Up to now in this Buyer’s Guide, much of the discussion has been on what to look for in a vulnerability management solution in general. In the next sections, we’ll focus on topics specific to cloud-hosted solutions.
In the introduction, we discussed the benefits of a cloud-based security solution, including ease of maintenance, scalability, performance and more. There are also interesting advantages to cloud-hosted vulnerability management when a provider leverages a highly scalable and distributed public cloud environment like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Vendors leveraging this type of cloud infrastructure provider can host their vulnerability management solution in multiple data centers around the globe. This is useful for several reasons:
Data storage. If your organization wants or needs to keep data within a specific geographic boundary, the provider using a public cloud to host their application should easily allow you to select where your data is stored. For example, most public cloud providers have strategically located data centers within Europe to help organizations comply with European Union Data Protection Directive regulations.
Low latency between scanners and targets. For fast scanning results, it’s advantageous to scan IT assets with scanners that are as physically close as possible to those assets. For example, it’s possible to scan external IPs for your Singapore branch from a system located at headquarters in Chicago, but it’s likely to be much faster to scan those Singapore assets from a system in Singapore.
Scalability. A cloud-based vulnerability management solution running in a highly scalable public cloud infrastructure is itself highly scalable. For instance, assume your organization adds a significant number of assets to the mix. Your cloud-based vulnerability management provider can scale to support your requirements. More importantly, when the provider adds new customers, they can scale their entire infrastructure to support both new and existing users without any negative performance impact.
All cloud environments are not equal. If you’re considering cloud-based vulnerability management solutions, understand how vendors are leveraging the cloud so you get maximum benefit from it.