By Pooja Kapoor
The cloud transformation that we are seeing today is happening across several dimensions. Companies are rapidly moving from their private data centers to hybrid cloud models with Cloud Service Providers. Cloud is where all modern-day work is happening by employees and developers. Employees use SaaS based applications like Box, Office365, Workday, Teams, etc. For their day to day tasks and developers are building applications directly in the cloud. Industry analysts predict that, by 2022, up to 60% of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud managed service offering1. The question is no longer an “if” but “when” companies will be moving to the cloud.
At McAfee, we are committed to help our customers with this transition. McAfee’s MVISION portfolio of products is built to enable customers to succeed in the cloud, helping to secure cloud workloads, applications and data. One of the flagship suites in this portfolio, designed to secure customer’s cloud applications and data is MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (UCE). UCE integrates three technologies CASB, DLP and Web into a single suite that helps unleash a broader set of use cases for the customers. For example, Web, DLP and CASB together allow customers to protect data across the entire continuum of enforcement points: the device, web, and cloud, with the ease of implementing consistent data protection policies.
McAfee MVSION UCE is also designed to keep in mind the ongoing cost pressures of current times and unpredictability of a V or U-shaped post Covid recovery phase. A top question on the mind of nearly every customer is how to stay on track with their cloud transformation goals while being prudent with their spend. McAfee teams are continuously helping customers work through this dilemma discussing the economic value they can derive from UCE. Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios.
Greenfield customers who are in early stages of making their buying decisions on technologies to start their cloud transition can enjoy significant cost savings through better together pricing of the UCE suite. For instance, a customer with 10K employees looking to procure CASB and Web independently staggered over a period of time is likely to end up spending ~25-30% more compared to buying the UCE suite (base version) that comes with CASB and Web. Additionally, buying the suite enables customers to have a more complete security posture. For example, CASB identifies If your employees are using a file sharing application that is not approved by IT and the Next Gen Secure Web Gateway will block employees from accessing it. Not having one vs the other creates vulnerabilities within your cloud architecture. In another situation, if the customer with the similar 10K configuration compares an On prem Web Gateway and CASB deployment to a cloud native UCE suite for securing their web traffic and cloud applications they can yield an even higher savings of ~35-40% annually.
A recent study from McAfee shows that 47% of employees would prefer not to go back to working from the office like it was before the pandemic. Additionally, 21% of employees stated that they would like to continue to be part of the at-home workforce. The same McAfee study also shows that at the meantime, threats to enterprises increased by 630% over the same period, with most attacks targeting collaboration services that enable remote work.
With this spike of remote workforce that will continue to trend, VPN is no longer a need for the road warriors but required for majority of the company’s employee. IT departments are facing an increased load on their existing VPN infrastructure and VPN costs are top of mind for them.
For example, if you were to split the VPN traffic in such a way that traffic does not need to go through the company’s private data center but instead gets routed directly to the internet, it would not only improve the remote employee’s experience but also reduce the load on the company’s VPN infrastructure. However, taking traffic directly to the internet leaves employees vulnerable without the right security measures in place.
With McAfee’s UCE suite, customers can now have the peace of mind of keeping their remote workforce protected. This reduces the IT spend on infrastructure supporting high VPN workload and connections, traditional proxy and firewall costs within the company’s private data center. This yields a net positive TCO for the customer as shown in the illustration below going from scenario A to B, where 90% of the workforce is remote and majority of the remote workforce traffic (~80%) is routed directly to the cloud. For more details on how Next gen secure web gateway solutions protect direct to cloud traffic, please refer to the recent blog on “What to Expect from the Next Generation of Secure Web Gateways.”
Another common use case where it is critical to secure the direct to cloud traffic is at the branch offices. A recent industry analyst survey suggests that the market sees continuing strong momentum for SD-WAN, with almost 95% of enterprises surveyed expecting to use SD-WAN within 24 months2. With increasing numbers of branch offices adopting SD-WAN architecture, each branch office is set up as a local internet breakout routing traffic directly to the cloud. This creates the need for every branch office to have a level of security that is comparable to what would be in place with a traditional WAN approach where traffic is backhauled to the company’s private data center. The cost of each branch office having its own set of security appliances, spending cost in deploying and managing these can stack up quickly for any organization.
McAfee UCE offers a cloud native security solution that secures the direct cloud traffic from every branch with a net positive TCO in addition to the SD WAN savings, as shown in the illustration above going from scenario B to C. Customers deploying UCE for both remote workforce and branch offices can enjoy even higher savings combining savings one and two shown on the figure above.
We intend to offer customers these compelling economic benefits from UCE enabling them to stay on track with their transition to the cloud even with the economic realities of the current times! Is there a specific cloud security use case you are looking to solve?