Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Torben Andersen, Sergio Varga, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

It’s Money That Matters in the Cloud… Well, At Least ROI

Cloud security closes the risk versus reward gap

With all the talk of fiscal cliffs sequestrations, financial binds and “next year’s budget,” I started thinking about cloud security in more tangible ways. Specifically returns on investment, economic impact and total costs of ownership. Just like death and taxes, businesses can add intrusion and attack to the list of sureties. I can hear CFOs all over the world sigh in exasperation as they feel pressured to add another expense line item to minimize the building security threats to their enterprises.

Before you add another decimal place to security budgets, maybe it’s time you consider the how cloud-deployed security options can not only address the complexities of enterprise security ably, but do so at considerable savings.

Study after study promotes that a cloud computing model saves organization money. We know that more and more functionality is moving to the cloud. For things like CRM or other standard business applications, it simply makes sense. We recognize the limited time and funding to run and maintain enterprise applications and the cloud provides that great equalizer. This model extends itself to cloud security and security-as-a-service.

First there are the over-arching savings of cloud-computing in general:

  • Elimination of CapEx costs: no hardware or software to buy (Any “cloud” company that asks you to install a server on your premises to monitor your enterprise isn’t cloud)
  • Pay-as-you-go scalable: Most cloud providers can offer considerable cost savings through economies of scale. The ability to adjust the level of service necessary (elastic provisioning) creates flexibility for increased margins and cost-controls.
  • Zero-day start/On demand delivery of service: no waiting time after the service has been purchased to develop and configure a complex system. This means no development hell or waiting for Phase 2 to be complete in order to start reaping benefits.
  • Head count savings: included in most cloud services are the personnel costs (salary, benefits, overhead, churn/hiring costs) a company does not need to invest in more people and gains the benefit of the security expertise and tribal knowledge of the cloud security provider.
  • Best-of breed resource/expertise expansion: Companies improve their overall business agility through proven technologies supported and updated by the core competencies of the developers. Meanwhile CIOs get to move more IT budget to innovation or enablement programs.

But where are the benefits of cloud security from an ROI perspective:

  • 24/7 Availability: Cloud security is about continuous monitoring.  To properly secure the expanding footprint of an enterprise’s IT landscape, there must be the vigilance to catch analyze and remediate issues as quickly as possible. Like a cancer, if security issues go undetected, they can metastasize and spread. Having a professional monitor a network 7/24/365 (in real time) seems like a luxury for Fortune 500 companies. Cloud security makes this option available for the most modest organizations. The holes in security that are created through intermittent monitoring, vague automation settings and periodic machine log reviews will cost an organization.  But continuous monitoring isn’t a cost center. Preventive and proactive security creates reduced risk (without additional man hours) which allows for redeployed resources and a realignment based of business needs.
  • Unification: The agility from the cloud allows companies to leverage the capabilities of various security solutions looking at multiple parts of the enterprise. This includes intrusion detection, credentialing, access, SSO, web authentication and compliance audits. It not only allows an enterprise to acquire more and greater functionality for virtually the same cost, but it also centralizes the collective intelligence and provides the advantage enhanced visibility through correlated and situational context. This, in turn, creates better and faster decisions which streamline resources and save money.
  • Improved productivity Although there are many examples of this within cloud based security, I will point to one (and use future blogs to expound on others). Using identity management, companies can automatically provision and deprovision users. This service alone can save 75% of the requests across the enterprise. Imagine the additional savings when IT is not slogged down with forgotten password requests/resets along with managing credentials. There are studies that prove that this alone saves companies nearly $200K per year. Now with better employee productivity (because this helps solve BYOD issues) and certain portions of your network safe from data theft and leakage, IT can concentrate on business issues that drive revenue.
  • Compliance: Dozens of man hours are typically needed each month to complete all the reports needed to satisfy a regulatory agency auditor; and for most companies, it’s not just one agency, but several. Through real time correlation, most of the work of identifying, capturing, encrypting and storing(or destroying) certain pieces of information and providing the proof  your best practices are in line with internal and external policies is easier. Because of unification, multi-silo collection and security centralization, 75 hours per month becomes 10. And more importantly, the degree of accuracy of the reporting is significantly better.  And with better reports, the threat of fines disappears.

Gartner estimates the annual cost to own and manage traditional on premise security software applications can be 4X the initial purchase. This is chiefly due to the need to acquire and maintain the resources to support the deployment. In many cases, for less than what a company pays for in support and maintenance of these on premise initiatives, they could have twice the capability from the cloud.

When it’s money that matters, the bottom line should be as much about saving as it is spending; as long as the result is a positive return on the investment. Enterprise security is not different. For years seen as a cost center, through cloud-based solutions it can now be redefined as a revenue enablement mechanism. Certainly there are costs involved in a maintaining a safe network perimeter, protecting and securing data and compliance auditing. However, by exploiting the benefits and strengths provided by cloud based security, you can prudently and effectively contain the issues with plentiful resources to reinvest in your core competencies and focus on driving business forward. Security issues will not go away, but you can direct less at them and in return, receive more greater results.

When looking at the cloud in term of security…sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.

 

Kevin Nikkhoo
www.cloudaccess.com

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.