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Zero Trust Cloud Security Provider Aporeto: Product Profile and Evaluation

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Microservices approaches such as Kubernetes are changing the way people think about applications, bringing the dual benefits of massive scalability and modularity.  Containers abstract the applications away from the systems and network infrastructure. As a result, goes the theory, application developers can create software without having to request network configuration or other operational changes. However, while this idea of masking what goes on “under the bonnet” is good, it can also be a source of risk. Not the least, for example, is that Kubernetes allocates services to server nodes dynamically. This leaves network and security engineers with a limited set of choices: for example, either restrict Kubernetes clusters to only run within a security-controlled subnetwork (which, of course, undermines the very principle of the distributed microservices architecture), or face the need to open up network firewalls to allow clusters to communicate, undermining security and losing visibility on network activity. Considered in isolation, neither option is particularly attractive. Given an already-challenging network environment, with multiple application types (each with different connectivity needs) and permissions systems, constantly changing endpoints, equipment refresh cycles, fault resolution, and new security vulnerabilities emerging all the time, the result creates a new set of problems to be solved. Engineers have only limited time, and such compromises can have knock-on effects on other systems, leading to inefficiency, cost, and frustration.

Micro-segmentation approaches, such as Aporeto, enable application-specific security controls to be allocated while keeping networking and security professionals assured of policy definition and enforcement. This creates a middle ground between an “anything goes” approach and having a fully locked-down environment, allowing application developers to define and control the ways their application elements communicate while working within predefined security stipulations.

In this report, we provide a comprehensive independent review of the Aporeto solution for network and identity management in a multi-cloud deployment. We review the practicalities of deploying Aporeto to deliver a stronger security architecture for Kubernetes container microservice applications running across distributed networks anywhere. We also evaluate the impact on the IT operations team of running Aporeto versus maintaining legacy security practices. The return on investment for an identity-based security solution becomes clear as we progress through the following series of tests.

The GigaOm Multi-Cloud Test Lab environments used in this report include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure although the findings are relevant for other clouds and on-premises solutions such as VMware, Packet, IBM Softlayer, etc.

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The Five Pillars of (Azure) Cloud-based Application Security

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This 1-hour webinar from GigaOm brings together experts in Azure cloud application migration and security, featuring GigaOm analyst Jon Collins and special guests from Fortinet, Director of Product Marketing for Public Cloud, Daniel Schrader, and Global Director of Public Cloud Architecture and Engineering, Aidan Walden.

These interesting times have accelerated the drive towards digital transformation, application rationalization, and migration to cloud-based architectures. Enterprise organizations are looking to increase efficiency, but without impacting performance or increasing risk, either from infrastructure resilience or end-user behaviors.

Success requires a combination of best practice and appropriate use of technology, depending on where the organization is on its cloud journey. Elements such as zero-trust access and security-driven networking need to be deployed in parallel with security-first operations, breach prevention and response.

If you are looking to migrate applications to the cloud and want to be sure your approach maximizes delivery whilst minimizing risk, this webinar is for you.

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Data Management and Secure Data Storage for the Enterprise

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This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research brings together experts in data management and security, featuring GigaOm Analyst Enrico Signoretti and special guest from RackTop Systems, Jonathan Halstuch. The discussion will focus on data storage and how to protect data against cyberattacks.

Most of the recent news coverage and analysis of cyberattacks focus on hackers getting access and control of critical systems. Yet rarely is it mentioned that the most valuable asset for the organizations under attack is the data contained in these systems.

In this webinar, you will learn about the risks and costs of a poor data security management approach, and how to improve your data storage to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a compromised infrastructure.

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CISO Podcast: Talking Anti-Phishing Solutions

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Simon Gibson earlier this year published the report, “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” which assessed more than a dozen security solutions focused on detecting and mitigating email-borne threats and vulnerabilities. As Gibson noted in his report, email remains a prime vector for attack, reflecting the strategic role it plays in corporate communications.

Earlier this week, Gibson’s report was a featured topic of discussions on David Spark’s popular CISO Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. In it, Spark interviewed a pair of chief information security officers—Mike Johnson, CISO for SalesForce, and James Dolph, CISO for Guidewire Software—to get their take on the role of anti-phishing solutions.

“I want to first give GigaOm some credit here for really pointing out the need to decide what to do with detections,” Johnson said when asked for his thoughts about selecting an anti-phishing tool. “I think a lot of companies charge into a solution for anti-phishing without thinking about what they are going to do when the thing triggers.”

As Johnson noted, the needs and vulnerabilities of a large organization aligned on Microsoft 365 are very different from those of a smaller outfit working with GSuite. A malicious Excel macro-laden file, for example, poses a credible threat to a Microsoft shop and therefore argues for a detonation solution to detect and neutralize malicious payloads before they can spread and morph. On the other hand, a smaller company is more exposed to business email compromise (BEC) attacks, since spending authority is often spread among many employees in these businesses.

Gibson’s radar report describes both in-line and out-of-band solutions, but Johnson said cloud-aligned infrastructures argue against traditional in-line schemes.

“If you put an in-line solution in front of [Microsoft] 365 or in front of GSuite, you are likely decreasing your reliability, because you’ve now introduced this single point of failure. Google and Microsoft have this massive amount of reliability that is built in,” Johnson said.

So how should IT decision makers go about selecting an anti-phishing solution? Dolph answered that question with a series of questions of his own:

“Does it nail the basics? Does it fit with the technologies we have in place? And then secondarily, is it reliable, is it tunable, is it manageable?” he asked. “Because it can add a lot overhead, especially if you have a small team if these tools are really disruptive to the email flow.”

Dolph concluded by noting that it’s important for solutions to provide insight that can help organizations target their protections, as well as support both training and awareness around threats. Finally, he urged organizations to consider how they can measure the effectiveness of solutions.

“I may look at other solutions in the future and how do I compare those solutions to the benchmark of what we have in place?”

Listen to the Podcast: CISO Podcast

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