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Best Cloud Security Companies Compared

Companies are increasingly moving from traditional, on-premises data centers to cloud-based deployments. The cloud provides a variety of benefits, such as increased scalability, flexibility, and cost savings. This shift to the cloud is also driven by the increased popularity of hybrid work models, as the cloud offers better performance and accessibility for on-site and remote workers alike.

These new times also introduce opportunities for new companies born in the cloud to base everything on the cloud. This includes the need to adopt DevOps and DevSecOps for both pure cloud-native companies and hybrid ones with both cloud-based and on-prem infrastructure.

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The Need for Cloud Security

The cloud is complicated. Multiple public cloud vendors exist, each with its own platform and way of doing things. Many organizations are adopting a multi-cloud environment to ensure that applications, data storage, DevOps processes, and other use cases are hosted in the environment that best suits their needs. This requires taking into account various considerations and tradeoffs, such as visibility, analytics, infrastructure, and security.

In many cases, the responsibility for making these decisions is shared by multiple people. This move away from an on-prem, centralized approach, although it provides numerous benefits, requires a proper security approach.

Security misconfigurations are common in the cloud, and Gartner predicts that 99% of cloud data breaches through 2025 will be the customer’s fault.

At the same time as their move to the cloud, many companies are reimagining their security infrastructure as well by adopting Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). In the new era, the ability to allow employees to work from anywhere and securely access all relevant corporate resources is of paramount importance. Today, 62% of employees work remotely at least part-time yet just over half use a secure remote access solution like a virtual private network (VPN). Exposing corporate resources without implementing proper security places the company at risk of compromise.

The rapid rise of remote work creates new security concerns and the need for new security controls to mitigate them. Some of these security controls are similar to on-premises IT (like the use of a virtual firewall on public clouds such as AWS/Azure/GCP), and some are unique to the cloud, such as workload security (containers, serverless), cloud-based email, privacy, compliance, identity & access management, and more.

How To Choose a Cloud Security Company

Below, we discuss some of the main factors to consider when choosing the best cloud security solution, and then compare the top five cloud security vendors: Check Point Software, Palo Alto Networks, Amazon, Microsoft and Zscaler.

  • Minimize extra vendors: Vendors should offer a range of solutions to meet the wide array of challenges in the cloud. Solutions should include support for cloud network security, Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), workload security, corporate applications security, and SASE, which offers Internet protection everywhere and remote access via zero-trust network access (ZTNA) for the remote workforce.
  • Validate Service Configuration in Public Cloud: Vendors should offer the ability to audit & monitor activity for security issues, monitor suspicious behavior and insider activities in real-time, identify misconfigurations, and remediate any detected issues.
  • Meet Multiple Standards: Solutions should comply with applicable regulations and meet internal and external standards.
  • Support for DevSecOps: Security should support and not hinder the high efficiency and rapid pace of DevOps development processes. Security should be integrated from end to end, including in runtime.
  • Better Protection via Integration: Combining multiple security functions into a single platform offers better performance and security than an array of standalone solutions.
  • Full Environment Support Protection: Solutions should encompass both on-premises and public cloud environments.
  • Advanced Threat Protection: Security should protect against advanced threats rather than offering detection after the fact.
  • Centralized Management Platform: Cloud security should be monitored and managed from a single location across all cloud platforms.
  • Simple Consumption Model: Choose, add and enroll relevant components as needed with predictable costs.

Best Cloud Security Vendors Compared

 

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Check Point’s CloudGuard and Harmony Suites offer comprehensive protection and complete coverage across all cloud environments. Increased Security effectiveness is an added value with the wide coverage and multiple security controls throughout the cloud.

CloudGuard Platform includes:

  • Compliance & Governance (CSPM).
  • Workload Security (CWPP).
  • WAF & API Security (WAAP).
  • Network Security (AWS/Azure/GCP).

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Harmony Platform includes:

  • Secure Internet access for branches and users.
  • Cloud email security (O365, G Suite).
  • Zero Trust access to corporate networks and applications.
  • Endpoint and mobile security.

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CloudGuard

  • Unified Cloud Security Platform: Offers security for both cloud and on-premises infrastructure from one location.
  • Unified Language: Much easier to perform queries and create new rules. GSL unifies controls for all components including cloud providers, Kubernetes, and workloads.
  • Complete CSPM Solution: Offering support for compliance, remediation, visualizations, and log analysis.
  • Serverless Permissions Hardening: “Deep Code Flow Analysis” analyzes the dynamic code and behavior to detect security issues.
  • Zero-Day Runtime Protection: Behavioral models provide security and best-practice checks to detect anomalies that may indicate an attempted attack.
  • Automatic WAF And API Protection: Provides effortless and automated; self-learning application security with precise prevention powered by contextual AI, which eliminates false positives and stops automated attacks.
  • At-A-Glance Visualizations: Workload exposure configurations, cloud traffic, and identities.

Harmony

  • Secure Internet access for branches & users everywhere with the same enterprise-level protections as on-premises.
  • Protect applications access with the Zero-Trust approach based on least privilege for more than just web-based applications.
  • Easy consumption model with the attractive pricing and unified platform bundle in the industry.

 

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Prisma Cloud and Prisma Cloud Compute include Compliance & Governance (CSPM), Workload (CWPP). Prisma Access and Prisma SaaS include secure Internet access for branches and users, WAAP.

Prisma Cloud and Cloud Compute

  • Lack of Real-time Alerting: Prisma takes up to an hour to show assets and up to 3 hours to show alerts about traffic-related events.
  • Limited Gateway Integration: Logs & reports show IP address only, no name. Manual creation of objects for policy.
  • Difficult to customize: Creating new rules in Prisma is much more complicated and requires different query languages.
  • Static, Non-informative Serverless Permission Hardening: Serverless code analysis is static, not dynamic and behavioral. Also, it shows only the broad permissions issued, requiring manual analysis by the code’s owner.
  • Limited Container Admission Control: Based on third-party, open-source, and dedicated programming language (Rego).
  • Manual WAAP: No automated learning. Manual rules need to be created to allow application traffic to pass through.

Prisma Access

  • Centralized Management: Management and Deployment of EMEA and APAC regions must traverse via U.S. cloud management or use complex panorama.
  • Cutting Corners with Security: PAN Security engines can be exploited and bypassed similar to its next-generation firewall (NGFW). No protection is provided against zero-day attacks.
  • Expensive charging model: Charges are based on site allocation bandwidth. Extra costs for additional components with a mandatory 200MB minimum.

 

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CSPM and Cloud Network Security

  • Complex Management: Different user interfaces (UI) for each security control.
  • Limited Firewall Rules: Very limited granularity in Firewall rulebase.
  • Limited Threat Prevention: Azure Firewall “Premium” offers limited intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and no antivirus (AV), sandboxing, or content disarm and reconstruction (CDR).
  • Complex Rule Customization: Creating custom rules in Azure Security Center is complex and requires writing a script.
  • Agent-Based Visibility: Defender relies on log-collecting agents installed on all instances
  • No Serverless Protection: Lack of serverless-focused security protections leaves blind spots.
  • Limited Vulnerability Scanning: Image vulnerability scanning is limited to Azure Image registers and Azure Resource Manager

Microsoft also offers little or no SASE functionality but has CSPM and network security offerings.
 

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CSPM and Cloud Network Security

  • No Multi-Cloud Support: AWS can only show its own cloud’s data.
  • Limited Compliance Standard Coverage: Supports only three regulations on AWS and none for other clouds. Complex Rule Customization: “Security Hub” has only basic correlation or stacking rules for creating insights out of findings. Creating new rules through Config requires building a Lambda script.
  • Missing Critical Ingredients of Workload Protection: No admission control, compliance, and minimal vulnerability management.
  • Limited Encrypted Traffic Inspection: AWS network security is blind to most encrypted traffic, which is critical to scan for advanced threats, URL filtering, and applications-level security, as there is no SSL decryption.

Amazon offers little or no SASE functionality, but does have some CSPM and network security features.
 

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Mostly provides SASE functionality, including branch & user security (ZIA) and corporate applications access (ZPA). Focused on cloud web security (SWG).

  • Complex Management: Multiple UIs and 16 different policies to configure and manage advanced threat prevention security.
  • Low Security Effectiveness: Protects HTTP and FTP only by default. Solution capabilities have never been proven.
  • Hidden Costs in Must-Have Add-Ons: Limited security in basic package leads to a need for more expensive packages, which eventually translates to a high total cost of ownership (TCO) for low security.
  • Limited CSPM: CSPM is missing critical components, such as traffic and audit analysis, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), visualizations, and support for DevSecOps continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.
  • Impractical Cloud Network Security: To have a gateway to protect the public cloud with their Cloud Connector, all public cloud traffic must be re-routed to their cloud. This is unnecessary and adds complexity to the corporate WAN.

Select the right Cloud Security Vendor

Now that we’ve explored the main advantages and disadvantages of each cloud security vendor, we see how their service offerings stack up against one another.

Check Point
Prisma
Microsoft
Amazon
Zscaler

MINIMIZE EXTRA VENDORS
Minimize extra vendors
Missing email & browser protection
Partial: Missing SASE part
Partial: Missing SASE part
Partial: Mainly SASE web-focused solution. missing: workload protection, email, WAAP, limited CSPM, & no traffic analysis

VALIDATE SERVICE CONFIGURATION IN PUBLIC CLOUD
Helps discover breaches in real-time
Partial: up to 3 hours to show alerts. Too late to uncover breaches
Partial: not in real-time
Partial: not in real-time
Limited

MEET MULTIPLE STANDARDS
(Compliance)
over 40
over 40
Limited: Only 10 and Only Azure
Limited: Only 3 and only AWS
Partial – 14

DEVSECOPS – COLLABORATIVE FRAMEWORK OF DEVOPS
Partial: Limited Workload Protection
Partial: Limited Workload Protection

BETTER PROTECTION BY INTEGRATING COMPONENTS
Partial
Partial
Partial
Partial: missing critical components

ENCOMPASS BOTH ON-PREMISE AND PUBLIC CLOUD ENVIRONMENTS

PROTECT FROM ADVANCED THREATS
Partial
Partial
Partial

CENTRALIZED MANAGED PLATFORM
via Infinity Portal
via Prisma MGMT
4x Separated MGMT consoles & extremely complex
4x Separated MGMT consoles & extremely complex
Partial: missing critical components. internet protection requires 16x separate policies

SIMPLE CONSUMPTION MODEL
each part in separate – add-on costs
each part in separate – add-on costs
Advanced protections pushing overly expensive packages + add-ons

 

Choosing the Right Cloud Security Vendor

The vendor that will provide the best cloud security is the one that has a platform that covers all important areas of cloud security. This provides unified management, policies, logs, and alerts, simplifying security. Additionally, meeting the needs of the modern enterprise requires the ability to meet today’s security needs for assets, users, servers, and applications and integrate security from the very beginning.

There is no “perfect” cloud security. However, the more interconnected it is, the more value and peace of mind can be gained. Effective cloud security enables an organization to take advantage of the granularity, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud while having a strategic plan and approach to their cloud and being as secure as possible.

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