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Case Study: Large University

The Company

The size and complexity of a large public University, providing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) to their internal customers was imperative.  The University moved to adopt a cloud strategy that would allow each of their departments the freedom to deploy and manage their environments with the goal to improve the innovation and unique methodology of each department.

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The Pain

With providing the capabilities and services found in the public cloud and allowing each customer to adopt the cloud as they need, the capabilities and knowledge around security from each customer could vary.  This posed a security risk to the University as policy and policy adoption could be inconsistent from customer to customer.  The University wanted to create a POC (proof of concept) that would test the ability to manage, deploy policies and actuate controls from a single department.  Capabilities would include, but not be limited to, monitoring logs, removing compromised resources from environments and implementing policy across all the cloud accounts.

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The Solution

Bird Rock Systems architected and created a POC that allowed the security team to perform the functions needed by simply typing commands through an API.  One of the goals was to remove the need to make the security team become cloud experts and allow them to focus on responding to security threats. With the use of automation on AWS (Amazon Web Services), the security team could aggregate logs from existing and new accounts, identify compromised resources within each customer account and quarantine resources that were targets of security breaches.

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The Outcome

Through the actions performed by Bird Rock Systems, the University leveraged the approach of a centralized security hub that provided security as a service to their departments. The POC’s purpose was to check whether this approach would align with the needs and competencies of the business while not hindering the speed at which they can innovate on the cloud. With the automation implemented by Bird Rock Systems and ease to adapt by the University security team, the decision on how to move forward was clear.

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