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Increasingly sophisticated cloud security tools are providing greater visibility than ever into threats — but more data creates more work. More people and more departments become involved. More processes and tools are integrated.
This can result in a mishmash, of sorts, with processes that should be connected but aren’t, and confusion about who’s responsible for what.
And, despite best efforts, security risks can increase, said Meny Har, CEO of startup Opus Security. Case in point: 45% of organizations have experienced a data breach or failed an audit involving data and applications in the cloud. And the average cost of a data breach has grown to $4.35 million.
Ultimately, said Har, this requires a whole new approach to managing and orchestrating cloud security response and remediation processes. Opus is aiming at this: The cloud security orchestration and remediation startup today emerged from stealth with $10 million in seed funding.
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“This approach views remediation as it should be: An overarching security and business priority,” said Har.
A unified front for cloud security
The cloud security market is expected to grow to more than $106 billion by 2029, and tech leaders and experts are calling for more holistic tools — and those that are collaborative by nature.
“The shift-left trend has necessitated a revised approach to remediation,” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, former CISO at Google. “Organizations need to bridge skill and resource gaps and create an orchestrated, automated alignment process across all teams. Traditional manual tasks and friction between teams result in heightened risk and jeopardize business continuity.”
Evolving cloud-native security operations are redeveloping cloud-native security operations workflows that span multiple products and user personas through integration and automation investments, wrote Mark Wah and Charlie Winckless of Gartner [subscription required]. They will also react to emerging DevSecOps practices by incorporating integrations into the development pipeline that extend cloud-native security operations into development.
“Cloud-native security operations will evolve toward a federated shared responsibility model with shifting centers of gravity and ownership,” wrote Wah and Winckless. “Product leaders must align capability and integration requirements in phases based on end users’ cloud adoption and maturity.”
Ultimately, call it anything you want: A detection and response team, a security operations team, a security operations center (SOC). In any case, said analyst Anton Chuvakin: “The future of security operations demands that we solve challenges with distributed workforces who integrate with cross-functional teams across organizational risks to achieve a state of autonomic and operational fusion.”
Looking across the organization
To this end, Opus’ platform applies orchestration and remediation across an entire organization, aligning all relevant stakeholders — not just security teams, explained Har. This includes security teams themselves, devops and application teams, executives and other leaders.
The platform connects existing cloud and security tools and users, applying automation and providing security teams with packaged playbooks. Organizations get instant visibility and mapping of remediation metrics and insights into the state of their risk, said Har.
This lets security teams “focus on active threat mitigation across the entire organization rather than build processes from scratch,” he said.
Secops and cloud security engineers also move away from “redundant, peripheral tasks,” said Opus Security CTO, Or Gabay — allowing them to focus on high priority, complex and technical security tasks. Just as importantly, friction between devops and devops teams is reduced, he said.
And, for C-suite and security leaders (including cloud security leaders and CISOs), the platform provides visibility and metrics into all remediation efforts. “Leaders will gain insight into how the organization is performing, across all teams and stakeholders,” said Gabay.
As Har pointed out, while CSPM tools have revolutionized cloud visibility, the number of security findings they uncover can overwhelm security teams that lack the reliable proficiencies, context, speed and process orchestration required to resolve them.
More findings and more visibility also means that security operations teams have had to expand from detection and response into risk reduction. As a result, they don’t have the bandwidth or the resources to manage the onslaught of security findings — let alone properly remediate them.
“Secops teams are drowning in risks and threats,” said Har.
What’s more, complex manual processes waste the time and resources of a “woefully understaffed and overtaxed department” that struggles to mitigate a risk surface that is constantly growing and shifting, said Har.
Existing methods and tools involve hundreds of processes with varying levels of severity, owners, urgency and complexity, and teams have to identify and track down accountable parties and presumed owners. This becomes ever more difficult as organizations continue to span physical, hybrid and remote workplaces.
While security teams are no longer the sole stakeholders, they also don’t have the ability to collaborate with other departments and teams, and rarely know who they are or what their responsibilities are.
“Meanwhile, risk increases, dashboards fill up with new findings and tracking spreadsheets grow with a backlog of remediation tasks,” he said.
As a result, visibility and accountability are lacking and secops teams prioritize only the most urgent or critical alerts.
“This scattered and disorganized affair creates a backlog at best — or worse, an obfuscated and convoluted web of missing, unaddressed and partial information, increasing the risk surface significantly,” said Har.
Security risk: Business risk
And just as significantly, said Gabay: A lack of orchestration and automation results in a longer period of time between risk identification and remediation.
He underscored the fact that, “today, security risks are business risks, and therefore automating and orchestrating remediation processes in the cloud serves a clear business purpose.”
The company expects to have the platform generally available in 2023. The funding announced today will be used for platform development, expanding market traction in the U.S. and enhancing R&D and cloud security expertise.
The round was led by YL Ventures, with participation from Tiger Global and security executives and serial entrepreneurs, including George Kurtz, cofounder, CEO and president of CrowdStrike; Udi Mokady, cofounder, chairman and CEO of CyberArk; Dan Plastina, former head of AWS Security Services; Oliver Friedrichs, cofounder and former CEO of Phantom Cyber; and Alon Cohen, cofounder and former CTO of Siemplify.