The cloud is everywhere and organizations are using the cloud in one way or another. The majority of organizations have a dynamic cloud environment, with workloads spread across public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. As organizations develop their cloud and digital innovation strategy, the primary goals typically are to accelerate revenue, improve agility and time to market and reduce costs. But that’s not all. The cloud also improves organizations’ ability to deliver critical services to customers, enhances the productivity and user experience and enables organizations to compete more effectively in today’s global digital marketplace.
From a security perspective, however, cloud environments could also expand the potential attack surface if the proper cloud security isn’t in place. Public clouds, for example, can represent a unique risk because many organizations do not have the experience or expertise needed to secure these unique environments. According to one recent Gartner report, “Through 2025, 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”
Because each cloud strategy is unique, organizations can quickly experience vendor and solution sprawl trying to protect each new solution. This makes the deployment and management of their cloud security strategy a logistical nightmare. The challenges of a multi-cloud environment, the subsequent increased attack surface and the growing cybersecurity skills gap all come together to raise the overall risk level of the organization.
Organizations need to deploy cloud security solutions that provide advanced security for all cloud environments, from private clouds and virtual networks to public multi-cloud environments, as well as SaaS solutions – and every hybrid combination between them. The primary security issues that any organizations’ cloud strategy should address include:
Consistent Network Security: Every cloud environment is an extension of the network, and needs to receive the same level of protection. This is why organizations need a security platform that extends to their cloud. This integrated platform should consist of integrated security tools, including NGFW functionality (firewall, IDS/IPS, web filtering, antivirus/antimalware, and sandboxing, to name a few), dynamic intent-based segmentation, VPN, and application control. Only through seamless integration can organizations establish consistent policy distribution and enforcement everywhere instances of their network are deployed.
Deep Application Security: Employees, contractors and customers need instant access to data and other resources through business applications. The rapid development and adoption of business applications in the cloud brings its own unique risks. To address this challenge, organizations need advanced security for web applications to further remove risks from an expanding attack surface.
Platform Visibility and Control: The overhead related to deploying and managing these cloud environments is especially taxing given the growing lack of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Security offerings need to be able to provide configuration management and monitoring, tracking of account activities, traffic analysis to address things like connectivity and anomalous behaviors, data security that includes inspecting data at rest for malicious content, and reporting on the cloud environment’s state of compliance with relevant regulations.
Unified Management: Another critical component of an organizations’ cloud strategy is to have single-pane-of-glass management for their consoles and workflows. This unified management, configuration, remediation and analysis streamlines operations to ensure consistent policy enforcement, along with deep visibility into workflows so issues that would otherwise be obscured by traditionally isolated cloud environments can be seen and addressed.
Customers need to be able to confidently roll out their cloud strategy without concerns of cloud specific security risks and vulnerabilities. It’s critical that security solutions protect any cloud environment from multiple threat vectors and the entire range of exploits, both old and new.
The goal is to ensure that any cloud environment and any application receives the same security, anywhere they are deployed or used without hindering agility and scalability. No matter how fast or far an organization’s cloud footprint expands, a unified management ensures that security, visibility and control are always available.
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.