With the cybersecurity industry facing a global talent shortage, organizations can no longer simply hire up as the demands placed on their IT security teams grow. Instead, organizations must find ways to make gains in operational efficiencies, ensuring the best use of their IT security teams’ time, skills, and resources. This is especially true for small-to-medium sized IT teams, who typically wear multiple hats, with cybersecurity being just one of their many responsibilities.
One big way that IT security teams are making efficiency gains is through the adoption of cloud computing.
While cloud computing does not entirely solve the cybersecurity talent shortage crisis, it does enable some significant savings in time and costs that can alleviate some of the burden placed on cybersecurity teams. Here are a few ways in which the efficiency gains of cloud computing can release the pressure valve on assuring security with limited resources.
Cloud service providers alleviate the burden of having to secure and maintain cloud networking and physical infrastructure.
One of the biggest benefits of migrating services and workloads to a cloud service provider is that it eliminates the need to procure and directly manage physical and network infrastructure. Today, organizations can spin up resources on demand from Amazon, Microsoft, or other cloud service providers, with those resources becoming available within minutes. Typically, organizations view this as a major cost efficiency—and it is.
But, that’s not all. By removing concerns about the underlying physical and network infrastructure, you also alleviate the burden of having to secure it. Under a “Shared Responsibility Model,” cloud service providers take responsibility for securing the physical infrastructure, so you don’t have to. What’s more, Amazon and Microsoft have more security controls in place than most organizations can even dream of, which oftentimes creates a more secure environment than the organization’s own on-premises environment.
It’s important to note that cloud service providers do not take 100 percent responsibility for securing the cloud. Anything you deploy in the cloud is your responsibility to secure, so understanding how to configure cloud security settings, as well as monitor for cloud threats is a must. Cloud-native security monitoring solutions make it easy for organizations to maintain this necessary visibility and control.
IT can create templates and automate policy and security configurations for cloud resources.
As cloud computing has enabled IT departments to maximize resources, it’s also enabled other departments, from development teams to marketing teams, to do the same. This is because with cloud infrastructure, IT can have greater control over which types of virtual machines other teams can deploy, as well as the security configurations that must be in place. Therefore, IT can decentralize its operations, allowing teams to focus on the projects that demand their attention, and, ultimately, work more efficiently. For example, you can “templatize” your VMs so that you can deploy faster, while also maintaining a higher degree of security assurance.
Cloud marketplaces ease sourcing and deployment challenges for new security products.
The procurement process for new security products can be a long journey (sometimes up to 12 to 18 months). And when it comes to cloud security, it can be uncharted territory for some IT teams. Fortunately, cloud service providers’ marketplaces can help teams to slash their deployment times. That’s because AWS and Azure partner marketplace solutions are tested to ensure compatibility with the cloud service provider’s environment. In addition, Amazon and Microsoft simplify the procurement and deployment process, reducing initial deployment time from months to minutes, freeing more time for IT teams to spend adding value to new cloud security products.
Software applications solutions hosted in the cloud also afford multiple efficiencies.
Much like the operational efficiencies gained by migrating to cloud infrastructure, organizations can save valuable resources and budget by moving to cloud-hosted software applications, commonly delivered as “Software as a Service.” This is possible because unlike an appliance sitting in your data center, there’s no hardware to maintain with cloud-based software delivered as a service. Today, organizations are leveraging SaaS for all areas of business, such as leveraging SaaS productivity suites like Office 365 and G Suite, as well as CRMs like Salesforce.com.
SaaS benefits extend to cloud-based security and compliance management solutions. With a cloud security management solution delivered as a service, your security vendor takes responsibility for the performance, reliability, redundancy, and security of the solution, so you don’t have to. What’s more, cloud-hosted solutions can leverage the hyper-elastic computing resources of the cloud to analyze vast amounts of security data faster and to readily scale security monitoring capacity in tandem with your organization’s needs, meaning you’ll never again outgrow your security monitoring tools.
Other benefits of cloud-hosted security management solutions like USM Anywhere include frequent and automatic updates to the service, including the latest threat intelligence, without requiring upgrades, and the ability to monitor your security from anywhere.