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IoT Meets Continuous Security Monitoring at Ayla Networks

Ayla Networks is an Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company that enables manufacturers to build connected products. With more than 75 customers worldwide, many of whom are Fortune 1000 companies, Ayla knows that delivering a fast and secure platform is vital to our business. As a security-conscious company running completely in the cloud, we take a cloud-native approach to security and compliance. In this post, I’ll explain why we chose this approach and how we are implementing it today.

Scaling Security at the Speed of the IoT

With 20.8 billion devices projected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, there’s a huge opportunity for us as an IoT platform provider. Running exclusively on AWS, we’ve achieved incredible speed and efficiency gains that enable us to scale as the market for IoT platforms continues to develop. As we grow, however, we need to be sure our platform stays secure and compliant within our AWS environment. We leverage containers in our AWS infrastructure because of the high level of flexibility they grant us as we move towards a more ephemeral infrastructure model. Considering that IoT devices are often directly tied into an enterprise’s infrastructure, and that they typically store and transmit sensitive data, the doors are open for vulnerabilities that companies may not be used to. At Ayla, our goal is to preemptively protect customers against any such threats.

This is why we turned to Threat Stack. We needed a cloud-native threat management solution that we could deploy on top of AWS — and one that would easily scale with us as we grow. We’ve been able to simplify our deployment workflows by moving towards containers, and Threat Stack has been a big part of securing those containers. As we spin containers up and break them down at a high rate, Threat Stack gives us complete visibility into activity across those containers that we haven’t been able to find in other tools. Threat Stack does all of that.

Small DevOps Team Driving Global Operational Efficiencies

At Ayla, we’re very conscious about not only our team’s efficiency but also that of our servers, which are the backbone of our IoT platform. That’s a big reason why we run 100 percent on AWS, and it’s why we make sure that every tool we deploy on top of AWS is lightweight (requiring very little computing power) and easy to manage. Threat Stack fit the bill perfectly, since it is an extremely lightweight security solution, enabling us to scale securely at a moment’s notice.

We have a global presence that is only growing with market and customer demands, so the tools we use to run Ayla must be able to deploy and scale globally while requiring very little time from our small DevOps team. Threat Stack is designed for this purpose; it took our DevOps team just minutes to deploy. Rule configuration is just as easy, and the time it takes our team to manage Threat Stack on a regular basis is negligible (and dare we say enjoyable!).

Meeting Multinational Compliance Requirements on AWS

We have customers in the EU and China, so being ISO 27001 and SOC 2 compliant was non-negotiable for us at Ayla. Our customers expect us to run a highly secure cloud to protect their connected devices, and it’s a priority to us to uphold this promise 24/7/365.

Meeting compliance in the cloud, however, requires a new set of tools compared to traditional on-premises solutions, and it was important for us to adopt this approach from the very beginning. In our initial implementation of Threat Stack, we verified just how well Threat Stack could help us check off critical requirements for both ISO 27001 and SOC 2 — capabilities ranging from intrusion detection to monitoring to reporting.

Maintaining several key compliance requirements is now as simple as having Threat Stack continuously monitoring our systems to ensure that no code has been compromised. If an issue does arise, Threat Stack flags it so we can take immediate action. Threat Stack is now the go-to answer to many of our compliance requirements for both ISO 27001 and SOC 2, streamlining our entire compliance process and giving us a breath of fresh air.

Implementing Security and Compliance In a Cloudy World

As our customer base is continually expanding, so too is today’s threat landscape, meaning we need to be prepared to detect and respond to threats immediately. A small team with many responsibilities, we leverage the cloud to achieve the efficiencies and scale that make this all possible. And we know that the only way to ensure that security requirements are met in a cloud-based environment is by using a security solution purpose-built for the cloud.

With Threat Stack on our side, continuously making sure that security scales as we grow and that threats are detected the moment they crop up, we can say with confidence that our cloud is buckled down. Now we’re ready and excited for the growth in the IoT space over the next several years!