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How Cloud Data Center Security Protects Against Breaches

By admin on May 01st 2017

Conventional wisdom once asserted that sensitive or mission-critical data was unprotected on the cloud. Unless Atlantic Canadian businesses hosted their own data center or used Tier 4 data colocation data services, getting effective security was a gamble. The lack of transparency about cloud data center security in the early days made it unclear if providers were prepared for or vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Under the protection of secure cloud solutions, Atlantic Canadian companies benefit most from a series of cybersecurity measures ingrained in the next generation of secure cloud storage solutions. It’s those features that provide competitive safeguards compared to the more costly physical storage alternatives.

1.) Networks are segmented to prevent being coopted

Fear prevented quick market adoption of cloud based data storage. There was a perception that if hackers bypassed the internal network of one client, security would be compromised across the board. With such a large attack surface area and a growing number of network security threats from BYOD workplace practices, wireless connections, and devious social engineering, putting faith in cloud data center security was considered a risk. Unless vendors built cloud solutions with strong management and threat isolation in mind, that is.

Cyberattacks are minimized by today’s cloud storage architecture. Vendors are implementing effective segmentation that not only enables companies to protect themselves from outside threats, but attacks that exploit network loopholes. Tools like Fortinet’s internal segmentation firewalls (ISFW) are deployed between internal network layers and components to monitor, control, and police traffic between each segment. That not only covers boundary divisions between departments and offices, but between high authorization and low authorization devices on the same network. ISFW gateways allow more secure segmentation between different endpoints on the same network, reinforcing user authentication rules for sensitive information.

However, that segmentation does not lead to an infrastructure divided. A unified operating system coordinates all of the layers and gateways to synchronize security efforts and enforcement. Cybercriminals have less power to exploit weak points in one layer or endpoint as a way of compromising the entire infrastructure.

2.) Global threat intelligence is shared

Cybersecurity professionals depend on intelligence sharing to enact real-time responses to evolving threats. Rather than pioneering new and novel tactics every time, intelligence mitigates attacks with proven countermeasures. Yet tracking the different flavors of threat variance is a colossal task and dynamic intelligence lightens the load. 

Cloud-based data center security offers superior intelligence sharing. Not only do all internal elements of the network communicate threats and coordinate actions, cloud storage solutions gather threat reports from across their solutions and even other storage tools in the infrastructures. Security architecture is rarely uniform these days and the right cloud data center monitors and reports on an amplitude of products across vendors and environments.

Take the Fortinet Advanced Threat Protection solution, for example. Their cloud security components are part of a smart chain. Each link communicates with the others, using a blend of global and real-time local intelligence to thwart cybercriminals’ plots. These solutions are even designed to communicate with non-Fortinet components to detect and mitigate threats to the entire system. This cohesive intelligence sharing prevents the adaptive virulence of cybercriminals and restricts their movement.

3.) Enterprise-wide security is easier to manage

Effective enterprise security is synchronous. All the different components need clear communication as they detect warning signs and react to threats. Any number of malicious tools (malware, ransomware, denial of service attacks, etc.) need only a momentary gap to breach defenses and compromise data. Simple and efficient coordination of data security measures makes migrating to the cloud essential.

The spectrum of different applications and endpoints accessing a network has made traditional management very difficult. IoT devices, an increasing staple within Atlantic Canadian businesses, are designed with connectivity in mind, not security. These types of devices have no extra security countermeasures built into their systems and limited security configurability. If they access sensitive data storage, there is a higher chance they might be used as an alternate entranceway.

Managing the authentication and authorization of disparate devices and components is much easier with cloud-based data center security. The right storage solutions integrate all of the otherwise conflicting access points of a network (applications, other cloud platforms, IoT devices) into an end-to-end security shield. That way, centralized intelligence and threat reporting permits companies to act from a consolidated standpoint.

4.) Dedicated security professionals are in place to keep security cutting-edge

The volume and persistence of cyberattacks means that there is no rest for an organization’s cybersecurity strategies. Even as cybersecurity automation goes mainstream, experienced cybersecurity pros are essential to protecting sensitive enterprise data.

Cloud data center security often is guided by professionals on the vendor’s end, but internal tools still require cybersecurity expertise close at hand. Whether that comes from an internal team or an Atlantic Canadian IT service provider, there needs to be the talent alongside the tools to secure vulnerable data.

Want to learn more about Fortinet and other cloud data center security solutions? Contact us and get the agility, performance, and security your business needs.