Cloud-native: It’s an adjective that gets tossed around a lot, but we don’t frequently unpack its meaning or its value for businesses.
Today we want to talk about what cloud-native means in the context of cloud security and whether it’s truly necessary. Cloud-native means that a piece of software was built in the cloud, for the cloud. When it comes to security, a cloud-native platform is a natural fit for protecting cloud-based data. But is it a must-have?
We think so. Here’s why:
Cloud-native security solutions are, by their nature, flexible. Contrary to what you might expect, a cloud-native security solution doesn’t only function in the cloud. It has enough flexibility to deploy across on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid environments. Additionally, cloud-native solutions enable organizations to receive “early warnings” about changes to user and process behaviors because they provide visibility into host-level changes. That’s key for making sure you know what’s going on in your systems at all times.
Easy to Use
The move toward “consumer-friendly” business applications has led to a boom in solutions that are much easier to use than enterprise software has historically been. A cloud-native security solution can typically deploy in seconds, and generally has a lot more integration potential with other cloud-based applications (some key integrations include Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Salt.) Simple, intuitive workflows are an easy-to-overlook benefit of cloud-native as compared to legacy, on-premise software that often hasn’t had a facelift in years. But it’s not just cosmetic. Less time spent training your team to use security software means faster “ownership” of the software and better facility using it, which in turn means more time spent catching and stopping threats. Sounds good to us.
The cloud, in general, is eminently scalable. When you store your data in the cloud, it’s easy to add more storage when you need it (or downsize when you don’t). The same goes for security solutions. When they are built in the cloud, to serve the cloud, architectures can automatically scale up or down alongside the capacity of your infrastructure. That means continuous visibility no matter how dynamic your business or IT environment may be. Cloud-native solutions are great for fast-growing startups, but they also offer benefits for larger, more established businesses where speed and efficiency are key to gaining and retaining a competitive edge.
Cloud-native solutions tend to be far more affordable than their traditional, on-premise ancestors. Reduced TCO is great for all companies, and it’s especially good for companies that don’t have enterprise-sized budgets but do have a very real need to guarantee the security of their cloud-hosted assets (and, in many cases, demonstrate and ensure compliance). On top of their general affordability, the scalability of cloud-native means you can pay for as much or as little as you use, and that can change over time. No hardware or on-premise software means it can be as simple as the click of a button to adjust your coverage.
Cloud-native solutions, by nature, extend to many customers at once. With scalable architectures and lots of failsafes built in (like backup servers and redundant data storage), and the ability to make upgrades on the fly, cloud-native security solutions come with a measure of reliability that legacy solutions rarely deliver. Of course, no solution is perfect, but going cloud-native can give you the peace of mind around cloud security that you need in order to run your business successfully.
Okay, Okay, But is it Really Necessary?
As more and more data and infrastructure migrates to the cloud, it’s becoming clear that the tools and solutions businesses use on a daily basis need to be cloud-native. Cloud-native does not mean a solution won’t support hybrid or on-premise environments, so it’s a good solution for those who are in the process of transitioning or who are planning to transition to the cloud in the future. And it’s a great solution for those who are already flying high in the cloud.
Go cloud or go home, as we like to say. If the cloud is the future, then cloud-native is too.
To find out more about Threat Stack’s cloud security and compliance capabilities, set up a call for a product demo.