Cloud Security – A fresh lens is needed

Cloud computing is pervasive. Most organisations are leveraging a flavour, or several flavours of the cloud to conduct their business. Despite cloud computing being commonplace, there still remains confusion about migrating to the cloud. Many wonder whether a firewall is still needed after their data and applications are housed in the cloud. There also exists some confusion about the difference between cloud security and cloud firewalls – and the distinction is an important one.

Cloud applications have their own security protection; however, security offered by cloud providers may not suffice. Organisations must take a fresh look at their approach toward cloud security. We strongly recommend that organisations leverage cloud firewalls. Before we discuss what a cloud firewall is and what are some of the reasons organisations must use one, let’s revisit what a firewall is.

 

What is a firewall?

Firewalls, for a long time, have been a standard security tool. A firewall is a security product which serves to filter out malicious traffic. It tracks and controls data flow by identifying the domains that traffic comes from and the ports it travels to. Firewalls have traditionally run in between a trusted internal network and an untrusted network, for instance, between a private network and the Internet. Firewalls were traditionally physical appliances connected to an organisation’s on-premises infrastructure. Firewalls either prohibited or permitted network traffic according to an internal set of rules. The function of the firewall is still the same. 

The last ten years has seen an astronomical increase in cloud computing deployment. With cloud computing experiencing unprecedented growth, the division between a trusted network and the larger Internet has vanished. This has led to the need for cloud firewalls that create a virtual barrier between untrusted Internet traffic and trusted cloud assets.

 

What is a cloud firewall?

A cloud firewall is a cloud-deployed, software-based network device, which serves to monitor and prevent unauthorised access to cloud applications, infrastructure, and platforms. This is not to be confused with a virtual firewall that is built to protect a device or local network (e.g. Windows Firewall). Cloud firewalls are designed with cloud architecture in mind and serve in ways that physical firewalls cannot.

Enterprise-grade cloud firewalls are on par with next-generation on-prem firewalls: they also provide connection management, filtering between client devices and the cloud, and advanced access policies.

Even if your primary concern is a local network: cloud firewalls can work with or instead of a hardware-based firewall to protect your local network.

 

Why does my business need a cloud firewall?

The answer to ‘Why do I need a firewall’ is a simple one: cyber crime never sleeps. 

So why does your business need a cloud firewall, specifically? 

The digital transformation needed to facilitate work-from-home has ushered traditional firewalls into question. Remote working means most of our data is accessed through the cloud. Cyber attacks are directed at staff working remotely and the cloud resources they access daily. A physical firewall on a local network is helpless in most of these scenarios.

 

Our top 9 reasons to choose a cloud firewall are:

1. Automatic Updates

Cloud firewalls allow for automated, real-time updates. The most dangerous cyber threat is an unknown threat. Delaying an update by a mere twenty-four hours increases the chance that a new flavour of threat will impact your organisation.

2. Availability

True high availability requires backup infrastructure, always-on power systems, and automated backup and failover in case of an incident. High availability is expensive to achieve within your network; a cloud firewall means affordable availability.

3. Branch Office Management

Physical firewalls are ideal for a single, large office location, from a time and economy perspective. If you have multiple, small branch offices, deploying a physical box for each site is comparatively expensive and hard to manage. On the other hand, using cloud firewalls for multiple sites keeps cost-per-user controlled.

4. Easy Deployment

Cloud firewalls are easy to deploy due to their software-defined nature. Successive deployments can be scripted to improve accuracy and reduce deployment time; vendor support is easier to obtain than with traditional firewalls.

5. Identity and Access Management

Cloud firewalls have taken their place as the new perimeter of data security. Cloud firewalls help assess the difference between human traffic and a bot attack. Such advanced verification of digital identity assists in determining further access to data and the entire network infrastructure.

6. Scalability

Hardware-based firewalls have physical limitations which do not scale beyond a certain number of users or specified traffic volume. Cloud firewalls have potentially unlimited scale, like most cloud services. Your firewall service can grow as your organisation grows, rather than having to buy a new box.

7. Migration Security

A cloud firewall filters traffic from all kinds of sources: the web; virtual networks; virtual data centres; and between different tenants. Cloud firewalls guarantee the security of connections between the cloud and your physical data centres, which is vital when migrating solutions from on-prem to the cloud.

8. Performance Management

Cloud firewalls provide tools for controlling performance, visibility, usage, configuration, and logging – and typically with a much more user-friendly interface than a physical firewall.

9. Remote Management

Many of our customers partially or fully outsource their IT operations and support. Cloud firewalls are ideal for an organisation that prefers an external IT support model, as the physical location of the firewall administrator is completely immaterial.

 

Are you looking for a managed firewall solution for your business?

We combine seamless security tools with highly authorised cloud environments to safeguard your organisation from potential threats. Our proactive cybersecurity services secure your network against access from unauthorised users.

Moreover, our cloud storage backs up all your data, so in a disaster, you are up and running in no time. Not only this, we even target your team to assess if they need extra training or support.

If you think our cloud firewall services align with your company’s requirements, please get in touch.