A hybrid cloud infrastructure offers competitive advantages, but once your data moves outside, the potential for attacks multiplies. To learn more about the hybrid cloud architecture advantage, and the automated and application-centric security practices you need to protect it, don’t miss this VB Live event!
Your company’s applications and infrastructure, for better or worse, directly impact your ability to protect your business from outside threats. As they’ve evolved from legacy to virtualized to cloud native, you’ve gained huge competitive advantages, but this has also created additional layers of complexity and risk. And with the average cost of a data breach hovering around $4 million dollars a company and the sheer number and intensity of cyber attacks growing globally, businesses need to spend as much time evolving their security practices as they do their infrastructure.
In other words, traditional security approaches mean dramatically increased risk.
The hazard of the habitual
When the data center was well-defined, static, and primarily made up of physical hardware, it wrapped a company’s borders up tight with an old-fashioned firewall and other ways of securing the perimeter. Now with hybrid cloud architecture leading the competitive advantage, the perimeter has dissolved. Virtualization, cloud computing, and mobile devices have become an integral part of business operations, and the power of the firewall has gone up in smoke — plus add-on infrastructure products and manual efforts to implement and maintain them increase complexity without resolving all the security gaps.
Validating and maintaining a security baseline through software upgrades is time-consuming and often involves error-prone manual processes. And although multi-product strategies can mitigate many threats, most alone have proven to be too complex and resource-intensive to be practical in a traditional, multivendor infrastructure stack.
The security-first evolution
What does security-first look like? It means moving from a complex heterogeneous environment, maintained by hand and full of holes, to built-in, infrastructure-level security as an integral part of your enterprise infrastructure. Build your security into both company culture and product development, from concept to conception. And reduce complexity in a single stroke by adopting a single platform that converges storage, computing and networking with security best practices baked in. That includes software encryption that needs to meet and hurdle the high bar regulatory compliance required by federal, healthcare, and financial certifications and compliances, role-based access control (RBAC), identity and authentication mechanisms, and automation.
Harden your software dev cycle and vendors
From product development and deployment, through routine monitoring and remediation, and across the entire infrastructure stack, including storage, virtualization, and management, adopting a single platform built while cosplaying a security super-genius with a security-first mindset closes the gap. In other words, from step one, security requirements should be the core of every infrastructure and software decision.
That includes your vendors: do they use a robust security development lifecycle? Are they focused on avoiding the tradeoffs between security and performance or features through the product lifecycle? And does their quality assurance process include tests for common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE)? Your vendor should be scheduling regular updates to address known CVEs for minor release cycles to minimize zero-day risks without slowing down product evolution.
Build in your security best practices and capabilities
With infrastructure-level security and a hardened platform, you’re shoring up your defense against data breaches, unauthorized access, and other threats. Self-encrypting drives or software encryption that meets regulatory compliance requirements for your industry, including HIPAA, PCI DSS, and others, protects data-at-rest, like user and application data, from theft or loss.
Restricting access to the infrastructure and sensitive data with role-based access control also reduces the risk of unauthorized access and improves regulatory requirements. And with SAML 2.0 authentication mechanisms for single sign-on and multifactor authentication for system administrators, you can prevent account takeovers and mitigate the risk of compromised credentials.
Go all-in on automation and self-healing
Humans are slow and humans are fallible, and hybrid cloud architecture is complex and dynamic — a bad combination for maintaining adequate security measures using human efforts alone. That’s where automation comes in at the infrastructure level, accelerating software validation and upgrades while significantly limiting the risk of human error.
Self-healing capabilities and automation lets you automatically validate security baselines, developed from industry and U.S. Department of Defense standards, so you never deviate from compliance. Automation also makes it easy to monitor for unknown or unauthorized changes to configurations and then self-heal any errors. It also means you can streamline and automate common network configuration changes, like VLAN configuration or load balancer policy modifications, based on application lifecycle events for virtual machines and not the calendar in your head.
Move to application-centric security
Microsegmentation is a security best practice, but the challenges of manually implementing it means it isn’t used as frequently as it ought to be. But application-centric security in a single, hardened platform gives you access to visualization, grouping, and granular policy, significantly reducing the complexity of using microsegmentation to protect against internal and external threats not detected by perimeter-oriented security products.
Visibility into workload behavior like application traffic, performance, and availability, allows you to quickly identify logical connections and inform the appropriate application-centric policies. Grouping virtual machines and applications based on use case, compliance need, or data sensitivity, instead of dynamic network identifiers such as IP addresses, simplifies the process of protecting and isolating sensitive workloads and data. And granular policy controls let you define multitiered applications and then restrict or allow traffic to and from, as well as within, the application tiers.
Tap ecosystem partners for defense in depth
Security can’t stop at the infrastructure level. Avoid security gaps in a single platform by integrating with third-party validated security solutions to create a holistic, defense-in-depth approach.
Service chaining network functions is a useful way to leverage virtualized network functions like a virtual firewall, IPS/IDS, application performance monitoring, or general application diagnostics. Inserting services in line with virtual machine traffic means they can easily enabled for all traffic, or deployed only for specific network traffic.
To learn more about hybrid cloud architecture, how to make cybersecurity a critical part of your next infrastructure decision, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event!
Don’t miss out!
- Why you need a single, fully tested, security-first infrastructure platform
- How to converge storage, computing, and networking
- A full understanding of security best practices
- How to protect against data breaches, unauthorized access, and other threats in a multi-cloud world
- Demetrius Comes, VP of Engineering, GoDaddy
- Niel Ashworth, Security Solutions Artichtect, Nutanix
- Mike Wronski, Principal Marketing Manager, Nutanix
- Dave Clark, Host, VentureBeat
Sponsored by Nutanix