Going Cloud: Start by rethinking your networking and security

Published on 28 Aug 2020

Embarking on a Digital Transformation Journey? You’re Not Alone.

To keep up with the rapidly changing needs of today’s digital businesses and to establish a competitive edge, many organizations are adopting a cloud-first mindset. This comes as no surprise, as the cloud offers a multitude of attractive benefits – unlimited scalability, agility, efficiency, and more. This trend parallels the need for mobility. With the growing popularity of bring your own device (BYOD) policies and remote employees, organizations are benefiting from the real-time collaboration and anywhere, anytime productivity. 

Adopting these game-changing trends, although attractive and a business imperative, can introduce all sorts of challenges from both a security and networking perspective. With outdated, legacy approaches to both, organizations have trouble consistently enforcing security measures and network policies across their increasingly distributed enterprises. Managing both functions is also overwhelmingly complex, often compromising the benefits that spurred cloud and mobile adoption in the first place. As a result, it is imperative for organizations to rethink their security and networking strategies to better support cloud-and mobile-centric environments.

Modern Security Challenges

The unprecedented volume and types of advanced cyberattacks or vulnerabilities that exist today are forcing organizations to rethink their approach to network security. Moreover, applications continue to move out of data centers, and users have become increasingly mobile. Thus, the public Internet has become the de-facto network that connects users to their apps and to one another. But how do organizations secure a network they no longer control?

It’s difficult to keep up with new security demands because: 

  • Users and the apps they are seeking don’t necessarily reside within the enterprise, therefore making legacy security approaches insufficient. 
  • Threats evolve constantly, and to catch zero-day exploits before they hit the network, it is impossible to rely on signatures alone.
  •  The majority of unresolved threats come from the Internet, so the most effective place to handle security is in the cloud between the users and the web.

The key takeaway is that legacy approaches to securing today’s distributed enterprise introduce complexity and compromise. For example, hub-and-spoke architectures—where all Internet traffic is backhauled to one central location like a data center—lead to increased network latency, degraded application performance, and subpar user experiences. On the other hand, building perimeters and deploying security appliances in every business location creates appliance sprawl, extra costs, and increased management complexity that may compromise security measures

Limitations of Legacy Networks

The shift to cloud and mobile has put new demands and pressures on legacy networks, too. Unfortunately, traditional networking technologies were designed for decade-old architectures and are incapable of supporting the complexity and scale of today’s modern, distributed businesses. Consequently, enterprise IT teams are unsuccessful in delivering the digital experiences that today’s users expect. 

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