Like with software-defined networking, Software-Defined Security (SDS) is indeed a paradigm shifter. By definition, SDS is a type of security model in which the information security in a computing environment is implemented, controlled and managed by security software, not hardware.The benefits of SDS are many. Here are the top five:
1. Simplicity: In physical data centers, security architecture is complex. It often requires multiple servers, specialized hardware devices (i.e., Firewall Appliances, HSMs – Hardware Security Modules, etc.), network identities, and more. In a software-defined model, security is based on logical policies. We like to equate this to mathematical walls replacing the physical walls of a data center. SDS does not rely on physical location of data; information may be protected anywhere it resides.
As an example, our realm of SDS is SDE; Software-Defined Encryption (and key management). By virtualizing this service, customers simplify their infrastructure and increase their security (see #5, below). With software-defined split-key encryption, for example, multiple encryption keys can be automatically generated and stored securely in a virtual appliance, simplifying the key management process without compromising the security of the encryption keys.
2. Automation: Thanks to its independence from rigid hardware, SDS allows automation. For example, once policies are defined, new devices created within the environment can be automatically covered and controlled under the base security policy. Think of Software Defined Encryption as an example; using orchestration and a RESTful API approach, encryption can be automated across virtual servers, availability zones, or geographical regions.
By automating security, we reduce our dependence on manual detection, response and administration.
3. Scalability and Flexibility: Nearly any type of virtualization adds elements of scalability and flexibility. In the world of security, removing hardware from the equation makes it quick and easy to scale security up or down based on the immediate needs of each host hypervisor and each business. Also, geography becomes irrelevant in securing networks with devices in multiple locations.
As companies migrate assets to software-defined, cloud infrastructures, the security to protect these assets needs to also shift to the software-defined model. In a sense, SDS is security in the cloud, for the cloud.
4. Cost Effectiveness: Because virtualizing security eliminates the dependence on and need for hardware that is expensive to buy, upgrade, and manage, SDS is a cost-effective model that can be consumed (and paid for) in an “as you go” model. Thus, users pay only for what they use. The heavy capital expenditures are eliminated.
5. Increased Security: Perhaps the most controversial benefit of SDS is that it offers increased security. Hardware enthusiasts will argue that there is nothing stronger than the sticks and bricks of the physical data center and the metal of the hardware devices. But this is not necessarily so. Mathematics, and especially when mathematical proof is available, is more resilient than hardware. And some companies, with limited resources, cannot create the kind of physical security that SDS offers.
Feel free to contact E-SPIN for software defined security infrastructure, availability monitoring and security management.
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- Benefits of Software Defined Security to Business
- What is Software Defined Security For SDN