Moving business applications to the cloud is undoubtedly useful for all types of businesses. A modern cloud-based infrastructure offers businesses greater flexibility and enables them to respond much more quickly to market forces and other new opportunities than if they relied solely on a monolithic on-premises architecture.
However, there is a very real danger that in the age of infrastructure modernization, particularly in the age of pandemics where migration pressures are rapidly increasing, businesses are overlooking a potential blind spot that threatens all businesses indiscriminately: security.
One of the biggest challenges that business leaders have faced over the past decade has been striking the right balance between infrastructure modernization and security.
If businesses are to succeed in 2021 and beyond, they must learn to navigate this path effectively. Let’s look at the pros and cons of modernizing legacy infrastructure and how to make it more productive.
What are the risks of moving to the cloud?
Companies moving to the cloud have a lot to lose if the process is not managed effectively. They also have to make important decisions about how to manage the application migration. Then there is the question of the attack surface. Existing on-premises applications may not be the most elegant or powerful, but they are by default relatively secure because they have little exposure to external environments. Moving these applications to the cloud offers many advantages in terms of flexibility, efficiency, and cost, but it also increases the attack surface for potential hackers.
Benefits of an application-centric approach
One way for organizations to approach cloud security is to look at it from an application-centric perspective. By understanding how an organization uses its applications, including connections to cloud services, data centers, and SDN federation, it is possible to build an application model that provides application-specific information, such as the ability to create policy-based risks rather than relying directly on firewall controls. The problem is that an organization makes a vulnerable application even more vulnerable by moving it to another location and relying solely on the cloud infrastructure for protection.
To solve this problem, companies need to prioritize applications according to their sensitivity and vulnerability. In this way, they can quickly benefit from migrating modern applications with less sensitive data to the cloud. Once these short-term issues are resolved, NetSecOps can focus on legacy applications that contain more sensitive data and require more care, time and attention to migrate or restore them safely.
Migrating applications to the cloud is not an easy task, and it can be a challenge for even the most tech-savvy NetSecOps users. Automation removes much of the hard work, allowing teams to efficiently manage cloud environments while orchestrating changes through a series of security controls. This allows security changes to be managed quickly and accurately and accelerates audit preparation for ongoing compliance.
We are likely to see a conflict between modernization and security for some time to come. On the one hand, we want to remove the limitations of on-premises infrastructure as quickly as possible to take advantage of the infinite possibilities of the cloud. On the other hand, we need to protect ourselves against opportunistic hackers waiting for the perfect moment to strike. By following the guidelines set out for them, enterprises can modernize without compromise.