Why an Infrastructure Transition is the Perfect Time to Invest in Security

You’re in the midst of an infrastructure transition, and you have a million and one things on your plate. Whether you are deploying containers for the first time or configuring your orchestration tool, dealing with evolving infrastructure can be overwhelming, so security can surely wait, right? Wrong!

The problem with delaying security until your new infrastructure is up and running is the exposure risk your organization will have in its environments. When you put off security until a crisis occurs, you miss the important strategic advantages gained by integrating a security program into your operations from Day 1. Meanwhile, as security sits on the backburner, your new infrastructure is left perilously exposed.

Remediating an attack is always more troublesome, costly, time consuming, and damaging than getting security right in the first place. Therefore, it’s vital to build a culture of security from the beginning and to continuously reinforce it. Here are three reasons why the perfect time to invest in security is when you’re transforming your infrastructure.

1. Lack of Experience

The idea behind containers has been around since the 1970s, when the technology was first used to isolate application code on Unix systems. However, the use of containers only became widespread in 2013 with the advent of Docker, and container orchestration tools like Kubernetes are even newer than that.

As such, most organizations are still relatively inexperienced when it comes to container deployment, though inexperience hasn’t seemed to slow down adoption. According to 451 Research, the application container market is exploding, and is anticipated to grow by 400% from 2016 to 2021. As organizations move toward increasingly serverless environments, many simply don’t know where to begin in terms of security.

The adoption of new technology brings with it new risks. Without focusing on security from the get-go, it’s impossible to understand what these new risks are and how to protect against them. A lack of expertise in the new world of containers leaves organizations particularly vulnerable to deployment mistakes, necessitating an investment in security to combat inexperience and prevent damaging mistakes.

2. Risk of Misconfiguration

The most common mistakes caused by inexperience in container deployment take the form of configuration errors. If you’re not approaching the configuration of your containers using a security mindset, it’s easy to make decisions that you’ll regret later on (when there’s often no easy fix). Without a highly knowledgeable individual on your team, you could find yourself deep into deployment before realizing that a configuration mistake has been made. This could easily lead to having to completely redeploy, which would slow down your infrastructure transition significantly while adding substantially to its cost.

The time wasted, however, is nothing in comparison to the risk of an attack. Misconfigurations open you up to potentially embarrassing incidents, such as the recent Weight Watchers data exposure.

Investing in security now, before you deploy your new infrastructure, will enable you to avoid configuration errors before they become expensive mistakes, saving you precious time and resources and helping to protect your organization against malicious attacks.

3. Loss of Visibility

Even if you’re currently employing a host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS), the visibility you have into your host may not carry over into containers. It’s essential to have a clear view into your container environment to ensure that you can monitor the behavior of your containers.

Some organizations turn to point solutions as an addition to their current HIDS to gain visibility into their containers. These point solutions, however, result in yet more tools to manage and more screens to analyze, which leads to higher overall operational costs, lengthened timelines, and reduced efficiency. On top of such inefficiencies, point solutions don’t necessarily allow you to correlate container activity with the host that the container is running on, meaning that you’re missing vital contextual security data!

A more comprehensive security solution will provide you with visibility over your entire threat surface to protect your hybrid environment as your infrastructure evolves. Why not take advantage of infrastructure changes to strategically improve your security posture?

Evolving Security for Evolving Infrastructure

One common fear amongst organizations is that they’ll lose visibility into their old infrastructure as they begin tackling security for new infrastructure. Hence, the common practice of waiting until an infrastructure transformation is complete before investing in security. However, security should not be an either/or proposition.

Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform® provides visibility into both the host and container environments so that an investment in security adapts to your environment as it changes. The platform allows you to build security in, rather than layer it on, so security becomes an integral part of your operational processes as you move to new infrastructure.

If you think you’re ready to undertake an infrastructure transition and would like to see where your organization stands in terms of security, start by taking our Cloud SecOps Maturity Assessment.

Cloud SecOps Maturity Assessment

Baseline your cloud infrastructure security strategy and find out where you stand.

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