Add SaaS and Cloud Security With Testing and Automation
by Kristen Ramos on

These days, organizations of all sizes are struggling to balance the constant demands of users with the ever-pressing need to keep technology and business operations running smoothly. Most businesses are undertaking some form of migration to the cloud. Done properly, cloud can offer high availability and help businesses avoid the potentially disastrous costs of downtime and negative publicity that can result from poor application performance, productivity loss and full-blown data breaches.

However, it’s no secret that the cloud environment—whether public, private, or hybrid—doesn’t always run as seamlessly as expected. IT teams are now managing multiple cloud platforms and increasing interdependence among critical infrastructure components, while also facing volatile cybersecurity threats. The old manual, on-premises approach to app performance security—regular testing, as one example—isn’t cutting it when many IT  departments are confronted with security challenges that are simply unmanageable these days.

Performance Issues Can Lead to Costly Security Incidents

A reported 43% of enterprises are running a majority of their workloads in the private cloud and 97% of surveyed enterprise private cloud environments report widespread performance issues. It’s clear that protecting application health plays a major role in the overall security architecture of an organization. SaaS applications have taken over the use of on-premises apps in many businesses today, and end users access them from anywhere, anytime.

Flaws in an application’s performance can create more than general end-user frustration and productivity loss—they can cause an increased security risk and devastating downtime that’s hard to recover from for even the most established business. According to the latest Ponemon report, the average cost of a data center outage skyrocketed 38 percent from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 in 2016.

Cloud Deployments Aren't Tested Like Legacy Apps

Your old-school legacy apps were tested routinely back in the day. In today’s volatile, modern IT environment, private cloud deployments simply aren’t given the same regular vetting—which leads to increased risk across the organization. SaaS and cloud-hosted applications are off-premises entirely, which makes them even harder to see and test. Cloud operations and management are an entirely new segment of IT, so processes like testing aren’t necessarily built in or spelled out clearly.

There are multiple reasons for this, ranging from lack of awareness to inconsistent configuration to misalignment between physical and virtual resources. A lack of unified application awareness, combined with the constant dissemination of information from disparate resources and IT teams stretched across an operation’s security architecture, exposes the organization to increased security risk.

Additionally, cloud deployments are often considered to be self-healing due to integrated workload mobility features—making it easy for IT to think they’re hands-off. To make matters worse, the lack of a unified APM testing platform and somewhat traditionally cumbersome testing processes have created a bit of general apathy toward manual cloud testing across the industry.

Measure Both Public and Private Networks for Better Results

The good news is that with consistent automated detection and identification of issues as they occur, your application’s security risks can be corrected before they do long-term damage to your infrastructure. Automated application testing can breathe new life into already stressed IT departments, since they are freed up to focus on more strategic, business-centric IT projects.

To ensure safe and reliable application performance, your organization should focus on moving past traditional device-driven techniques and rely instead on measuring performance along the application path itself. The key is finding a tool that allows your team to examine application performance data across both public and private cloud deployments so you can continue to deliver an exceptional end-user experience with minimal downtime and maximum productivity.

See more on network monitoring and diagnostics in the latest Gartner Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) Critical Capabilities Report and our related blog post here.

Filed Under: cloud computing, Performance Monitoring

Tags: application downtime , application testing , cloud security