Security may be one of the last areas to embrace the software-as-a-service (SaaS) revolution, but the benefits of the cloud are proving too enticing, and necessary, to pass up. As we speak, the world is shifting to managing security posture across campus, remote, data center, and cloud environments. As Justin Foster, Cysiv CTO & Co-founder, recently noted, in many cases, the security operations center (SOC) is no longer a “place” — but with cloud-native technology, it’s possible for analysts to be distributed and coordinated through a single SaaS experience to defend an expanding attack surface.
The key is a cloud-native architecture. The way a SOC platform is architected defines its ability to provide the level and quality of service that has become standard in today’s modern, cloud-first world.
The Benefits of a Cloud-Native SOC
Cloud-native platforms are specifically built to leverage the advantages of cloud computing that we regularly experience in SaaS tools, like Slack, Office 365, and G Suite. Scalability, flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to adapt top the list as the core benefits cloud delivers in comparison to a traditional on-premise model. The overall benefits for the SOC boil down to three core categories: faster detection and remediation, cost reduction, and enhanced business agility.
Faster detection and remediation
Cloud-native platforms make room for rapid innovation, which is essential in a security environment where new threats and threat actors emerge by the day. In the cloud, development is much faster, enabling developers to push out new features faster. The speed and efficiency comes from having to develop for only one environment rather than multiple on-premise environments. There is only one version of software to maintain compared to multiple versions in a monolithic design.
For users of SaaS tools, this leads to a huge benefit: the platform is always updated with the latest features. The latest and greatest is always available and security teams don’t have to worry about patching and upgrading. As a result, the SOC is always ready to defend against the latest threats. Further, a cloud-native SIEM is able to accelerate threat detection by centralizing data, accumulating knowledge, and sharing anonymized, critical indicators for the mutual benefit of a variety of organizations.
With the cloud, organizations no longer need to license, build, buy, fix, and upgrade hardware. For most, racking and stacking servers is not a core competency, and it’s much more cost-effective to leave it to the cloud providers who know how to handle it best. With the cloud, hardware isn’t sitting around or accruing maintenance costs.
One of the top benefits this brings is scalability. The cloud supplies effectively unlimited resources — flick a switch and you can increase processing power or disk space. Cloud computing introduces an OpEx model so costs scale based on usage. Scaling up or down at any times means you’re not paying for what you don’t need
Enhanced business agility
Cloud providers are very concerned with the security of their platforms and provide excellent physical and logical security and meet compliance standards as well. This relieves organizations of some of the security responsibility they would traditionally have. Cloud-native architectures also use modern micro-services with high uptime services. This provides added business resiliency by not having to deal with disk and server failures.
As organizations increasingly turn to tools outside of their premise, it makes more sense for security to be something native outside of their premise as well if it’s going to pull together info into one place. Harnessing data in a SaaS is more natural than trying to bring it back on-premise.
Finally, with cloud-native, SOC activities can be completed from anywhere in the world. This supports the transition to remote work and enables security to be managed from the office, at home, or anywhere with an internet connection.
Cloud-Based Versus Cloud-Native
There is a key distinction here. Many security tools are cloud-based, meaning existing software is taken and run in a cloud environment. Although possible, moving on-premise software into the cloud doesn’t take advantage of all the cloud has to offer. On the other hand, cloud-native software is specifically built to leverage the speed, flexibility, and digital preparedness that are the hallmarks of this new paradigm. Rather than setting limits based on the number of servers, IT staff, and other factors, a cloud-native architecture removes constraints and lets the imagination take flight in terms of what you do with software. New capabilities can be developed and deployed much more rapidly, paving the way for innovation.
No More Historical Baggage: Alleviating Traditional SOC Challenges
A cloud-native security platform has many benefits, one being that it has no historical baggage to bring along. Rather than adapting something older to the cloud, forward-looking solution providers are developing with a cloud-native architecture as the foundation.
This is the approach we have taken at Cysiv. Our team of developers, architects, and threat experts have leveraged their enterprise background and knowledge of SOC challenges to construct a platform that exploits the richness and benefits of the cloud.
Rather than a patchwork of security tools, Cysiv delivers a cloud-native, next-generation SIEM that combines a number of essential technologies and functions into a single platform. It leverages a broad range of advanced data science techniques to automate the time-consuming, complex but essential activities and processes for truly effective threat detection, hunting, investigation, and remediation.
The SIEM is at the center of the SOC, but historically they have gaps in what they do, tending to be big monoliths with lots of management issues and scalability issues. Cysiv is responding to the limitations, deployment challenges, and frustrations associated with traditional SIEMs by building a new world of possibility through our cloud-native platform that provides the foundation of SOC-as-a-Service.
Take a tour of Cysiv's cloud-native platform in this video.