Staying Safe in Times of Cyber Uncertainty

What is Cloud Network Security?

Cloud-based infrastructure requires a similar level of security as an organization’s on-prem environment. Cloud network security is a foundational layer of cloud security and is vital to protecting the data, applications, and IT resources deployed within enterprise cloud environments as well as the traffic flowing between cloud deployments and the enterprise’s intranet and on-prem data centers.

On-prem enterprise networks use network security solutions for advanced threat prevention, to restrict access to corporate systems, enforce security policies, and perform internal segmentation of corporate networks. Cloud network security provides similar enterprise-grade protection to cloud infrastructure and networks.

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What is Cloud Network Security?

Why Is It important?

As companies move to adopt cloud-based infrastructure, they need to protect these resources in accordance with corporate security policies and applicable regulations. Traditional, perimeter-based defenses cannot effectively protect cloud-based infrastructure, and the cloud vendors’ security tools built into most public and private cloud offerings do not meet enterprise security requirements.

Cloud network security solutions close a foundational security gap in the cloud. They enable companies to achieve the same level of security monitoring and threat prevention that they have in their on-premises environment despite the dissolving network perimeter. This is essential to an organization’s ability to fulfill its duties under the cloud shared responsibility model and to ensure corporate cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. 

Customers who use the same security vendor for their on-prem and cloud deployments should ensure they can manage all their network security from a single pane-of-glass, thus increasing efficiency and reducing TCO as well as corporate risk.

How Cloud Network Security Work?

Cloud environments use software-defined networking (SDN) to route traffic through an organization’s cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud network security solutions integrate with cloud platforms and virtualization solutions and deploy virtual security gateways in order to achieve the visibility and control required to perform segmentation, security monitoring and advanced threat prevention for network traffic. These virtual security gateways are similar in function and capability to on-prem security gateways, but are virtual and hosted in the cloud.

Features

A cloud network security solution should provide an organization with a similar level of security in the cloud as it has in its on-prem infrastructure. To achieve this, a cloud network security solution must have certain key capabilities, including:

  • Full Network Security Stack: Cloud network security services integrate all of the features required to secure an enterprise network, including a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), intrusion prevention system (IPS), Anti-Virus, Application Control, URL Filtering, Identity Awareness, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), and Anti-Bot.
  • Zero Day Protection: To address the rapidly evolving threat landscape, cloud network security solutions should offer protection against zero-day attacks.
  • SSL/TLS Traffic Inspection: Network traffic is increasingly encrypted, making it more difficult to detect and block malicious connections. Network security solutions must offer efficient SSL/TLS traffic inspection with minimal latency.
  • Network Segmentation: Network segmentation is essential to minimizing corporate cybersecurity risk and the potential for lateral movement by an attacker. Cloud network security solutions enable network segmentation and micro-segmentation in cloud environments.
  • Unified Security Management: Cloud adoption expands the corporate digital attack surface and the complexity of security monitoring and threat management. Cloud network security solutions should offer integration with an organization’s existing on-prem solutions to maximize operational efficiency. Ideally, security teams should be able to manage all cloud and on-prem network security from a single pane-of-glass.
  • Automation: Cloud deployments are dynamic and ephemeral. A cloud solution that does not enable and support automation Any cloud solution that does not enable high levels of automation will be impossible to support and will be abandoned by customers. Legacy security approaches that rely heavily on human intervention cannot scale to meet the volume, velocity and variety of today’s cybersecurity threats, Manual processes are also slow and prone to error.  As cloud infrastructure grows and expands, automation is essential to scalability and rapid threat response. Automated cloud network security solutions support rapid deployment, solution agility, and CI/CD workflow automation.
  • Secure Remote Access: The move to remote work and cloud computing means that remote workers need access to cloud-based resources. Cloud network security solutions should offer secure and scalable remote access to an organization’s cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Content Sanitization: Rather than completely blocking potentially malicious content, network security solutions should be able to remove malicious, executable content and provide users with access to sanitized content.
  • Third-Party Integrations: Cloud network security solutions operate within a cloud provider’s environment alongside their existing tools and solutions. CNS tools should offer integrations with third-party solutions to optimize configuration management, network monitoring, and security automation.

Benefits

Manually managing the security tools and configuration options natively available in cloud environments can be complex and does not provide the level of security needed by the modern enterprise. Key benefits of a cloud network security solution include:

  • Advanced Threat Prevention: Cloud network security solutions provide cloud infrastructure with enterprise-level threat prevention. This is essential to protecting cloud-based infrastructure against modern cyber threats.
  • Consistent Policy Enforcement: Enforcing consistent corporate and security policies across on-prem and cloud-based environments can be difficult due to the significant differences between them. A cloud security solution integrated with existing on-prem solutions enables more consistent security and threat monitoring.
  • Security Orchestration and Automation: CNS solutions integrate with cloud environments and enable security automation and configuration management. This allows security teams to more quickly and scalably manage potential threats to cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Consistent Security Visibility: Cloud network security solutions that integrate with existing on-prem solutions enable security monitoring and management from a single pane of glass. This simplifies threat prevention, security monitoring, and reporting for cloud environments.

Public Cloud and Private Cloud Network Security

As companies move to the cloud, certain cloud service models are better suited to addressing certain business and security needs. Companies need to choose between public and private cloud infrastructure for various use cases and often deploy a hybrid, multi-cloud environment that spreads resources over public and private cloud environments and on-prem infrastructure.

A cloud network security strategy should provide robust security for both public cloud and private cloud environments. This involves securing not only north-south data flows entering and leaving the cloud environment but also east-west flows between different cloud-hosted resources within the same cloud deployment (also called “lateral movement”).

CloudGuard Network Security

Cloud network security is a vital component of a cloud security strategy. To learn more about designing security for the cloud, check out Check Point’s Cloud Security Blueprint 2.0. Then, learn about the most important considerations when evaluating a cloud network security solution in this Buyer’s Guide.

Check Point CloudGuard provides enterprise-grade cloud network security in a user-friendly solution with industry-leading security. Read about how a large US-based health-care provider gained 169% ROI by using CloudGuard.  You’re also welcome to learn more about how CloudGuard can benefit your organization with a free demo.

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