As CISOs look for more clarity in the noise, is the cloud the answer?

News by Roi Perez

Despite its security issues, security vendors appear to be migrating security tools to the cloud to provide the answer to CISOs wanting a clearer approach to quicker threat detection and prevention.

Speaking to a group of journalists this morning, chief technology officer of FireEye, Grady Summers, said that the security giant is looking to move some of its security products into the cloud.

Summers said that the move is spurred on by clients of the firm who are being asked by their respective boards to reduce the amount of security tools they use, find tools which work with other vendor tools to help with the reduction, and offer more simplified pricing as some CISOs feel they are always being asked to upgrade to get the latest-and-greatest features from the vendors they do work with.

Summers acknowledged himself that during the press briefing, the topics covered were vast, ranging from nation-state hacks to employee training against phishing emails and network security. Coupled with all the security tools needed to competently fight these threats to the enterprise environment, he said, “CISOs don't need more notifications. They are after consolidation, efficiency and more bang for their buck.”

Summers also highlighted the issue with boards disagreeing on what the biggest threats are, he explained that this hinders a strong security posture, as they might disagree on where to spend security budgets.

It's because of this that, according to Summers, FireEye is making the move to focus on solving problems their customer base is facing rather than “chasing the bad guys”.

He said, “We've been spending lots of R&D money in adapting some of our products to be able to function in cloud environments. Our aim is to offer more accessible pricing, and still offering great security in the form of automation and high quality intelligence.”

Adding, “CISOs have had to justify years of increased spending, and boards are now pushing for consolidated approaches to security. Where the average customer might use between 60 - 80 tools, board are asking for those numbers to be halved.”

Despite the numerous advantages presented by cloud computing however, new research has found that security is still the biggest factor holding back more widespread adoption by businesses.

A recent survey by AlienVault found that 90 percent of organisations are still concerned about cloud security. This is because cloud environments also offer a new set of security challenges, which legacy security monitoring techniques built for the data centre simply cannot address.

And FireEye isn't alone in the move to the cloud. Security firm Imperva announced that some of its products will be available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Customers will benefit of one consolidated bill and unified contract management. Imperva says the aim is to make it even easier for customers to bring enterprise-grade application security to the cloud.

Tim Matthews, vice president of marketing at Imperva said, “This enables the Incapsula service to be deployed within minutes and to scale to any size of customer, which complements the ease-of-use of the Azure cloud platform and its diverse customer base.”

Ryan McGee, director, security product marketing, Microsoft Corp. said, “We are pleased to welcome Imperva to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. It provides our mutual customers with the ability to migrate to the cloud and use the same world-class security solution that they use in their on-premises deployment to protect websites.”

But it appears security vendors shouldn't rest on their laurels - Vectra Networks says in the next three years, 56 percent of all enterprise workloads and 83 percent of all data centre traffic will be in the public cloud.

And this isn't as secure as some might think, Oliver Tavakoli, CTO of Vectra Networks said, “Cyber-attackers like to establish a beachhead in cloud workloads to inflict lasting damage. Hijacking an open server port is the most effective way to install a backdoor in compromised workloads. Our ability to detect the presence of previously unseen backdoors by monitoring traffic within the cloud provides unique protection against this important attacker technique.”

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