As technology continues to evolve, new terminology is introduced into mainstream culture. If you’ve never heard of agentless security before, you are not alone. Agentless security is a new, dynamic security solution that harnesses the power of cloud technology to monitor computers and smart devices without the aid of a physical agent or deployable monitoring protocol. There are a growing number of applications for agentless security, starting with virtual server environments where installing an agent is not feasible, and continuing into the public cloud arena. More recently, installation of agentless security has been explored for use with private cloud security as well.
3 Types of Clouds
There are three types of clouds: the public cloud, the private cloud and a mix of the two called the hybrid cloud. Agentless security solutions can be deployed for all three types of clouds with equal success. Agent-based security is more commonly used for private clouds, but as familiarity with agentless security grows, we can expect an increase in the technology.
Understanding the Private Cloud
Before seeking more information on cloud protection, it’s important to understand what the private cloud is and how it works. With a private cloud, you have your own private dedicated storage space. One of the principle advantages users cite in selecting a private over a public cloud is that you can retain control over the IT security measures that protect your data rather than giving that responsibility over to the cloud vendor. However, here you must also rely on your own IT knowledge to ensure you have chosen a comprehensive security solution to protect your private cloud data.
Agentless Security Explained
In essence, agentless security allows you to monitor one or more computers without having to install an agent. Updates are automated, the software runs effortlessly across different types of server platforms and management of security notifications is consolidated within a single interface. Best of all, agentless security can protect multiple endpoints across a range of densities without performance degradation.
Benefits of Agentless Security
Agentless security’s benefits are many. These following benefits are most commonly cited:
- Increased flexibility. Agentless security systems can function consistently across a variety of server systems from physical to virtual to cloud-based (private, public and/or hybrid). This allows companies that are transitioning their data center to take advantage of agentless security benefits even during the transition process.
- Improved return on investment (ROI). Because agentless security provides updates in real-time and can handle greater virtual machine densities per server system, security costs go down and productivity goes up.
- Seamless single interface management. An agentless security system is managed through a single Web interface that can be accessed anywhere and provides a comprehensive picture of security issues and actions.
- IT cost savings. An agentless security system is easy to deploy and manage, reducing the overall burden on the IT department and freeing up key IT personnel to work on other projects.
- Advanced malware and virus protection. Because agentless security operates in real-time via a virtual environment, threat detection and system response is instantaneous across your entire data network.
Choosing Your Agentless Security Solution
As agentless security solutions become more popular, you have more options to choose from. These six elements should be present in any agentless security solution you consider:
- Web reputation management. Eliminates down time and preserves Web integrity, with an agent-based option for physical servers.
- Integrity monitoring. With integrity monitoring you are protected from known and zero-day attacks.
- Anti-malware protection. Protection is coordinated between agentless and agent-based security solutions as needed.
- Intrusion detection and prevention. Shores up your system against vulnerabilities and provides real-time threat detection.
- Firewall. Firewall policies are standardized and managed from a central location.
- Log inspection. Transparent log reporting ensures important threats are flagged.
Use this checklist to select your private cloud security solution, and you can store your data with total peace of mind.
By Leslie Ingess
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