Cloud computing adoption in Asia Pacific markets has been growing at an unprecedented pace over the past decade, driven by businesses which demand speed and flexibility in delivering applications and services.
Gartner Research projects IT spending on public cloud-based infrastructure services to surpass US$24 billion in 2016, with associated management and security expected to exceed US$8 billion.
Cybersecurity firm Fortinet has outlined 4 key strategies to help organizations in Asia Pacific protect their businesses while migrating to private and public clouds:
1. Maintain a Strong Security Posture
Organizations need to maintain a strong security posture in private and public clouds. With the IT efficiencies gained by pooling compute, storage, and network resources through virtualization, SDN, and other technologies, private and public clouds have become increasingly aggregated environments, where not just servers but entire data centers have been consolidated into fewer but more efficient cloud environments.
The mix of data center traffic has further shifted from north-south, which now only accounts for about 20% of data center traffic, to east-west, which represents over 70% of traffic, especially as new software-defined environments continue to optimize underlying hardware utilization and efficiency on scale-out architectures. All of this means it is more critical than ever to isolate business units from applications. Organizations must also segment east-west traffic to minimize the impact of a hacker or advanced threat that manages to breach the cloud perimeter via a single weak or vulnerable application.
2. Segregate & Secure Applications in Hybrid Clouds
Many organizations are starting to employ hybrid cloud strategies, where public clouds are used to host more exposed public-facing workloads with less sensitive data. Public clouds with persistent VPN connections should be segmented from private clouds that need to be more secured.
Conversely, some organizations may use the public cloud to host some sensitive data, such as credit card data subject to PCI compliance, in order to alleviate strict industry compliance and regulations on the private cloud. Segmentation between the public and private portions of the hybrid cloud are equally important in this approach.
3. Employ end-to-end segmentation strategy
Organizations need to employ an end-to-end segmentation strategy, starting with micro-segmentation within the software-defined data center, and complementing that with internal segmentation firewalling within and across the physical network layers of data centers, campuses, and branch offices. Within the private cloud, advances in network virtualization and orchestration mean organizations should consider a fine-grained micro-segmentation strategy that can uniquely firewall and secure workloads irrespective of physical network topology, even down to a single virtual machine or workload.
4. Activate Data Leakage Protection (DLP) and Monitoring
Besides firewalling and intrusion prevention, data leakage protection (DLP) and monitoring are equally important in either or both directions, to ensure that sensitive data does not cross cloud boundaries. This is to limit the damage or loss of a breach in a single-cloud environment.