Security Tools Must Be Purpose Built for Cloud Automation (RSA 2016)

Guest blog by David Spark, Spark Media Solutions

When securing the network, CISOs start with traditional security tools, but as soon as they move to the cloud they quickly realize they have to retool.

At the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Doug Cahill (@dougcahill), senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, and I discussed how he’s constantly addressing this issue with security professionals.

What should I look for to secure a hybrid cloud environment?

When determining what tools to use, Cahill reminds security folk that in an agile, dynamic environment, the assets that need protection are workloads, and you also need to protect the communications between those workloads. What can you do and should you do to microsegment those conversations between workloads?

“Workloads come and go. They’re auto provisioned. They’re transient. They’re ephemeral,” said Cahill. “Security tools have to be purpose built for that environment.”

When determining which security tools to use, Cahill points out two unique characteristics of cloud-based workloads:

  • Security policies should be automatically assigned based on the tag of workload.
  • In a cloud environment, vulnerability scanning and patching needs to be done in a test environment and then rolled out to production.

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