Secure hybrid and multi-cloud clouds with virtualized network firewalls
Businesses are looking to realize the promises of cloud computing, including faster time to market, increased responsiveness, and cost reductions. As part of this, many organizations use two or more clouds to meet business needs such as disaster recovery, data backup, application resiliency, and global coverage. In fact, 76% of organizations use two or more cloud providers.2 And according to the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud report, “93% of companies have a multi-cloud strategy” while “87% have a hybrid cloud strategy”. As a result, it can introduce complexities without the right cloud security solutions capable of securing any cloud environment.
Hybrid cloud brings a myriad of challenges
Organizations consume the cloud differently during their migration, and they can choose a variety of hybrid cloud infrastructure and services. But the implementation of disparate services and solutions, such as multi-cloud and hybrid environments, Software-as-a-Service (Saas), Platform-as-a-Service (Paas), with their various applications and points termination, introduces implementation, management, and security challenges. The biggest challenge introduced by these disparate solutions is the lack of visibility and control needed to keep applications and devices secure and connected from the user to the data center to the cloud. Network engineering and operations managers know that the lack of complete visibility into encrypted data and control over a network infrastructure that spans applications, data, users, and many edges of the network can open up the whole of the organization to vulnerabilities. Applying patches to disconnected ad hoc security products running in silos on the network only makes matters worse. The average business uses 75 different security solutions, many of which only address a single attack vector or a specific compliance requirement. All of this translates into an unruly and ineffective security posture.
The continued increase in cloud computing providers and the exponential growth of SaaS, combined with the increase in remote work, has meant that the locations of data creation and its storage have moved away from the corporate data center. And with the rapid proliferation of the mobile workforce, multiple public and private clouds, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, network attack surfaces have expanded dramatically and created more blind spots obscuring the visibility of threats.
Managing and securing all of these different private and public cloud workloads and environments is no easy task. Few IT teams have the expertise or the bandwidth to handle a mixed deployment of multiple public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises environments. Many organizations connect their clouds using the WAN edge of their on-premises data center, using SD-WAN for example. For these cloud connections, businesses need solutions, like Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, to ensure network performance without compromising security.
Secure the hybrid cloud with a platform approach
Despite the many benefits, hybrid cloud environments add additional layers of management complexity, especially with moving applications and millions of endpoints. Security at the application level, across the network, and in hybrid cloud environments must be based on a modular platform approach to address each layer.
The building blocks of a successful modular security infrastructure include:
- Visibility: You can’t detect, protect, or fix problems if you can’t see what’s going on inside your network. Isolated tools mask this visibility. Instead, every component, whether it’s network or security, must work together as a single, unified solution.
- Awareness: Organizations are inundated with data. The best way to use this data and keep it secure is to use artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to bring it all together, analyze, correlate and make sense of it for quick action when problems arise. or attacks.
- Controls: Control requires being able to take action anytime and anywhere to minimize the impact of a threat anywhere.
But don’t give up on the firewall
Network firewalls are an essential part of a strong cloud strategy. They enable security-focused networking and provide extensive, integrated and automated protection against emerging and sophisticated threats and ultimately provide protection in the cloud, with the cloud (s) and between clouds.
Virtualization / Public Cloud Support: Enterprise firewall platforms must support Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with full functionality and management parity between virtual and network versions. ‘appliance. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud should be explicitly supported at the IaaS level and should have PaaS support on their roadmaps.
Application Awareness / Control: The firewall should be able to inspect and block individual application subcomponents / services.
Advanced networking support: integrations with WAN acceleration, SD-WAN interoperability (API level), IPv6 functionality, application-based quality of service (QoS), and performance routing based on applications.
External Threat Intelligence Streams: The ability to ingest third-party and first-party threat intelligence streams can dramatically increase the effectiveness of blocking decisions.
Secure SD-WAN: The firewall must be able to provide a secure, transparent and superior quality of experience to applications on hybrid and multi-cloud clouds. Ideally, this is supported by a cybersecurity platform that provides consistent policies and orchestration across the range of hybrids and multi-clouds deployed.
Deploying virtualized firewalls in public cloud IaaS instances can pose a unique set of challenges (scalability and high availability) due to the major differences in how routing and switching is implemented in the public cloud by compared to traditional IP networks. Enterprise firewalls must support the following to meet this challenge.
To learn Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions provide the necessary visibility and control over cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from the data center to the cloud.
Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.