By: Mr. Nikhil Taneja, Managing Director-India, SAARC & Middle East, Radware
Buying a cloud-based security solution is more than just buying a technology. Whereas when you buy a physical product, you care mostly about its immediate features and capabilities, a cloud-based service is more than just lines on a spec sheet; rather, it is a combination of multiple elements, all of which must work in tandem, in order to guarantee performance.
Cloud Service = Technology + Network + Support
There are three primary elements that determine the quality of a cloud security service: technology, network, and support.
Technology is crucial for the underlying security and protection capabilities. The network is required for a solid foundation on which the technology runs on, and the operation & support component is required to bring them together and keep them working.
Take any one out, and the other two legs won’t be enough for the service to stand on.
This is particularly true when looking for a cloud-based DDoS scrubbing solution. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have distinct features that make them different than other types of cyber-attacks. Therefore, there are specific requirements for cloud-based DDoS protection service that cover the full gamut of technology, network, and support that are particular to DDoS protection.
As I explained earlier, technology is just one facet of what makes-up a cloud security service. However, it is the building block on which everything else is built.
The quality of the underlying technology is the most important factor in determining the quality of protection. It is the technology that determines how quickly an attack will be detected; it is the quality of the technology that determines whether it can tell the difference between a traffic spike in legitimate traffic, and a DDoS attack; and it is the technology that determines whether it can adapt to attack patterns in time to keep your application online or not.
The next building block is the network. Whereas the technology stops the attack itself, it is the network that scales-out the service and deploys it on a global scale. Here, too, there are specific requirements that are uniquely important in the case of DDoS scrubbing networks:
• Massive capacity: When it comes to protection against volumetric DDoS attacks, size matters. DDoS attack volumes have been steadily increasing over the past decade, with each year reaching new peaks. That is why having large-scale, massive capacity at your disposal in an absolute requirement to stop attacks.
• Dedicated capacity: It’s not enough, however, to just have a lot of capacity. It is also crucial that this capacity be dedicated to DDoS scrubbing. Many security providers rely on their CDN capacity, which is already being widely utilized, for DDoS mitigation, as well.
• Global footprint: Fast response and low latency are crucial components in service performance. A critical component in latency, however, is distance between the customer and the host.
The final piece of the ‘puzzle’ of providing a high-quality cloud security network is the human element; that is, maintenance, operation and support.
Beyond the cold figures of technical specifications, and the bits-and-bytes of network capacity, it is the service element that ties together the technology and network, and makes sure that they keep working in tandem.