How Cloud Security Tools Balance Risk, Cost, and Agility


April 24, 2017

Every day, more and more businesses migrate their data and applications to the cloud, but even though these applications are no longer hosted on-prem, they still require a robust security strategy. Businesses therefore have two options for safeguarding this data. They can either repurpose their legacy on-prem security appliances to protect data in the cloud, or they could leverage the various cloud security tools and Security as a Service programs on the market today.

When compared against each other, cloud security tools greatly outperform their on-prem counterparts and strike a better balance between the three factors affecting a cloud security strategy.


The Three Way Balance


Data security strategy is a balance between a few different factors. Traditionally, this balance is struck between risk and cost—the more money spent on security appliances, the lower the risk of a data breach. Yet, the cloud throws a third dynamic into this balancing act. When attempting to secure a cloud deployment, the company must balance risk against cost against agility.



Starting with the most important prong of this balancing act, a cloud security tool must be able to actually protect the environment, and to this end, they do an excellent job. Many Security as a Service programs include advanced monitoring, analytics and reporting, log correlation, and more to provide exceptional insight into your network activity.

Most importantly, however, a Security as a Service program provides access to a trained Security Operations Center (SOC). These top security professionals leverage their extensive experience and threat intelligence knowledge base to monitor your cloud deployment for anything sinister.



Cost may appear to be a fairly even split at first glance. While legacy security solutions require an upfront CapEx investment, cloud security tools have an ongoing monthly cost. Weigh these side by side, and the outcome may be similar, but this comparison fails to factor in maintenance costs, personnel time commitments, and the refresh cycle.

In addition, legacy security budgets rarely have room to staff and maintain a team of highly experienced security experts in a SOC. A SOC can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to support and heavily skew the cost comparison towards Security as a Service being the better option.



The agility of the cloud is the wildcard here, and cloud security tools have one major edge—they’re in the cloud. The cloud has proven itself valuable by offering virtually no maintenance responsibilities, unlimited scalability, and a rapid deployment cycle of new applications. Yet, legacy security strategies offer the complete opposite. The equipment must be maintained by the in-house staff. Meanwhile, scalability is expensive and limited by a slow deployment cycle. At the end of the day, a legacy security model undermines all the reasons you went to the cloud in the first place.

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The Balancing Act Undone by Rigid On-Prem Infrastructure


When weighing the factors of risk, cost, and agility for your security strategy, legacy solutions are completely undone by their slow and rigid deployment cycles. The competitive advantage of speed and instant scalability is worthless if it cannot be protected just as quickly. By contrast, Security as a Service programs and cloud security tools are designed to complement the advantages of the cloud, not stand in their way.


Download Mindsight’s FREE Security as a Service Guide — Security in the Cloud

The cloud represents a huge change in data center design, and our security strategies need to change along with it. To protect the cloud, you must use a security solution designed for the cloud. Download Mindsight’s free guide to learn how legacy security strategies fall short of protecting your data beyond the edge and how a Security as a Service solution helps you protect the benefits that brought you to the cloud in the first place.

Download the Guide

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For Further Reading

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