cloud discovery - utilisation and risk
Solution Centre - Solutions That Mean Business
Clouds Are So Easy That Adds To Their Risk. Most Kit, Even Next Gen Firewalls, At The Edge, Even Next Gen Firewalls, Are Primarily Focussed On Stopping Malware In Various Forms.
Traffic To And From Clouds Probably Won’t Even Register As Anything Other Than Web Traffic.
You Need To Know Your Unknowns Before You Can Do Anything About Them.
The Risks Of Cloud Services
Leveraging cloud is easy, sometimes too easy which is why Gartner report in their 2015 CIO survey that 21% of IT investment in the UK and Ireland is outside the official IT budget. The development of Shadow IT, as Gartner call it, is easy to understand. It is so simple for end user departments to bypass IT and use the departmental or personal credit card to buy a monthly subscription to a service they perceive makes their job easier. Usually this is done without malicious intent, just a desire to do their job with the least resistance. However, often it is done without due diligence, leading to consequential risk to data security and company reputation. Most cloud SaaS services can be accessed by a web browser, so to most firewalls it looks like just another website that hopefully does not serve up malware, so why worry?
The Benefits Of Cloud Services
On the other hand, cloud services can be a way for IT departments to become heroes, by slashing delivery times for projects. For example one customer was going to develop an appointment booking system, but the CIO changed. Instead of spending months on development and tying up personnel on this one project, they took immediate delivery of a SaaS solution on the OPEX budget. This made the user department very happy and freeing IT resources for other purposes. In reality considering the development costs, the infrastructure to run the application, the replacement cycles, the patching and support costs, etc, money wise there was probably little difference, but getting quickly to a working solution and being able to undertake other equally productive projects made it a real win for the business.
The Reality Of Cloud Services
Cloud services can be game changing. They can make an organisation’s IT agile, scalable and flexible. They can shift costs from CAPEX to OPEX. They can enable IT to shift emphasis from hours spent sustaining tin in a data centre to hours proactively helping support business development. However, uncontrolled cloud adoption can be a nightmare. Lots of services offer similar functionality, like file sharing or backup. Lots are hosted in parts of the world where you probably don’t want your data to be. Lots leave data in transit or at rest unencrypted, or even worse, comingled with other users’ data. Lots have commercial terms that mean you can lose ownership of your own data once it is stored in their service. Web filters don’t solve the problem as the sites are unclassified and don’t deliver malware.
Can’t I Protect The Organisation With Our Next Generation Firewall?
To an extent, but that is not its focus. The problem with cloud services is hundreds of new ones are springing up on a weekly basis. There is a probability if you block a service, users will find the less well known, much higher risk alternative that the firewall doesn’t classify. You need to discover all SaaS and cloud traffic, including encrypted traffic, regardless of port or protocol to improve identification of risky applications.
Discover All Cloud Services In Use And Make Informed Decisions
With negligible disruption we can discover what cloud services your users are really accessing now and what risks those services pose. Uncover all cloud services in use including SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS, and understand usage with detailed statistics including service access count, upload and download volume, and user count. Proactively enable services in highest demand and keep current on cloud usage and risk.
Accelerate cloud service security assessments
Slash due diligence time to assess new cloud services by accessing quantitative data on the service and comparable alternatives. Understanding a cloud service can be really difficult, so leveraging independent data on a huge range of cloud services dramatically eases the burden. You can also discover alternative services with similar offerings, but perhaps better or more secure processes.
Reduce costs by consolidating redundant cloud services
Myriad cloud services offer similar functionality, so understanding what is in use and consolidating licences to a single supplier can lead to cost reduction and better integration and resource sharing.
Detect security breaches and insider threats
Detecting anomalous behaviour by internal users of a cloud service can be key to stopping dangerous or malicious employee activities. By knowing what is normal you can be alerted to risky behaviour