Yes, there are security ramifications to serverless computing

 

Yes, there are security ramifications to serverless computing

With three in five enterprises now going or planning to go serverless, the attack surface widens.

At least one in five organizations, 21%, have implemented serverless computing as part of their cloud-based infrastructure. That’s the finding of a recent survey of 108 IT managers conducted by Datamation. Another 39% are planning or considering serverless resources.

The question is, will serverless computing soon gain critical mass, used by a majority of enterprises? Along with this, what are the ramifications for security?

Existing on-premises systems and applications — you can call some of them “legacy” — still require more traditional care and feeding. Even existing cloud-based applications are still structured around the more serverful mode of development and delivery.

That’s what many enterprises are dealing with now — loads of traditional applications to manage even while they begin a transition to serverless mode. Again, even if applications or systems are in the cloud, that still is closer to traditional IT than serverless on the continuum, says Marc Feghali, founder and VP product management for Attivo Networks. “Traditional IT architectures use a server infrastructure, that requires managing the systems and services required for an application to function,” he says. It doesn’t matter if the servers happen to be on-premises or cloud-based. “The application must always be running, and the organization must spin up other instances of the application to handle more load which tends to be resource-intensive.”

Serverless architecture goes much deeper than traditional cloud arrangements, which are still modeled on the serverful model. Serverless, Feghali says, is more granular, “focusing instead on having the infrastructure provided by a third party, with the organization only providing the code for the applications broken down into functions that are hosted by the third party. This allows the application to scale based on function usage. It’s more cost-effective since the third-party charges for how often the application uses the function, instead of having the application running all the time.”

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