With the launch of the Amazon AWS Marketplace the promise of change for how cloud apps products are sold, consumed and used is very real. What the app store did for phone apps, the marketplace could do for cloud apps.  This could be especially so for cloud security.

In the case of Alert Logic’s Amazon Marketplace offerings, the integration of provisioning and billing into the EC2 infrastructure will make it easier than ever to use these best-in-class offerings. But let’s face it, there are other security offerings available in the marketplace as well.  What kind of changes will the marketplace bring?

Some folks say it could lead to the commoditization of cloud security. If I have a multitude of IDS solutions for instance to choose from, how do I pick or even do I care which one I pick.  Do I read the reviews of other users? Look at the star rating of the app? I think for a certain segment of the market, yes that is how they are going to pick their cloud security. But security is also somewhat unique.

For an analogy let’s look at the firewall market. Even though there are many choices in the firewall market, there are customers who pick and choose among the many options based on their own unique needs. The same will hold true to picking cloud security in the marketplace.

Customers are going to look at what is delivered. Ease of provisioning, ease of billing and perhaps most of all what kind of support options are available are going to be big factors. For more sophisticated buyers, the scalability and design of the solution will come into play.

For Alert Logic this is frankly what they have been pointing to for some time.  The Threat Manager solution available in the Amazon AWS Marketplace was designed to run in the cloud for the cloud. It features a multi-tenant back end that is scalable to public cloud levels of use.  The integration into the IaaS infrastructure of the Amazon EC2 is deep, with provisioning and billing working seamlessly with Amazon’s own services via an Alert Logic developed API. But most of all, Alert Logic has the security research team and expertise to make your security and compliance burden a lot lighter.

Managed services and security support will prove to be the killer app of the marketplace for cloud security.  Making security as easy to provision and pay for is a great start, but many customers need help in the day to day operation and management of their security and compliance solutions.  Security-as-a-Service as Alert Logic calls it will allow their solutions to stand out from the marketplace crowd and become the preferred cloud security solution available.

Cloud Marketplaces and app stores will continue to make cloud security solutions available to customers. The differences between them may cloud (no pun intended) from one solution to the other. But there is no substitute for support in security. Managed security services will separate the leaders from the also rans in the security marketplace.

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