Tip Tuesday: Avoiding public cloud firewall confusion

Tip TuesdayAs more SMBs embrace the benefits of the public cloud, IT services providers are facing a new set of challenges. One of these challenges is transitioning from protecting on-premises environments to securing data and applications in the cloud— while avoiding common pitfalls along the way.

A recent survey of more than 600 IT decision makers by Dimensional Research and Barracuda explored the concerns many IT professionals have about cloud security. In an announcement about the study, Tim Jefferson, VP public cloud, Barracuda, shared the following insight:

“We’re continuing to see questions and concerns around how organizations should be approaching security with their cloud deployments, especially from larger companies. There are a number of reasons for this, but for organizations that are used to operating under traditional data center architecture, moving to the cloud will require a new way of thinking when they approach security. Using security tools specifically designed for the public cloud can actually make a business more secure than they were when they operated purely on-premises.”

3 Cloud security pitfalls to avoid

The transition to the public cloud is testing both traditional attitudes about security and traditional security solutions. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to provide cloud security for your customers.

    1. Cybercriminals are shifting to attacks with quicker payouts The study showed that 83 percent of respondents have concerns about deploying next-generation firewalls in the cloud. These concerns include lack of integration and increased overhead due to a lack of centralized management. Cloud-generation firewalls address these concerns because they have been designed from the ground up to integrate with the unique controls of each of the major public cloud platforms.

    2. On-premises isn’t necessarily more secure than the cloud More than half of respondents (56 percent) said their on-premises security is superior to cloud security. The skills gap plays a big part in how security is perceived. With many internal IT organizations and some MSPs shorthanded in terms of cybersecurity skills and public cloud skills, that statistic tells us that those respondents are more confident in their on-premises security skills and processes. That doesn’t mean the cloud is actually less secure.

    3. Security is a shared responsibility in the cloud
    The idea that the responsibility for security in the cloud is shared between the cloud vendors and the organization using the platform seems to be sinking in. A full 76 percent of survey respondents said they expect cloud security to be a shared responsibility with cloud vendors. Understanding that the cloud vendor is responsible for securing the cloud infrastructure and that customers are responsible for the security of the data and applications you have in the cloud will help you make smarter decisions about cloud security and the solutions you use to protect it.

Approaching cloud security with the right attitude and choosing firewalls that are designed to work in cloud environments will help you navigate this security transition and give customers more peace of mind.

Photo: Mr. Exen/Shutterstock.com

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