One of the most common concerns IT pros have about cloud computing is how security is handled. Many IT pros are still sitting on the fence when it comes to cloud computing for this reason alone. Windows IT Pro has been writing about the concerns IT pros have about cloud security for years, yet great strides have been made in cloud security over the last 24 months.
A new company called CloudPassage hopes to address even more of those concerns, announcing today that they have shipped security products built with cloud environments in mind: Halo SVM (security vulnerability management) and Halo Firewall. Both products are based on the CloudPassage Halo architecture, which relies on the "Halo Grid", a cloud-based security platform that CloudPassage claims can "deliver scalability and elasticity that can keep up with cloud-hosted server farms." These products provide network access control, compliance/configuration monitoring, and server exposure assessment, combined with some automation tools that should help lower the workload of IT pros tasked with security and cloud implementation. (A note to Xbox-savvy readers: Despite the Halo nomenclature, neither product seems to have much to do with the Master Chief , the Covenant, or the Fall of Reach. Maybe if the UNSC had better cloud security all that messy interstellar conflict could have been avoided?)
In a statement supplied with the CloudPassage press announcement announcing these new products, Gartner Vice President and Gartner Fellow Neil Macdonald stressed that enterprises still have cloud security concerns that need to be addressed. "As organizations shift workloads to cloud-based providers, it is imperative that security isn't weakened," Macdonald said. "Like on-premises workloads, organizations need to minimize attack surfaces, patch vulnerable software and ensure security configurations are maintained as workloads move to the cloud. However, unlike on-premises workloads, security policy enforcement in the cloud must be enforceable regardless of location and scalable elastically to potentially thousands of hosts."
Halo SVM is a server vulnerability management tool that helps IT pros ensure that cloud server farms meet corporate security and compliance needs. Halo Firewall centralizes host-based firewall management, provides admins with cloud-wide firewall policy management, and automatically updates stand-alone firewall configurations when cloud servers are added or removed.
Both products are available now in free trial form, but CloudPassage promises that future versions of the products will "...be offered as paid upgrades to extend customer capabilities as their cloud infrastructures grow." Download free versions of both programs from the CloudPassage website.