The COVID-19 global pandemic and the extended shutdown of many businesses has forced enterprises to re-evaluate their expenditures. And even with increased cyberattacks, security is being looked at too. In fact, security budgets have been squeezed by both the COVID-19 pandemic and overall IT budget cuts, claims Bob Layton, CRO of Digital Defense. It’s imperative for businesses to manage these financial restrictions well in the short term, and also adopt practices now which will set them up for success in the next crisis.
So, where can you make savings in network security without compromising your enterprise’s data and network integrity?
Do more with less
There are some foundational ways enterprise security teams can respond in the face of reduced budgets:
- Audit your current security setup. For example, do you have legacy applications which require specialized expertise to maintain and manage? Where are there inefficiencies?
- Rationalize unnecessary technology, tools or those legacy applications.
- Outsource as many non-essential or non-strategic functions as possible.
- Automate as much as possible.
- Consolidate, Standardize and Centralize your security technology and functions where possible. This will ensure the most efficient business practices and therefore the most streamlined in terms of expenditure.
- Virtualize to keep up with inspection demands without buying more inflexible and expensive hardware.
In short, the message is, “Do more with less.” As Bill Ruckelshaus, CFO at ExtraHop, puts it, “pull the plug on legacy security tools in favor of a refined group of tools better designed to handle advanced threats.”
Network security on a budget with virtualization
When it comes to network security, there is a clear solution which enables you to leave behind legacy hardware by leveraging a flexible, budget-friendly platform. It’s called Virtualization.
A virtualized network security platform allows you to elastically scale traffic inspection and threat protection to meet increasing bandwidth demand. Traditionally, enterprises have solved the need for increased traffic inspection by purchasing new, specialized, single-purpose hardware. However, the capacity of that hardware becomes obsolete in a few years, or sometimes even months, down the line and that won’t be sustainable with the budget cuts being experienced. When you opt for virtualization, you can add inspection capacity as you need in the future without having to change your network architecture. It also means you don’t have to try and accurately predict your upcoming network security needs. You simply choose the number of virtual firewall instances you need today, then increase that capacity whenever necessary. What’s more, you continue to use the turnkey platform with your current security vendors, meaning you don’t incur the expense of overhauling the whole system.
We deliver our Corsa Security platform with a pay-as-you-grow, monthly subscription model for ultimate financial gain. This translates to greatly improved Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) compared to the CAPEX of installing new hardware each time you run out of inspection capacity. Our solution represents a savings of over 40% for a 3-year TCO. We break it down here. A virtualized platform also means you only pay for what you need at any given moment – a much more efficient financial model.
A cloud-like approach improves efficiencies further
One powerful argument for adopting a cloud model is the cost savings. Our platform takes a page from the cloud approach and manages all the complex operations associated with running virtual NGFW instances – like licensing, zero-touch deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting, machine intelligence and auto-scaling. This means it completely eliminates the need for the typical DevOps resources required for provisioning and maintaining large numbers of NGFW VMs, and offers additional resource savings. As Bob Layton explains, “use of public and private clouds for simple connectivity and scale are hot discussion topics.”
While many businesses may have been in a holding pattern recently, they need to plan now how they’ll continue to deliver an effective and robust security strategy with a reduced budget. One crucial success factor is moving to virtualized network security. When you adopt a software-defined model, you eliminate the need for costly hardware purchases and benefit from scalable traffic inspection and threat protection which you pay for as you use. This is the ultimate in a financially streamlined model for network security.
To learn more about the TCO of virtualizing network security, download our white paper.