Cloud computing brought with it an “always on” world. You can work from anywhere, access your data from anywhere, collaborate with remote teammates and store just about anything up on the cloud. Application servers, email servers, and database servers also shifted to the cloud, allowing for high availability, redundancy, and on-demand access. With these factors came the need for adaptive cloud security as the cloud platforms – no surprises there – became another avenue for hackers to target.
Our in-depth article on cloud security explains why businesses shifted to the cloud, the basics of cloud security and introduces the concept of NGFWs (Next-Gen Firewalls). Now we discuss about adaptive cloud security, the need for it, and some considerations you need to look out for.
Should you be worrying about adaptive cloud security?
The short answer is yes. You might not be using cloud platforms for your own work or even be in the tech industry. But we are willing to bet you use emails, and collaborative solutions like Microsoft Office365 and are using a data storage solution to maintain your customers’ data.
It would be a fair assumption to make that the vendors you are employing for these services have shifted to the cloud themselves.
Therefore, for the sake of your security, it is important to know about adaptive cloud security and understand how you can enforce it in your organization, whichever industry you belong to. It would be very dangerous to presume the vendors will take care of it themselves. And of course, if you are using the cloud yourself, what’s coming next is critical for you to understand.
Understanding the Components for Adaptive Cloud Security
The cloud is somewhat an abstract concept. You cannot reach out and touch it. It is a server providing either storage or some other facility it is designed for (like email), over the Internet.
Although it keeps you “always on”, cloud services are themselves never “always on” and are provided on-demand, whenever you need them, wherever you need them, and however much you need them. They are flexible, and you as a customer can decide upon the limits of cloud usage, which can be updated on the fly. Of course, a cloud does not serve just anybody; services are rendered only to authenticated requests, handled internally between the cloud server and the receiving application.
With such a robust and dynamic application, adaptive cloud security can seem very complex and convoluted.
However, when you look at cloud security from a network security perspective, you can understand the basic components you will need to protect. In a nutshell, every network communication needs at least three components: the two communicating entities (sender and receiver) and the communication channel which relays this information back and forth.
The ‘talking’ entities – the sender and the receiver – are two components in the network communication. The communication channel itself is one of the components, the chauffer driving the celebrities back and forth in their high-speed cars.
The number of components and their interactions will grow more complex as the complexity in the application of the cloud increases, but these basic components will be ever-present. And will always need to be secured with proper adaptive cloud security.
If the endpoints are corrupted / hacked, the entire network can be compromised. Similarly, if the communication channel is breached, it can allow the hacker illegal entry into the entire network. Imagine if you wanted to update a customer’s phone number but instead of an update request a hacker intercepted your request, altered your request, and injected his own delete request. The customer’s record would be wiped off.
That’s why securing every network component becomes crucial.
Adaptive Cloud Security for All Your Network Edges
In cloud networking terms, a network edge is the point in the network where an endpoint interfaces with the internet.
For optimal performance of the cloud platform, all network edges need to be protected by adaptive cloud security – including the LAN, WAN and cloud network edges. All the edges need to fuse together to provide an integrated cloud computing solution, rather each edge becoming an independent component that just lends its services where needed.
For better cloud performance, optimized access to cloud resources secured by an NGFW is inevitable.
But apart from the access, the cloud itself needs to be integrated with the cloud firewalls which will provide an enveloped, total cloud security. You may never know the number of network edges involved in a simple cloud request, because the cloud service provider is in charge of the cloud architecture and may have set it up with lots of intermediate network components.
All of these network edges have to protected, as a breach at any one network edge can compromise the full network.
Understanding ‘Adaptive’ of Adaptive Cloud Security
Like we discussed, cloud resources are allocated on-demand. The limits are highly flexible and are ever changing in a dynamic business environment.
That’s why cloud security needs to be optimized in an automated, adaptive fashion to meet changing requirements of network design, cloud security and computing powers.
Adaptive cloud security is also capable of successfully catering to changing customer needs and innovation of security networks.
A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is an advancement of the traditional WAN architecture that allows several communicating entities to converge on a central hub. SD-WANs are more flexible than traditional WANs, are more secure, and dynamically scalable.
Organizations are more inclined to replace traditional router-based WANs that back-haul traffic back to the data centre with SD-WAN solutions. It optimizes network performance, lowers the network costs, and brings better customer satisfaction.
SD-WANs are also more suitable for embracing adaptive cloud security than traditional WANs, which are more rigid and hence harder to secure.
Futuristic Considerations for Adaptive Cloud Security
1. A cloud security strategy needs to address the challenges of scale. Networks are growing wider, the advanced ones covering entire nations and providing flawless performance. Adaptive cloud security can accommodate the growing scale of a network.
2. A cloud security strategy needs to address the challenges of speed. Network speeds are blowing up like anything, with the introduction of 5G changing the whole game. Adaptive cloud security can tackle the rapid speeds of advanced networks.
3. Generated data is going to inflate. Faster networks create large volumes of data. This data needs to be stored securely on the cloud as it is a go-to attack point for hackers. Adaptive cloud security can handle this rising volume of data.
Implementing an adaptive cloud security strategy
Technology always caters to those willing to adapt fast. It is not a question of whether you should adapt but how fast you should adapt. Networking is going to grow more powerful by data, providing staggering speeds and performance. If your cloud security does not adapt to the changing environment of ultra-high speeds, high encryption, and tremendous storage, your business will face interruptions, period.
If you are looking to implement an adaptive cloud security strategy, Logix can help. We offer cloud firewall and NGFW services. Contact us with your requirements and we’ll fine-tune our solution to your needs.