Business & Technology

Integration Everywhere: Adaptive Cloud Security Solutions to Protect All Environments

By Jonathan Nguyen-Duy | January 29, 2021

Modern enterprise networks are diverse and often span multiple environments, each with its own unique requirements and standards. Securing each network ecosystem independently creates a challenge for consistent policy enforcement, transparency, and unified orchestration and response. Organizations are tasked with securing multiple network edges, often in hybrid cloud environments, while maintaining consistent, unified security operations. Fortinet’s Adaptive Cloud Security portfolio enables organizations to protect all their applications, data, and workloads regardless if they’re on-premises, or in multiple clouds.

Requirements for Your Cloud Security Strategy

A similar challenge is trying to secure each edge while trying to impose a unified security policy. Single transactions can span many different applications and workflows, so security needs to be consistently applied at each point across the fabric—on the LAN, WAN, and cloud edges. Any and all dynamic connections need to be reliable and secure, from the data center to the cloud, between clouds, as well as among branch offices. Thus, cloud security needs to readily adapt to changing customer needs and digital innovation strategies as they evolve. Security should be consistent across private clouds and public clouds.

In order to optimize network performance, organizations are increasingly replacing traditional router-based networks that back-haul traffic back to data center with application aware SD-WAN solutions. SD-WAN solutions utilize broad network visibility and application awareness to select the optimal WAN access methodology.

In addition to issues of compatibility, a comprehensive and integrated security strategy also has challenges in terms of speed and scale. It’s clear that the volume, velocity and variety of new data generated will be greater than ever before – stretching the limits of traditional security solutions. Cloud security solutions will need to support new, high speed connections and hyper-scale operations. 5G, with its ultra-high speeds and highly reliable connections, is rolling out globally, and most network security—especially cloud security solutions—are struggling to keep pace. But what most leaders don’t realize is that this is just the opening salvo. New, higher performance, higher frequency 5G (mmWave)—and the technologies needed to make it practical—is just around the corner. And according to some reports, 6G, with its terabytes per second performance, will be here by the end of the decade. Security solutions not designed for high-speed environments will create serious roadblocks for organizations looking to meet increasing end user and consumer demands for performance.

Security at scale requires consistent policies and enforcement across the highly distributed networks – across multiple LAN, WAN and cloud edges. 

Here are three future-forward business imperatives for cloud security solutions:

  1. Integration everywhere: Traditionally, security always follows the compute which was previously centered on main frames and then servers in enterprise data centers. Today, the compute is highly distributed across hybrid networks, spanning private and shared infrastructures from homes, and branch offices to service provider clouds. Cloud security solutions need to support zero trust principles and operate as integrated solutions with flexible form factors and consumption models. Protection is not just about cloud but needs to be end-to-end, following data and applications wherever they may be located rather than tied to a traditional perimeter that defines an “inside” or “outside” of a network. The Fortinet Security Fabric provides the broad, integrated and automated capabilities required for hybrid networks. 
  2. Security and network convergence: Digital transformation has shifted the focus of enterprise businesses and public sector organizations to business outcomes and customer experiences. This requires network performance and security to work as an integrated solution because outcomes and experiences require optimized network access and security. Gartner refers to this as “total experience” (TX), which is the convergence of customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and user experience (UX) within a multi-experience environment. For this reason, enterprises have begun to implement more distributed and more regionalized clouds closest to where the end-user or device leveraging the applications and data reside; this is also referred to as “edge computing” by Gartner. As such, TX depends on a high-performance, highly integrated network, and that needs to be secure at every touchpoint. A risk extending into compute edges is the introduction of complexities that negatively affect customers’ operations and security. As a result, enterprises must look to solutions that allow them to maintain control, visibility, and operational efficiency at the same time. Effective cloud security solutions must secure the cloud, as well as facilitate seamless network performance, which means integrated Secure SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
  3. AI: Unfortunately, it’s not only users and businesses that will operate across multiple network environments at 5G+ speeds. And so will cybercriminals. The speed at which a network can be breached, a payload can be delivered, or targeted data can be exfiltrated will accelerate, and most legacy solutions are unprepared to identify and respond swiftly enough. This is especially true when different segments of the network are protected by isolated, hybrid security solutions that do not see or share information with other security devices deployed on other network platforms. To keep up, cloud security systems must include AI- and ML-based solutions that can gather and analyze vast amounts of data to pinpoint threats as close to—or even before—the moment of impact. And it must be coupled with automation—the application of advanced technologies like AI, ML, and Process Mining to make automated processes faster and more accurate—ensure the maximum level of response by all relevant resources.

Fortinet’s Adaptive Cloud Security

Secure organizations of the future must realize now the importance of converging and uniting security, network, and computing regardless of where and how their applications and data reside or are deployed rather than purchasing and maintaining traditional, disparate operational siloes. Hyperperformance, hyperconvergence, and hyperautomation that can span increasingly distributed and dynamic networks—and that are augmented with advanced intelligence—are quickly becoming the new standards for competing in the rapidly evolving digital economy, and unified security solutions are here to keep them secure. Fortinet’s Adaptive Cloud Security products and solutions can help with this and more.

Learn how Fortinet’s dynamic cloud security solutions provide increased visibility and control across cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from data center to cloud.