PRISM And Its Impact On Global Cloud And Internet Outsourcing

Did PRISM Cause An Exodus From US Clouds?

PRISM’s impact is still felt in the market for Internet services although the size of the storm and its resultant impact is smaller than was originally thought. It seems the international business was a lot more insulated from US spying as compared to what was originally thought.

Since Edward Snowden revealed the US National Security Agency's PRISM spying program, there has been widespread speculation that the disclosure of US spying would significantly harm US cloud, hosting, and outsourcing businesses as international customers walked away from any firm within the NSA’s reach.

Why Is PRISM So Important?

International spying is still a global issue and is driven by the current state if international affairs. Global political, economic instability is fueling an epidemic of cyberattacks, the source of which includes nation states, organized crime groups, and unfortunately terrorists. Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the PRISM program lifted cybersecurity from an abstract concept to one that evoked a tremendous level of emotion – much of it driven by the emotion surrounding privacy – or more accurately – the need so many have for privacy.[i]

The Impact

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Cybersecurity Utilities: The Future Of Managed Security Services

Cloud Will Transform Managed Security Services

The movement to cloud is fast changing the method companies will deploy and consume security services. The number one issue that drives the adoption of managed security services (MSS) and the business of managed security service providers (MSSPs) is complexity reduction. As companies replace premise-based data centers with virtual cloud data centers, the expectations of these customers will change as well, they look for elastic ways to purchase security services, as well as, methods that allow for the active defense of both cloud, and premise based workloads. Consider the following:

  • We have heard that the perimeter is dead, and many ways it is. We name the normal assassins and they include outsourcing, mobile solutions, and the cloud. 
  • Another truism is that companies never wanted to be in the information technology business in the first place. Information technology has brought real productivity improvements but it has also brought significant costs.
  • Moving information technology to the cloud provides companies the opportunity to reallocate costs from capital expenditures to operational expenditures and reassign operations staff to other roles. 
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Forrester's 26-criteria evaluation of managed security service providers (MSSPs) published today! The report focuses on the 13 most significant vendors in the North American market — AT&T, CenturyLink, CSC, Dell SecureWorks, HP, IBM, Leidos, SilverSky, Solutionary/NTT, Symantec, Trustwave, Verizon, and Wipro. This report details how well each vendor met our criteria and where they stand in relation to each other. This report will help you refine your selection criteria and choose the right partner for your outsourced security needs.

You can get the report here: The Forrester Wave™: Managed Security Services: North America, Q4 2014


Cloud adoption has historically been hampered by security concerns. All of Forrester's research shows this to be the number one impediemtn to adoption. Forrester just finished evaluating four cloud platform providers on the depth and breadth of their security controls. This Forrester Wave™ evaluates four of the leading public clouds along 15 key security criteria evaluations to answer this question. The participating cloud services providers were: AWS, CenturyLink Cloud, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft Azure. This report details our findings about how well each vendor fulfills our criteria and where they stand in relation to each other, to help S&R professionals select the right public cloud partner with the best options for security controls and overall security capabilities.

The results can be found here:  The Forrester Wave™: Public Cloud Platform Service Providers' Security, Q4 2014

EY Releases New Global Information Security Survey For 2014

EY has released its Global Information Security Survey 2014. The survey, published every year, focuses on the issues facing information security pros for the coming year. Many of the trends identified in the report are trends that Forrester has seen evolve in the past two years. At the same time, these trends are accelerating. I am one analyst that is reluctant to paint information security with the fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) brush, but after reading the EY report I am not sure that FUD is inaccurate. We live in challenging times and the EY report validates this assertion. For example the research shows:

  • Attack power on the part of adversaries continues to grow. The capabilities and attack power of the adversary are on the rise. Criminal syndicates, hacktivists, and state-sponsored attackers top EY's respondents' list of top attack sources. This is not surprising based on the level of political instability in the world and the financial gains cybercrime can provide criminal groups derived from cybercrime.
  • Organizations are in battle with outdated weapons and strategies. Business today is using a set of outdated strategies and technologies to combat adversarial groups that are well financed and supported using some of the best offensive technologies available. These groups are well trained in the use of social engineering and technical cyberattack craft.
  • Organizations continue to see a dissolution of the perimeter. Mobility, outsourcing, cloud computing, and third-party consulting agreements continue to poke holes in companies' perimeters. All of these issues point to the need of a more flexible defense that uses a variety of smart detection and protection methods.
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Upcoming Research -- Brief: US Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) Provides Funding For Cybersecurity Innovation

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to sponsor important research in cybersecurity over the next three to five years through the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) process.  The US Federal government’s participation in cybersecurity is one of false starts. Members of each of the branches of government have made statements on the need for improved cybersecurity but very little has been done, at least in any public sense, to help the private sector deal with an onslaught of cyberattacks. At the same time, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been actively spying on private sector companies and their customers. This has sent mixed messages.

Encouragingly, the DHS is now making money available to fund research in cybersecurity with the goal of solving some of the toughest cybersecurity issues. The amount of money is small compared to the enormity of the cybersecurity problem, but it is a step in the right direction. This report will focus on what the money funds and what it means to commercial enterprises and their customers. Look for this report to publish in early August.

New Research: CISOs Need To Add Customer Obsession To Their Job Description

The CISO And The Customer

Next month Forrester will publish research focusing on the role the customer plays in security planning. Customer attitudes are changing, and companies need to recognize these changes or risk losing customers. These changes put enormous attention on the CISO and the security team. But CISOs should also look at this as a big opportunity for CISOs to move from the back office to the front office. Security incidents, managed well, can actually enhance customer perceptions of a company; managed poorly, they can be devastating. If customers lose trust in a company because of the way the business handles personal data and privacy, they will easily take their business elsewhere. Sales will fall, stock prices will follow, and the CISO will be accountable. CISOs need to improve their security program by focusing on the company’s true customers – the ones that create revenue – clarifying and speeding communications and implementing customer-focused security controls.  Look for it next month!

Symantec Challenges Financial Services Security

Symantec Challenges Financial Services Security

In this age of the customer, there is nothing more important than the effective and safe operation of the global financial system. Trillions of dollars move around the world because of a well-oiled financial services system. Most consumers take our financial services system for granted. They get paid, have the money direct deposited into their account, pay bills, use their ATM card to get cash, and put family valuables in the safety deposit box. The consumer’s assumption is that their cash, investments and valuables are safe.

Symantec’s 2014 CyberWar Games set out to prove or disprove how correct are these assumptions. Symantec’s cyberwar event is the brainchild of Samir Kapuria, a Symantec vice president within the Information Security Group. Symantec structures the event as a series of playoff events. Teams form and compete, earning points for creating and discovering exploits. Out of this process, the ten best teams travel to Symantec’s Mountain View, California headquarters to compete in the finals.

Not Just Hackers Need Apply

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New Research: AWS Cloud Security - AWS Takes Important Steps For Securing Cloud Workloads

Security is the No. 1 impediment to Cloud Service adoption. Forrester’s research has shown this over the last three years. Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are responding to this issue. AWS has built an impressive catalog of security controls as a part of the company’s IaaS/PaaS offerings.  If you are currently or considering using AWS as a CSP you should check out the following new research.

AWS Cloud Security - AWS Takes Important Steps For Securing Cloud Workloads

Technology Use By MSSPs -Check Out Our Survey

Technology is essential in any managed security operations center. Technology has come a long way to create an active defense of the enterprise. There are vendors that offer solutions for log management, web application defense, firewall, incident event correlation, and many others. In order to understand the size of the security technology market, Forrester and the MSP Alliance are partnering in a survey to look at the managed security functions and the technology MSSPs use to deliver their services. If you are an MSSP or an end user of these technologies, you can complete this survey at:


For completing the survey you are automatically entered into a contest to win an iPad mini. Also for completing the survey you will receive a complimentary copy of the resulting research paper.