Rise of the Cloud-First Enterprise

May 23, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Businesses are moving to the cloud in droves, but few are monitoring and protecting data in the cloud with the same vigilance they apply to their physical network environments. To keep mission-critical data and applications safe, businesses must avoid four big risks as they make the move.


Rise of the Cloud-First Enterprise

By mid-2018, 60% of all enterprise workloads will be running in the cloud. More than a third of enterprises say they are cloud-first, meaning they prioritize the cloud for all workload deployments.

While web/media and application development are primary uses today, enterprises say they plan to more than double their use of the cloud for mission-critical enterprise applications such as data analytics and business productivity applications.

As more organizations make the shift, they need to take steps to avoid cloud security risks such as:

  1. Cloud blindness: Moving business-critical applications to the cloud means storing and processing sensitive data in the cloud as well. Unfortunately, some clouds can be like black holes, taking in data but providing little visibility into how data is used, stored and protected. You need the right level of visibility to fully track data as it flows in and out of the cloud.
  2. Data and compliance exposure: As more cloud applications contain business intelligence, financial data, employee records and customer information, it becomes more important to track it. A lack of visibility can lead to compliance problems with various regulatory mandates.
  3. Performance hits: Once applications move to the cloud, you may lose the ability to monitor and test them to ensure they work as promised and perform as needed. The cloud solution you choose must enable end-to-end assessments to ensure all critical cloud applications meet the requisite service-level agreements (SLAs) for the business.
  4. Multi-tenancy issues: Organizations that run applications in the public cloud must also consider that other businesses share the same infrastructure to run their own critical workloads. Make sure the cloud provider you choose can ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all workloads — which is essential to data security and compliance.

Choose the Right Cloud Deployment Model

Given these risks, enterprises need to pay close attention to cloud type and the tools required to attain requisite levels of visibility and security. Two main cloud deployment options include:

  • Hybrid clouds: The preferred enterprise strategy, hybrid clouds provide the best of both worlds. They can keep highly sensitive workloads on an easier-to-monitor private cloud, while moving less critical apps to the public cloud for better scalability and efficiencies.
  • Hybrid toolsets: Many vendors are offering cloud-based versions of traditional toolsets so that the same next-generation firewalls or threat intelligence monitoring tools can be used on-premises and in the cloud, providing seamless visibility and protection no matter where the workload runs.

Mitigating Cloud Risks

Fortinet knows the risks the cloud presents and has evolved its product strategy to mitigate them. With Fortinet’s cloud security solution, enterprises can easily extend industry-leading next-generation firewalls, log analysis, web application firewalls and other security tools across physical, virtual and hybrid cloud environments. When leveraged with Fortinet’s Security Fabric, all solutions can be managed seamlessly from a single pane of glass, providing unprecedented end-to-end visibility and control no matter the environment.

A partner of Fortinet, Istonish has the best-in-class expertise and technology to protect assets from the data center to cloud and across all endpoints. Learn more.


James Mathis

Written by James Mathis

James Mathis is a Systems Administrator at Istonish.

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