MSP Cloud Feature Article
November 09, 2012

Symantec - Future Clouds will be Safe Clouds

Symantec (News - Alert) –best known for its various Norton security products, recently announced a new overall vision for ensuring safe and efficient cloud ecosystems. Symantec suggests that within five years companies will operate in a fully converged IT world of cloud, virtualization and mobile computing - where cloud computing will both dominate. To ensure that this converged world is safe and secure, IT organizations will need better visibility, control and compliance across their private and public clouds. To help organizations get there, Symantec plans to extend its security, data storage and information management expertise to help companies make the transition to “safe clouds.”

Today, the cloud landscape is rapidly changing, as a recent Symantec survey underscores. For example, 23 percent of business information globally is now being stored in the cloud. That is a great deal of enterprise data that is already in the cloud. Now consider this: Advanced cyber attacks by governments and crime syndicates will very likely target these very same clouds. As more and more data is pushed out to cloud environments, the pool of targets for cyber attacks becomes ever richer.

To remain secure in the face of such new challenges, organizations of all sizes will need both a rigorous cloud approach and will also need to work with industry leading partners to help navigate through myriad cloud complexities. Symantec can deliver solutions that the company has pulled together with industry leading technologies (through a variety of partners) that can quickly help companies to successfully migrate into safe clouds.

How Symantec defines this safe cloud vision can be summarized as follows below.

·         Explosion of many interconnected clouds, architectures and cloud-connected devices: The proliferation of cloud-based applications and services will continue to grow as information explodes across IT networks, public and private clouds, mobile devices and other connected endpoints. Companies are shifting to hybrid cloud environments operating in public and private clouds, either hosted on premise or off premise. The cloud complexities increase specifically around protection, data management and control.

·         Clouds of the future will be safe, agile and efficient: With safe clouds, companies will transition confidential customer and sensitive business information to the clouds. They will realize the full cloud benefits of increased security, data control and availability while users experience greater productivity and mobile-to-cloud accessibility. In contrast, clouds will deliver improved scalability, affordability and compliance as compared to traditional data centers.

·         Clouds will be the new norm: IT will build new clouds and infrastructures from the ground up. Important workloads will shift from on premise to off premise clouds. Companies will reap cloud benefits, cost savings and advanced protection as new business models, new use of technologies and new ways to interact with information become available. As cloud computing advances, a need arises for specialized skills, policies and architectures. Companies will experience new demands around IT risk and compliance, governance, data privacy and regulatory requirements.

Below we’ll explore the variety of ways Symantec intends to deliver on the promise of the vision highlighted above.

Symantec Cloud Solution Portfolios 

To achieve this safe clouds environment, the IT industry needs to enforce rigorous cloud strategies around the protection of policy, information, people and infrastructures. Symantec's comprehensive portfolio provides companies of all sizes a variety of cloud solutions to address their specific needs and current IT environments.

Symantec breaks down cloud barriers by providing companies with three cloud solution models to best meet their business needs. Symantec summarizes these as follows:

·         Companies consume hosted cloud services by cloud service providers.

·         Enterprises build their own clouds.

·         Businesses extend their IT to leverage third party clouds.

The graphic below highlights the above, for which we’ll provide more details:

Consume Clouds Safely

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly migrating to hosted cloud service providers for the competitive advantages that enable them to avoid expensive and complicated IT build-outs and to realize improved cost-savings, IT efficiencies, scalability and market agility. Symantec offers a number of integrated services to get businesses into these cloud ecosystems in a highly secure way:

·         Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 (available now in select countries).

·         Symantec cloud services including Email, Web and IM security, archiving and continuity.

Here is more detail for these services:

Extend into Clouds Safely

For businesses extending IT investments to private and public clouds for cloud applications, storage and virtualized environments, Symantec helps organizations gain increased protection, visibility and control of their information. This improved information management provides better insight and audit reporting – something that is especially important to effectively meet compliance and data privacy requirements. This suite of services includes the following:

·         Symantec File Share Encryption, Powered by PGP (News - Alert) Technology, expected availability first half of 2013.

·         Symantec O3 secure cloud access control point.

The following graphic provides more details on this suite of services:

Build Efficient and Available Private and Public Clous

Enterprises are fully on board with the potentially powerful combination of agility (for example, rapid deployment of software and hardware) - and the efficiency that should result – through the use of cloud computing. Symantec believes that it can help enterprises here by working to leverage current and existing IT investments to help organizations accelerate virtualization and build highly protected and compliant clouds.

·         Symantec Protection Engine for Cloud Service Providers.

·         Virtual Business Services is a feature of Veritas Cluster Server to ensure multi-tier applications meet the increasing service levels IT organizations are required to deliver.

Symantec’s general position on delivering “safe cloud computing” environments – which really target larger businesses that are perhaps planning to make significant moves, is to help enterprises take proactive steps to ensure that every conceivable security hole in building a cloud migration plan is covered. Perhaps “uncovered” is a better choice of words as the real issue for most enterprises isn’t that they are unaware of building security into their plans, but rather that they are very likely to miss a number of those security holes – for the most part because they lack awareness of where all the security holes lurk.

This latter issue is critical to a successful migration and taking a proactive stance to ensure that all the security holes are discovered – whether through utilizing Symantec’s capabilities or not – is vital. In any case, the cloud migration will indeed come and enterprises need to be fully prepared to make the move. At the very least Symantec offers a good starting point for doing so.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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