Ask the Experts: How Do Public Managed Cloud Solutions Provide Security?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the security benefits of moving infrastructure into a public managed cloud solution with CenturyLink’s Jared Ruckle. Learn more about cloud security solutions from the CenturyLink team here:

Andrew: Okay guys. Time for another Ask the Experts session. I’ve invited into the studios here Jared Ruckle who is the Product Manager for CenturyLink. Jared, welcome man.
Jared: Thanks. Great to be here. Excited to chat with you guys.
Andrew: Good deal. We’re going through our whole security, and network security, and data security certification track, and CenturyLink has some really robust offers around this. I know you spent a lot of time developing and messaging products that solve this kind of problem for customers. One of the things that’s come up in our conversation recently is this concept that seems way out there maybe for some companies: this idea of an incident response team. I’d love to ask you where you see that fitting in. Is that becoming a requirement for many enterprises, where they have to think really, really hard about the people they’re able to tap into at that moment of crisis? Talk about it.
Jared: Yeah. I think that there’s definitely a notion of this S.W.A.T. team on-demand that can come in there and help triage incidents, and help in the moment of truth when an attack is going down. I think that that’s a really reactive thing. Actually, a lot of customers really like that idea because it’s a nice talking point and it’s something that they can assign a budgetary number to. Depending on the business, that may be something that you absolutely have to have. But really what we’re seeing is also a shift into thinking about this really more at the infrastructure and systems level where the team may make sense for a lot of companies, particularly in really critical business moments–Superbowl ad, Cyber Monday, all those kinds of things.
What we see a lot on the cloud side is being able to have a lot of automation. Really extend the security that comes in with the systems that are already in place. When you’ve got public cloud infrastructure, multi-tenant, you get a lot of information security, monitoring and measurement quote unquote for free just by having virtual machines there. All these systems feed data then to on-call engineers that can then help really solve the problem in the systems of the cloud where it’s happening, and are closest to the data and the networks where the attack may be occurring. A lot of times an incident response team may not even be needed because it’s in effect acting with a distributed team there at the infrastructure layer. With all this cloud stuff, you’re getting a lot of built-in security triage and protection really as part of the infrastructure. So that’s really become a really popular option as at least one really fundamental measure of protection.
Andrew: So moving infrastructure into your public managed cloud solution, it kind of comes with not just the virtual servers, the infrastructure and so forth, but it comes with the team of engineers, of analysts, that are going to solve those problems when it comes down to it.
Jared: Yeah. Exactly right. CenturyLink has a public cloud. There are other players of course, but it’s a very similar model where we manage the infrastructure for you. That means we manage the data center security. We manage the network security, the logical security, and then give you tools to control security and access inside of our control plane and our API’s. Because we have that scale, we can have a lot of security experts on our staff. And frankly, these guys are in demand. They cost a lot of money. We’ve got deep pockets as well as other folks to really help bring those expertise in and have them work across a variety of infrastructure patterns, so you don’t have an isolated security expert on staff for your company. You’re able to scale based on our security expertise across the board that extends cloud and then other infrastructure products that we offer, too.
Andrew: It’s a really important distinction, I think, that’s important to make here. In a lot of public clouds, whether it be an AWS or an Azure, Google, I would probably describe those … I absolutely would describe those as kind of do-it-yourself platforms. Where even the security wrapper that you put around that is up to me as the customer to implement and manage. So you’re doing a public cloud solution, multi-tenant, and the scalability of it, and the hyper-scalability of it, but you’re providing also the managed services around it, it sounds like.
Jared: Yeah. We definitely have managed services. I think that all these automation and all that stuff is great. We call those concepts robots. But you also need a lot of people to secure the cloud as well. People are also the number one cause of security breaches. Somebody with their password sticky-noted to their monitor and all kinds of other things that … No, you shouldn’t. But the human element is really at play here, and so the cloud providers will do a lot of the basics for you and then triage to DDoS attacks and fraudulent usage and things like that. But if you don’t think about security first and foremost of your systems, all the stuff that we do along with the other place you mentioned isn’t going to make must difference. Sometimes customers don’t want to do it all themselves, and so we’ve got managed services that can layer on top of that. I think it gets to another topic that we may address too, Andrew, where it becomes a question of how much security do you want to own, manage, and maintain as a provider versus focusing on your core business of really growth and revenue.
Andrew: Very cool. Good stuff. Hey Jared, man, great insights. Thanks for jumping in. I really appreciate it.
Jared: Our pleasure.
Andrew: All right. That’s Jared Ruckle. He’s a Product Manager for CenturyLink up in Seattle; beautiful Northwest. Guys, make sure you check out the learning center here of CenturyLink here in the University and go deep on their stuff. Great videos, white papers, case studies, things that can help you get smarter about how to sell big robust opportunities in the cloud with CenturyLink. Good selling.