The Cloud’s Sunny Future: The Rewards of Working in Cloud Security

Feb 07, 2020
4 minutes

This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)

By Vinay Venkataraghavan, Cloud CTO, Prisma Cloud

As a part of the research and development team at Palo Alto Networks, my work involves building out security automation capabilities for customers in the public cloud. My job marries R&D with building both our products and our relationships with cloud partners and customers. 

Major enterprises today see the cloud’s infinite capacity and are rushing to move their businesses to it. But there’s more than opportunity in the cloud — there’s also an inherent risk. The industry is moving quickly enough that many customers aren’t prepared to face the evolution of the threats in the cloud. With a lack of training and understanding, they take for granted that the cloud is inherently secure. But there’s tremendous complexity in ensuring that security. Many are willing to invest in securing their assets in the cloud and understand why it’s important. However, they also know that providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google are putting their resources into solving the security puzzle, so they believe security is a given. The reality is, using the cloud comes with a shared responsibility for keeping it secure. Too many rush into it without having the right security posture. If time and effort aren’t invested in ensuring that the right security practices have been adopted, businesses are susceptible to cyber threats.

Today, about 97% of IT spending is in on-premises data centers, meaning that only 3% has proliferated in the cloud. It seems prevalent now, but we’ve really only scratched the surface.

Those of us working in this space know that soon, cloud usage will be ubiquitous, affecting everything we touch. The simple request, “Alexa, how’s the weather today?” involves thousands of containers in the cloud, and usage of such smart devices is growing by the day. Everything we touch and interact with on a daily basis, from our phones and computers to our personal assistant devices, cars, and even our refrigerators are increasingly collecting and storing our personal data to make our lives easier, to the point that we rely almost exclusively on them. And all of them are delivered through the cloud. So it becomes even more important to ensure that these technologies are kept secure.

This is the nature of our business. Contributing to, working for, and being a part of an industry set on identifying some of the world’s most pressing problems, is invigorating. We help enterprises understand that for all of their different application deployment models, they need different types of security for those deployments, and then we can showcase how those models are addressed across the spectrum. That’s why it’s so exciting to me to work for this company, where I am seeing firsthand how our platform is truly helping to secure the cloud and can be a part of making the difference.  


The Sky’s the Limit

Working here, we are at the epicenter of information technology. Our work affects how businesses operate — from small, locally owned stores to major banks, insurers, manufacturers, health care providers and even airlines — and, as a result, our own security as well. 

This means we never stop innovating. Our work puts us at the cutting edge of technology, and the opportunity individuals have here to advance our skills, make important contributions to the technology, and constantly learn and grow is incomparable. On a daily basis, we are interacting with machine learning and artificial intelligence, containers, the serverless cloud, data science and security. I don’t know of another company in this market where you can come in and work on all these advancing technologies at once, or make such a substantial impact on our digital way of life. 

Not only that, but working here is the best of both worlds: You have the stability of a major corporation that still operates like a startup. The dynamism and ability to innovate here are tremendous, and we’re encouraged to share our ideas and follow our intuition. I’ve never experienced a company like this; it’s the perfect combination of disruption and meaningful work. We’re not in the business of small — we’re in the business of protecting the world as we know it.

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