Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, John Basso

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.