Before their Defense.com™ SaaS platform was launched, Bulletproof were primarily focused on penetration testing, vulnerability scanning and managed SIEM services, with their technology stack hosted in a private data center on their own purchased hardware. They mainly deployed virtual machines, alongside bare metal for services that had more intense performance demands, such as their Security Information and Event Monitoring platform (SIEM).
When building Defense.com™ and moving to a SaaS service model Bulletproof knew it was time to look at a more modern way to manage their infrastructure. Defense.com incorporates many different modules within its packages and each one of these has a unique requirement for how it utilizes infrastructure and needs to scale. This led to Defense.com moving to a microservices approach for each module - which required a complete re-think of its technology strategy.
As a cybersecurity company naturally security was at the very top of the list for Defense.com™.
Challenging Compliance mandates
As customers expect a compliance-first approach, Defense.com™ needs a partner that can help maintain their high compliance commitments.
As companies rely on Defense.com™ to protect them from cyber threats, their services require extremely high uptime to ensure their customers stay protected at all times.
Many of Defense.com™ security modules require high performance capabilities, especially with respect to disk I/O. For example their SIEM logging platform ingests in excess of 80 million logs per day.
As one of the world’s fastest growing cybersecurity companies, Defense.com™requires the ability to rapidly scale their infrastructure as more customers come on board.
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How Civo helped
Defense.com™ evaluated many of the hyperscale providers such as AWS, but repeatedly came across barriers to entry. The number of products and complexity was overwhelming and they needed some guidance on their future technology choices.
CEO Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh said “One of the hardest challenges was speaking to someone that understood the unique requirements that hosting Defense.com™ presented, with most hyperscale providers preferring to push their customers through consulting partners, it was just very hard to get a conversation started”
Understanding the huge range of different products and the price lists that hyperscale providers offered was also very daunting, and what we really needed was some simple advice to guide our technology choices and confirm some of our own thinking.”
Pinson-Roxburgh added, “We came across Civo. I'd previously heard from a colleague about the good things they were doing and we were immediately drawn to the fact Civo only focused on cloud-native technologies, and more specifically Kubernetes.
From our first engagement Civo was able to offer the advice and support we needed, which allowed us to confirm our thoughts that Kubernetes was the right technology choice for us.”
In close collaboration with our tech teams and cloud native consultants, Civo carried out a proof of concept with the Defense.com™ DevOps team.
Pinson-Roxbugh explained “For the PoC we were hugely impressed when Civo set up a direct Slack Connect channel so we could directly and easily interact with their SRE team. We then worked closely with their cloud native experts, many of whom are CNCF ambassadors.This was very comforting given they are directly involved with the CNCF and steering the future of Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies.”
As a critical step of their supplier evaluation process, Defense.com™ carried out an extensive black and white box penetration test of the Civo public cloud infrastructure. Their penetration testing team, used to testing Fortune 500 companies, were very impressed with the design decisions taken to ensure tenant segregation at all levels.
One of Civo’s core objectives is to help improve productivity for companies. It’s our belief that if we can help companies build, test and deploy applications quicker, then it will directly improve their revenue and bottom line. Civo can launch a full Kubernetes cluster in less than 90 seconds, which is far quicker than our rivals. Our team is even working hard to reduce this further, with a goal of getting this to under 30 seconds.
Defense.com had some unique requirements, such as running large numbers of vulnerability scans for their clients. Sometimes only a handful of scans might be running, but at other times thousands could be active depending on the time of day and number of systems scanned simultaneously. Civo needed to demonstrate how quickly we could scale on-demand, which was set as one of the key success measurements for the PoC.
Pinson-Roxbough added, “The proof of concept was a huge success, not only were they able to meet our 5 key objectives for security, reliability performance and scalability - they also exceeded our expectations when it came to demonstrating the ease of using their platform and how fast you can launch a fully operational Kubernetes cluster compared to rival providers.
This additional agility made them the clear choice for us, especially given the ephemeral nature of the way some of our services work.
We also love that their community are clearly security advocates and bring the latest Kubernetes security best practices to life.
Pinson-Roxbugh summarised: “The simplicity of Civo is a key strength of theirs, many providers we evaluated made things extremely complicated in terms of the sheer amount of products offered, the barriers to entry in getting started, and overly complex metered billing models.
We’re very happy to have found Civo and their simple approach to cloud native hosting.”
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Products and tools used
Defense.com™ takes advantage of a number of different Civo products and tooling. They are also big users of some third-party automation tools.