View From the Clouds: How to Manage the Cost, Performance and Security of Multiple Clouds at Your Business

Do you have a clear view of what’s going on in your company’s cloud services?


If your business is like most out there today, it’s consuming some form of cloud services. Cloud services are typically applications running on virtual shared computing resources. Organizations make use of one or a combination of public, private, hybrid or multi-clouds in a manner that meets their business requirements, organization size and security considerations.

 

Since there are countless cloud-based solutions to choose from – and they’re all designed to do different things – many businesses are now using more than one cloud product or service.

In fact, 87 percent of organizations use multiple cloud services, according to an F5 Networks survey of 3,460 IT professionals released in January 2018. More than half (59 per cent) say they use between two and six clouds to run their business.

Multi-cloud challenges

With multiple clouds, however, come multiple challenges. Some of the top multi-cloud concerns expressed by the F5 survey respondents were:

  • Applying consistent security across all company applications (42%)
  • Protecting applications from new and emerging threats (40%)
  • Optimizing application performance (34%)
  • Gaining visibility into application health (31%)

Another big worry in a multi-cloud environment? Cost.

When RightScale polled 997 IT pros for its 2018 State of the Cloud Study, it found that 81 per cent are in a multi-cloud environment; the number one priority among all of those surveyed was optimizing cloud costs.

Although survey respondents estimated that 30 per cent of their total cloud spending goes to waste, RightScale discovered the real rate is actually higher, at 35 per cent.

In short, if you’re using various cloud services, they each have different types of features, security, data analytics, performance monitoring, updates and costs. If you lack insight into how well they work – and how well they work together – these disparate cloud systems could cost you time, money … and customers.

Banking on Splunk multi-cloud

Even multi-billion-dollar companies face multi-cloud challenges. With 24 million customers, 96,000 employees and operations in 50 countries, Scotiabank is the third largest bank in Canada. To gain better insight and control of its multi-cloud situation, Scotiabank partnered with Solsys Corp. for a multi-cloud solution from Splunk.

Splunk allows Scotiabank to monitor its clouds on several fronts, including application performance, uptime, service issues, usage and capacity metrics. Automated alerts help the bank identify potential problems almost immediately so they can be addressed quickly.

By using Splunk to track how bank customers use cloud-based services, Scotiabank can adjust its cloud resources to meet demand (and improve those client-facing services) accordingly. Scotiabank can monitor cloud spending by region and business unit to optimize its cloud budgets and predict future cloud costs for business planning.

Making multi-cloud secure

Security is crucial for any financial institution. Splunk bolsters Scotibank’s multi-cloud environment with encryption, secure data storage and intelligent analytics,” says Ryoji Betchaku, Engineering Manager, Data Intelligence practice at Solsys.

Since much of the Splunk solution is automated using continuous integration and continuous delivery best practices, deploying across multiple clouds is fast, consistent and cost efficient.

We can deploy an entire Splunk Cluster to multiple regions in just 45 minutes. And it doesn’t have to be me – anyone who has access to our Splunk module can do the same thing,” says David Getson, director of cloud operations for Scotiabank.

It’s a deployment model that works for organizations of any size, from multi-billion dollar corporations to SMBs.

After 186 years in business, Scotiabank has trusted Solsys and Splunk to gain a clear view of its multi-cloud management, monitoring, security and costs.

What’s your business waiting for?


If your business needs help or more information on how to leverage Splunk to manage cost, performance and security of your cloud services give us a call. You can also download our latest Whitepaper to learn how your organization can gain greater visibility into their multi-cloud environments with Splunk.


 

Is Your Organization Prepared for Insider Threats?

Utilizing the Power of Splunk combined with Identity and Access Management Solutions can prevent security breaches before they happen.

cyber threats

Your business probably has some sort of cybersecurity to keep hackers out – but new research suggests the worst threats may come from inside your company.

‘Insider threats’ are security breaches caused by the very people that every business trusts the most: its own employees and contractors.

According to a recent poll of 472 companies conducted by CA Technologies, over half (53 per cent) said their firms had been hit by insider cybersecurity incidents during the previous year.

Unintentional ‘oopsies’

Although some insider breaches are maliciously committed by people like disgruntled staff, the majority are actually unintentional mistakes.

“The most common culprit of insider threat[s] is accidental exposure by employees,” the report concludes.

According to the same researchers, many of these incidents occur when workers fall victim to phishing scams. The study notes that, “cybersecurity experts view phishing attempts as the biggest vulnerability for accidental insider threats.”

The Cost

Phishing and other insider threats are extremely costly for businesses. A recent study by the prestigious Ponemon Institute estimates the average cost of a breach caused by employees or contractors is $283,281 – more than a quarter of a million dollars.

Downtime and Disruption

Would your business bounce back quickly from an insider attack? Not likely; it took an average of more than two months for companies in the Ponemon survey to fully recover.

A Growing Risk

Insider breaches are also happening more often. Ponemon says that in the two short years between 2016 and 2018, the average number of insider incidents caused by employees or contractors rose from 10.5 to 13.4 a year.

Now that you know just how costly, crippling and common these internal threats are, what can you do to protect your business from them?

IAM

That’s where Identity and Access Management (IAM) comes in. The technology allows you to assign a unique digital identity to each user on your network, whether they’re an employee, customer or contractor. You can then define exactly what they have access to, such as your company’s network, apps and data.

You can also program privileges to control access for each user within specific time frames, locations or situations. Many IAM systems use cutting edge data analytics software to detect unusual digital activity that could pose a security risk to your business.

For example, if an employee attempted to access your company data at 3 a.m., the IAM system would alert you to that anomaly and deny access. If the activity makes sense because that employee is in Australia on a business trip, you can simply override the alert and restore their privileges.

The Splunk Solution

Splunk Enterprise is one of the world leaders in analyzing unstructured data (machine exhaust). Its solutions monitor and correlate activities of your IAM solution deployed in public or private cloud or on-premise environments – for companies of all sizes. Splunk Enterprise provides operational and security visibility to insider and external threats, like hackers who try to hijack valid user credentials to attack your company’s network and steal its data.

Getting on board with Splunk doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With the Solsys + Splunk Quick Start Bundle, you can deploy Splunk Enterprise throughout your operations within just two weeks. You can consult with a Splunk specialist, customize Splunk Enterprise for your needs and select a service package scalable to the size of your company. There’s also Splunk Enterprise training (on-site or virtual), plus remote support during and after deployment.

To improve your ROI with Splunk Technology talk with a Splunk specialist about applying Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) to your IAM solution by utilizing big data, machine learning algorithms and other advanced analytics technologies.

 


Check out this webinar for more on how IAM can secure your business from digital threats – whether they come inside or outside of your corporate gates.