Firewalls are a standard security tool, but do you really understand what they do? Simply put, firewalls track and control data flow, identifying the domains that traffic come from and the ports they travel to. Firewalls also provide real-time monitoring, evaluating what information is traveling between those source domains and data ports, and permit or block data based on a set of security rules thereby thwarting potential threats. For years, firewalls have been at the heart of basic security – but now it’s not enough.
With most businesses shifting to cloud-based applications, security has evolved accordingly, leading to the introduction of cloud firewalls. Much like traditional firewalls, cloud firewalls manage the flow of information between outside domains and your internal system. Sometimes also referred to as “Next-Generation Firewalls”, these systems tackle today’s advanced threats and protect your operation’s data.
As a security tool, the cloud firewall is a critical piece of infrastructure, but some platforms make deployment complicated. Not Check Point, though. Our CloudGuard system offers rapid deployment with simple auto-scaling.
This is one of the advantages of cloud-based services – they scale easily to meet the needs of growing businesses. And, because every business is working with a different array of cloud-based tools, CloudGuard’s basic infrastructure is flexible. That means your operation can build a cloud strategy to your specifications, rather than working around ours.
Another feature that makes cloud firewalls distinctive and prepares it to fend off a wide range of attacks is that these systems rely on multiple data sources First, the system draws from a database of known threats, a form of shared intelligence common to all system users. Second, the cloud firewall also analyzes in-house activity and past problems to predict potential future threats. This combination of shared intelligence and data analysis allows the system to identify the newest malware and zero-day threats, keeping your data secure from bad actors.
Coping with the speed of threat evolution is one of the most significant challenges that businesses face today, but cloud firewalls undeniably make this easier. Cloud software is constantly updating and linked to the newest information, which means you benefit from up-to-the-minute data on the newest attacks.
Traditionally, firewalls were physical entities. They existed as part of your digital perimeter, and in many cases were simply a self-contained router meant to intercept potentially malicious traffic before it reached your system. How does this work, then, when your data and software are living in the cloud and you’re using a cloud firewall?
Unlike the traditional firewall appliance, a cloud-based perimeter doesn’t exist in a physical location, at least not relative to your applications or databases. All elements of the system are dispersed. At a fundamental level, though, next generation systems aren’t actually that different from traditional ones. The main distinction is that, instead of data entering through a single point, being filtered, and then disseminated to the appropriate ports, that filtering takes place at the cloud level. There’s an invisible wall around your cloud-based tools that can keep bad actors out.
There’s a lot of confusion about migrating to the cloud, with some wondering whether they still need a firewall when their applications and data are all in the cloud. There’s also some confusion about the difference between cloud security and cloud firewalls, and it’s important to make the distinction.
The cloud applications that your company uses have their own security protections, but cloud providers’ security alone is insufficient.
Security norms are changing just as quickly as the rest of our digital world, but your company can’t afford to fall behind. Contact Check Point today for a free cloud threat assessment. The risks you can’t see are the most dangerous ones, but we can help you improve your cloud security posture and ensure your system is secure.