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The future of the cloud firewall


With so many environments and organizations moving into the cloud – it only made sense for the security part of it all to make an impact as well. Modern security technologies have advanced much further than a standard unified threat management (UTM) appliance. The virtual and logical world of the cloud has introduced new parameters and challenges for a typical security solution. With that in mind, new technologies which are much more cloud-aware are helping organizations secure their environments and their data.

Let’s take a look at a few of these technologies.

  • The virtual firewall. Your firewall technology no longer revolves around the physical world. Virtual firewalls have been an amazing addition into the modern data center and cloud infrastructure. These systems are able to sit anywhere in your network (or outside) to monitor specific ports, traffic patterns and much more. The biggest difference is that virtual systems can’t always utilize the underlying hardware quite as well as their physical counterparts. That’s why when you deploy these platforms within the right use-case scenario – you help create a much more agile and secure infrastructure.
  • Cloud-specific security services. Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a lot more complicated than hacking attempts we used to see. APTs can target a variety of systems and be extremely specific. New types of cloud-ready security services are helping organizations secure their data. Application firewalls are great examples of heuristic, learning, engines which understand the normal behavior of your application environment. Then, if there is an anomaly, it blocks the traffic and secures your data. Advanced IPS/IDS solutions will actively monitor for bots trying to access ports or other services. How do you think so shops fared better than others when Heartbleed came around? They were able to catch bots preying on the OpenSSL vulnerability, track them, and block them before a fix was even released.
  • Security monitoring at a new level. Gateway technologies and firewalls have really come a long way. Now you can aggregate all of your virtual and physical firewall instances into one powerful, global, monitoring solution. Imagine a single-pane-of-glass to see all of your global activities and everything that is hitting your data center border. The expansion of the modern data center has forced the expansion of security technologies as well. Now, you have proactive ways to catch anomalous traffic, malicious bots, and even data leakage. Remember, nothing is ever 100% fool-proof. Your goal is to become as proactive as possible.
  • Keeping an eye on data (throughout the cloud). The expansive nature of the cloud has really created a lot more data for you to monitor and control. Effectively, this means deploying security at the border, in the middle and at the end-point. Remember, this doesn’t have to be physical either. Monitoring technologies can now help you track your data – very granularly – from origin to destination. Through it all – it’s becomes your infrastructure’s duty to ensure that this data is delivery safely. The modern cloud is creating new paradigms when it comes to keeping an eye on your data. With that in mind – how well can you see your data and information? Is your security solution logically connected?

Beyond anything else – make sure to keep a proactive eye on your entire cloud environment. As new technologies, like software-defined platforms, make an impact on the modern data center – security services will be challenged to lock down even more aspects of your infrastructure. Still, just because you’re securing a lot more of your data center, doesn’t mean you still can’t continue to empower your users and your business. The beauty of the cloud and these various security models is your ability to deliver rich content seamlessly to the user. Although we’re deploying more security, the ultimate goal is to empower the user and improve the experience.

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