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Cloud Security Innovation in 2016 | @CloudExpo #Cloud #IoT #BigData

In 2016, watch for more solutions providers to launch additional features and capabilities to enhance cloud security

What Are the Four Biggest Drivers of Cloud Security Innovation in 2016?

The rise of cloud-based infrastructure was one of the biggest developments in IT during the past few years, and now we are seeing extensive innovations in cloud security as well. More companies are moving their business-critical data away from onsite data centers and into cloud-based infrastructure. With that in mind, 2016 is going to be another dynamic year for cloud security, as more users and IT teams will be looking for ways to enhance their cloud security while achieving heightened visibility of their cloud-based IT assets. The migration of business workloads to the cloud brings many benefits, but one potential challenge is that the "old ways" of managing IT security don't work as well in the cloud environment.

In 2016, we're going to see some significant changes to cloud security. The reason: cloud infrastructure has certain vulnerabilities that require new security solutions designed specifically for the new realities of the cloud. Attacks on cloud-based infrastructure will continue to grow in sophistication and scale, especially as a greater volume of high-value data gets stored in the cloud. With these risks and opportunities becoming more urgent than ever for IT managers and security teams, we can expect to see four major drivers of cloud security innovation in 2016.

Rise of serverless frameworks
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda is a prominent example of the new wave of serverless frameworks and code-PaaS (code-based Platform-as-a-Service). With serverless frameworks, IT teams on the user side are no longer expected to manage their own operating system, container (Docker, LXC, etc.) or virtual machine. This is a massive change from a security standpoint, because it is going to require IT teams to protect APIs against attacks - and this is a new type of attack vector that the IT teams might not have seen before.

"Fire-hose" streams on the control plane
In a cloud environment, the control plane is vulnerable to automated attacks - unless IT organizations prepare by implementing real-time alerts and develop capacity for immediate incident response.

One of the most promising trends in this area, which we will see more of in 2016, is that more host and network-based security measures are migrating to the cloud's control plane, making it possible to deliver serverless-process events, host events, and network events via APIs. Security teams will benefit from seeing real-time "fire-hose" streams on the control plane, instead of having to rely on the slower discovery methods available from traditional in-line network or data center security tools.

Integrating security into the CI/CD pipeline
Security is increasingly no longer being thought of as a "separate" entity from developing and deploying apps and workloads in the cloud. This is another of the most important innovations in cloud security, this change of mindset. Cloud security is becoming more native to, and integrated with, the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. This means that in 2016, we will see more IT organizations achieve more agile security operations that are better aligned with the philosophy and practices of DevOps.

Bringing security into the CI/CD process makes it possible for popular tools like Jenkins to offer automated security validation as well as new code verification. Instead of being an afterthought or a separate step, cloud security is becoming integrated into the overall quality-assurance process within the continuous deployment pipeline.

More innovation - or acquisitions - by big security providers
The big companies in IT security are going to start to see increasing pressure to deliver next generation cloud security solutions - or else they're going to lose market share to smaller companies that are fully up to speed on the new realities of the cloud. In 2016, watch for two big emerging trends among the big incumbent security providers:

First, look for the big companies to start announcing new product innovations in cloud security - or they will start acquiring more small vendors that own innovative solutions. Second, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure will be competing like never before to use security as a competitive advantage - each of these cloud services giants will be offering new and expanded cloud security capabilities in order to retain (and gain) market share. One of the areas of focus for new cloud security features will be the shared security model, as cloud services providers seek to give customers more visibility into what's happening in their cloud infrastructure.

The past few years have seen great innovation in cloud services - now in 2016, watch for more solutions providers to launch additional features and capabilities to enhance cloud security. The same security practices that worked in the past are not good enough for the new realities and opportunities of the cloud - cloud security demands a new cloud-focused mindset. Fortunately there are many innovations on the horizon to deliver the flexibility and real-time awareness that organizations need to secure their cloud-based assets.

More Stories By Tim Prendergast

Tim Prendergast is founder and CEO of Evident.io. With well over two decades of pushing the limits of technology, he created Evident.io as the first security company focused solely on programmatic infrastructures (cloud). His prior experience includes leading technology teams at Adobe, Ingenuity, Ticketmaster and McAfee. He holds over 15 years’ security experience, including eight in AWS security experience and three years in the Adobe AWS infrastructure from inception to production. Follow Tim on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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