Today’s enterprise networks are increasingly distributed with more unique operational and compliance requirements than ever before. This creates many challenges in applying consistent policy enforcement, cross platform visibility, and unified prevention, detection and response. Organizations of all sizes are seeing the rapid introduction of new network edges as they implement remote working, hybrid cloud solutions, edge computing and a host of other digital transformation initiatives. As a result of highly distributed networks, a growing and very real issue is gaps in visibility of these network edges and increased management complexity. To prevent these issues, adaptive cloud security solutions must be able to readily adapt to address the changing business requirements and the growing demand for greater agility, innovation and user experience.
Networks and security have always followed the compute which was previously centered on mainframes and then servers in enterprise data centers. Today, the compute is highly distributed across hybrid networks, spanning private and shared infrastructures from homes, branch offices, and enterprise data centers to multiple service provider clouds. Organizations need to ensure their network is application aware and highly adaptive – allowing users to access cloud resources without having to be routed back to central data centers. SD-WAN adoption is driven by the growth of hybrid cloud solutions and the new reality of highly distributed networks and remote working. Likewise, security needs to shift to securing all network edges – at speed and scale, on demand.
Going forward, cloud security solutions need to support Zero Trust principles and operate as integrated solutions with flexible form factors and consumption models. Security needs to be end-to-end, following data and applications wherever they may be located rather than tied to a traditional perimeter that defines trust based on whether something is “inside” or “outside” of a network perimeter.
Edge computing is driving enterprises and service providers to deploy more distributed and more localized, regional clouds close to where the end-user or device leveraging the applications and data reside. Locating the processing and storage close to where the data is being used delivers a number of benefits, including better network performance and lower cost as less traffic has to be routed to core clouds. However, this can introduce complexities that negatively affect operations and security. To prevent this from occurring, enterprises need solutions that can provide security for these new edges and facilitate seamless network performance, which means integrated Secure SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
Additionally, cloud security systems must also include artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions that can gather and analyze large amounts of data to identify threats before or the moment they occur. Solutions must also be automated to make processes faster and more accurate, ensuring the maximum level of response by all relevant resources.
Delivering better outcomes and experiences require integrated security on all network edges – including the LAN, WAN and cloud edges. It requires the network, security and compute function to work as an integrated solution rather than traditionally siloed operations. Driving outcomes and experiences requires the application awareness of Secure SD-WAN to ensure optimized WAN access to cloud resources along with a best-in-class next generation firewall security stack. In addition, this must be natively integrated with cloud platforms to ensure a secure, seamless interaction. Single transactions can span many systems and applications, involving possibly multiple network edges, which all need to be protected. Security needs to be consistently applied on all network edges and it needs to be done in an automated, adaptive manner that meets changing requirements across networking, security and compute.
Cloud security also needs to be capable of adapting to changing customer needs and digital innovation strategies as they evolve their security networks. Organizations are increasingly replacing traditional router-based, hub and spoke networks that back-haul traffic back to the data center with application aware Secure SD-WAN solutions to optimize network performance, lower costs and drive better end user experiences while implementing integrated security. Secure SD-WAN consolidates technologies and reduces complexity, while ensuring edge-to-edge security visibility and control.
In addition to issues of compatibility, a comprehensive and integrated security strategy also has challenges in terms of speed and scale. The volume, velocity and variety of new data generated will be greater than ever before – especially as edge compute ramps up using 5G networks generating more data than central clouds and 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 solutions, especially cloud-based ones, will struggle to keep pace. Security solutions not designed for highly encrypted, high-speed networks will create serious roadblocks for organizations.
An adaptive cloud security strategy enables security that follows application and data, as well as can be adapted to any cloud, deployment, and consumption model. As organizations increase their cloud maturity and expand their networks, there’s a need for solutions that can grow and adapt with changing technologies and business requirements. Organizations are realizing the importance of converging security, network, and computing, breaking down disparate operational siloes to truly reap the benefits of the cloud without compromising security and user experience.
Learn how Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions provide increased visibility and control across cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from data center to cloud.