The Three Little Pigs on Hybrid Cloud Security: New Research on the Straw, Sticks and Bricks

April 13, 2016
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3 min read

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. One built his house of straw, one of sticks and one of bricks. But what does this have to do with hybrid cloud security?

It’s a classic fairy tale with a clear winner. The houses made from straw and sticks never stood a chance against the Big Bad Wolf’s hot air. They were vulnerable from the start, and no amount of glue or nails could change the fact that straw and sticks were just not good building materials.

As businesses continue (or begin) to build their cloud platforms, it is more important than ever to start with strong building bricks.

Security Is Paramount in the Cloud

The latest “IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Report” noted that cybercriminals have really been focusing on bigger targets with bigger payouts. The report accounts for 272 security incidents and more than 600 million stolen records. At an average cost of $154 per record, the total cost of this breached information equals over $92 billion. With such high stakes and no end in sight, building that house of bricks is absolutely critical.

Security concerns continue to be cited as a major barrier to organizations’ adoption of cloud computing, as indicated by almost half of the respondents to LinkedIn’s 2015 “Cloud Security Spotlight Report.” According to this survey, 90 percent said they were moderately or very concerned about security in the public cloud.

With these concerns, organizations are turning to hybrid cloud deployments. Hybrid IT can help mitigate the risk of critical data loss while still providing the agility needed to keep a company’s competitive edge.

What Are the Bricks in IT Hybrid Cloud Security?

A recent study from Solitaire Interglobal Ltd. (SIL) analyzed observational data from real systems and business activities to evaluate whether the underlying IT platform matters for hybrid cloud security effectiveness, risk, effort and more. SIL has been collecting and tracking security threats and their impact on businesses for over 20 years from more than 3.9 million organizations.

New research from SIL indicated that the answer is yes, it does matter if your hybrid cloud is made with straw, sticks or bricks! While there have been significant increases in the amount and types of cyberthreats in the last several years, the analysis found that many organizations were unaware of the extent to which their own systems had been compromised.

SIL showed that one platform in particular:

  • Provides 1/20 the risk of others;
  • Was almost nine times more effective at preventing security incursions; and
  • Required nearly 70 percent less effort to secure.

Have I piqued your curiosity? It was IBM z Systems that was found to be the most securable platform, helping organizations across the world secure their hybrid clouds. Learn more about their research findings and why the IBM mainframe was found to be the clear leader.

Are Bricks Enough?

As nice as it would be to live in a fairy tale and find a brick strong enough to keep away the Big Bad Wolf, it’s important to remember that the real-life wolves are getting bigger and badder each year. If they can’t blow your house down, they’ll try sneaking in through the basement window, coming in the back door or taking a page from Santa’s book and sliding down the chimney.

In addition to your house of bricks, you’ll need to remember to set the motion detector, lock the back door to prevent unauthorized access and get your pot of boiling water going in the fireplace.

The bricks are an important starting point. Get that right and you’ll be off to a great start. So the next time someone tells you the platform doesn’t matter with regard to cybersecurity, tell them, “Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!”

Nick Sardino
Security Offering Manager, IBM
Nick Sardino is a contributor for SecurityIntelligence.