As organizations move more of their applications and data to cloud-based services, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure they achieve return on investment by maintaining critical security, compliance and performance metrics at the highest level. Here at CDW, we have identified some very important considerations to support customers as they make the transition to cloud-based services.

Here are three security considerations to keep in mind as you move your assets to the cloud:

The importance of cloud governance

The value of the cloud is in its vast array of services, which provide the ability to fulfill technical requirements at an incredibly rapid pace. However, with this substantial supply of resources comes the added requirement of building out formal governance and centralized control to ensure security, compliance and cost management is maintained.

For organizations that are relatively new to the cloud, it is important to create a group of stakeholders that will be responsible for designing the framework for successful cloud adoption. This framework should include things such as resource standardization, policy and processes, cost allocation and management, as well as active security/compliance management. Building out a centralized governance model as the foundation of your cloud adoption strategy will ensure your environment is future-proof and set up to provide all the value the cloud has to offer.

A two-tier approach to cloud network segregation

The dynamic nature of a modern cloud environment makes it difficult to implement enterprise security solutions in a traditional way. It is also important to many businesses that security does not stand in the way of the agility they require from their cloud environment. Therefore, a very important consideration for successful cloud adoption is the architecture and design of the environment to provide an effective strategy that limits the impact of network intrusion.

Traditionally, network segmentation was primarily implemented with a perimeter firewall. The problem with this approach is that it only requires a single intrusion to gain widespread access to a network. As a result, cloud security requires a more granular approach, which tackles segregation at two levels. By utilizing these important architectural defences, your cloud environment will be built with the foundation to prevent major security intrusions.

1)Fine-grained network segmentation is the foundation of limiting a network intrusion. In a cloud-based environment, network segmentation is achieved using virtual networks for logical isolation of your cloud resources and security groups, and firewalls for controlling your inbound and outbound traffic.

2)Service segmentation is a more granular approach, particularly relevant to multitenant environments where multiple applications are running on a single node. Like network segmentation, the principle of least privilege is applied and service-to-service communication is only permitted where there is an explicit intention to allow this traffic.

A flexible, accountable, cloud security solution

Most organizations will not be operating with a 100 percent cloud-based environment, but rather a hybrid architecture. That’s why it’s critical to have the ability to manage both physical and virtual security measures from a centralized location using the same management infrastructure and interface.

The selected solution must be capable of spanning physical and virtual environments through a consistent policy management and enforcement framework and should include features that automate security policy updates. Standardization is the key to success and allows organizations to apply the highest-level security posture without limiting the flexibility and agility of the cloud.

With its API-based approach, Palo Alto Networks’ Prisma Cloud solution delivers superior cloud-native security. Prisma Cloud provides comprehensive visibility, threat detection and rapid response across your entire public cloud environment. A unique combination of continuous monitoring, compliance assurance and security analytics enables security teams to respond more quickly to the most critical threats by replacing manual investigation with automated reports, threat prioritization and remediation.

To learn more about how CDW can help protect your data as you introduce new cloud solutions to your environment, visit our Cloud Security page.

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