focus on improving their business operations and serving customers better. Trying to build a SOC that is capable of unifying mixed cloud resources, let alone staffing it 24/7 with security experts, is anything but simple–and it certainly isn’t cost effective.

Conversely, outsourcing to a cloud-based SOC-as-a-service provider frees up resources so businesses can make the most of their public, private or hybrid cloud deployments without any additional cost and complexity.

For this reason, there is a very clear answer to the question of on-premises or as-a-service cloud-security management: SOC-as-a-service.

For a more complete assessment of how SOC-as-a-service functions within a cloud-powered business, read our free eBook, “What You Need to Know About Cloud Security,” available here (no registration required).

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