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November 10, 2011

It Could Happen to You: The Importance of a Cloud Security Platform

Just as you need a trusty alarm system to keep your home as safe as possible, it is imperative to find a trusty cloud security platform that will watch over your servers and prevent breaches.

Fortunately, as companies look to move to the cloud, CloudPassage is there to help make the process seamless and secure.

“We provide security for virtual servers running in public cloud providers and by security I mean all your traditional network security,” Rand Wacker, vice president of product management at CloudPassage, told TMCnet Wednesday at Cloud Expo West, taking place in Santa Clara, Calif. “We do it in a way that’s elastic and scalable in the cloud.”

“We are pretty unique in that there are almost no other commercial companies doing this,” he added. “No one has the full security portfolio.”

Founded two years ago by a team that was trying to figure out how to best provide security in the cloud, CloudPassage now helps companies maintain their competitive edge by leveraging the economies of the cloud securely. Halo, its award-winning cloud security platform, provides the flexibility to adapt your computing resources to business needs and stay secure, according to company officials.

Although the company was originally created to address public cloud security problems, its technology runs “great” in all types of platforms, whether private, hybrid, or virtual environments, according to Wacker.

“If you talk to any executive, at this point the tipping point is they know they are going to use the cloud but they have some stumbling blocks and security is usually at the top of that list,” Wacker said. “We are working to provide a security functionality which is independent of where you choose to host –something that can maintain that flexibility of being able to run your systems wherever you need to but maintaining core functionality of security.”

That value proposition has resulted in CloudPassage attracting some pretty well known customers such as Four Square and Strong Mail.

But the company is not stopping there and is setting its sights on any company that has to scale up and down, has to address compliance regulations or is concerned about cloud security.

“There’s an education problem that people don’t realize when they are moving into public cloud just how little security there is,” Wacker said. “We need to tell them about the lack of security blanket. For us, it’s a matter of providing the solution in a way that is really easy to use for the IT operators or even for the security specialists that are also big customers.”

While at Cloud Expo this week, taking place from Nov. 7-10, in addition to spreading the word about needing a security blanket, CloudPassage is also shedding light on two new product announcements including its release of GhostPorts – a new feature of Halo Professional. GhostPorts uses dynamic, time-based host firewall rules with single or two-factor authentication to provide very tight access control to network services.

“What GhostPorts does is provide another layer of security,” Wacker said.

In addition, CloudPassage recently announced that security event logging and alerting capabilities are now available on the Halo platform. Turning configuration assessment checks into alert-able events provides flexibility to create system security alerts at both the operating system and application level. Halo provides real-time visibility since log entries and alerts can be generated on any rule created from cloud server configuration checks.

So just has important is cloud security and having a cloud security platform like Halo? Very, according to Wacker.

“Cloud has exposed the not me mentality,” Wacker said. “… But, companies need to rely on strong technology running on their servers.”


Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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