Taking a Security-First Approach to Cloud Migration

Sponsored by Comcast Business

Cloud is no longer a futuristic, aspirational technology for enterprise organizations. It has become the norm for both the agility it provides and its potential cost efficiencies. Private, public, hybrid, off-prem, and on-prem, the list of options for cloud migration is deep and wide. The shift to the cloud has only quickened as enterprises work to optimize their networks to support a more distributed workforce.

Cloud-based applications have enabled you to work from anywhere—your corporate HQ, branch office, home office, or even the park. Depending on where you used to host these resources, likely on-prem and within your internal network, moving them to the cloud could mean a complete change of your IT infrastructure and the security model to help protect your data. These new multi-cloud environments are far more diverse, complex, and distributed than anything IT teams have managed in the past. This complexity can create challenges and force trade-offs between moving fast and managing risk. Finding the right tools and platforms to meet system demands and keep data and processes secure and compliant is the challenge. To keep up with it all, IT teams need a highly secure network with flexible connectivity between the enterprise network and cloud providers.

Security-first, cloud migration

Security shouldn’t be an afterthought when setting up cloud and hybrid environments. Security protocol guidelines must be put in place and followed from the start to determine how to execute best, review and protect systems and assets in the cloud. And although access controls like multi-factor authentication help, it is essential that the foundational security measures are put in place before access to cloud applications becomes available.

These essential security guidelines include:

  1. Knowing the application and how it is deployed in the cloud.
  2. Conducting a full security audit when an application is production-ready. This process is done to help ensure that the front-end, where users access the data or application, is adequately protected, and the back-end, are both secure.
  3. Conducting regular access audits to be sure you know who has access to your systems at all times.
  4. Implement security tools and regularly scan cloud environments to maintain the viability of security protocols.
  5. Secure access controls: Based on performance and access needs, IT teams have traditionally determined the best access option —whether it be broadband or dedicated Internet providers (DIA) or Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) tunnel. Another option that is gaining in popularity is SD-WAN and SD cloud through a gateway for direct-to-cloud access. For this, multiple gateway onramps are located across the country to access cloud providers. This capability provides dedicated access for SLA performance and a cost-effective pricing model.

SD-WAN and Advanced Security

According to IBM’s fifth annual Cyber Resilient Organization Report, on average, enterprises deploy 45 cybersecurity-related tools on their networks. Managing all of this is a tremendous burden on IT and security teams. Thankfully, SD-WAN can connect to a wide range of cloud security vendors. This versatility gives organizations the choice of best-of-breed security capabilities to build a robust SASE architecture based on their specific business requirements. Moreover, SD-WAN solutions natively integrate and can fully automate the orchestration to cloud security services.

Distributed termination devices can also integrate SD-WAN capabilities forming a secure tunnel over simple Internet and 5G connections. Thoughtful and complete integration between networking and security allows organizations to implement a cybersecurity mesh strategy to create a smaller perimeter around every access point or device, regardless of location.

A distributed approach gives IT and security teams better control over cybersecurity risks by securing an individual access point instead of a large perimeter without clear boundaries. SD-WAN can also help accelerate and prioritize application traffic to reach cloud applications and cloud-delivered security services by selecting the best performing route based on advanced network health and performance measurements.

Be ready for tomorrow’s security threats with the next generation of global secure networking solutions, with Ethernet, SD-WAN, and advanced security, from Comcast Business. Learn more here: https://business.comcast.com/enterprise/products-services/secure-network-solutions

Author's Bio

Joe Richardson and Yulia Duryea

Senior Directors, Product Management, Secure Networking, Comcast Business