Sophos has added cost tracking and optimization functionality to Cloud Optix, its public cloud security solution.
The new capabilities, which turn Cloud Optix into an unusual hybrid mix of security application and remote management tool, is available now at no additional cost.
Introduced last April, Cloud Optix helps users catalog all of a customer’s Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure assets, monitor the ongoing compliance of those systems with regulatory mandates and internal security policies, and identify anomalous behavior on those systems that could be part of an attack.
The new cloud cost management functionality draws on the product’s consolidated view of AWS and Azure resources to provide continuous data on daily and monthly cloud spending that users can filter by platform, service, and region.
The solution also provides monthly reports on spending patterns, customizable alerts about high-cost services, and recommendations for optimizing outlays and eliminating waste. The latter feature draws on integration with Amazon’s AWS Trusted Advisor cost optimization service and Microsoft’s Azure Advisor equivalent.
The decision to add cost optimization to Cloud Optix came in response to feedback from partners and end users as well as Sophos’s own experiences using Cloud Optix to secure its cloud-based Sophos Central management console. Incumbent cloud cost management vendors, the company concluded, charge excessive amounts for functionality that businesses rarely use, or fail to provide a comprehensive, cross-platform view of spending.
“The alternative was to invest time and resource into building custom do it yourself projects which came with a maintenance burden all of its own,” observes Richard Beckett, public cloud senior marketing manager at Sophos, in comments emailed to ChannelPro. Adding cost optimization for both AWS and Azure to Cloud Optix, he continues, offers users a comparatively economical alternative both to that expense and to third-party cost management tools.
Numerous vendors, including BitTitan, CloudCheckr, and newcomer Augmentt, offer tools for managing charges on consumption-based cloud infrastructure platforms. Barracuda and SaaSAlerts, another recently launched company and part of ChannelPro‘s Vendors on the Vanguard list for 2020, are two among many providers of cloud security products, and there are plenty of mobile device management and unified endpoint management products—including one from Sophos—that include some security capabilities. Cloud Optix, however, is the rare case of a cloud security solution that now includes management capabilities as well.
According to Beckett, security and cloud infrastructure cost monitoring are closely related disciplines.
“Unexpected costs can be indicative of security issues, and unused infrastructure (that continues to incur cost) can represent potential risk, in addition to an opportunity to save costs,” he says. “By providing granular service-level spend monitoring, customers can more easily identify unexpected costs that they may need to investigate and optimize their use of cloud provider services.”
With adoption of cloud-based solutions exploding this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden shift to work-from-home computing that it provoked, controlling cloud subscription fees has become an even greater priority for cash-conscious businesses reeling from the virus’s economic effects. Sales of cloud infrastructure services rose 34% in the first half of 2020, versus the same six months last year, according to Synergy Research Group. Analyst IDC expects spending on public cloud infrastructure to grow 16% by the end of 2020 to $52.4 billion.
Barracuda, a company best known for security and data protection, has also offered an RMM solution since early last year. Though Sophos has no plans to become a remote management vendor itself, according to Beckett, it could add additional management features to its products in the future.
“Security remains our focus at Sophos, however we continue to listen to customer and partner feedback and support them already where it makes sense to do so,” he says.