Developing a Multi-Cloud Security Strategy in the Work-from-Anywhere Era

The pandemic’s broad shift to remote work has ushered in a new way of working for many businesses. In the Work-from-Anywhere Era is becoming more of a way of life than a destination to which we commute.

While some employees are returning to full-time in-office work, many are considering hybrid models in which some employees work remotely at least part of the time.

This need a new security strategy, particularly as digital transformation pushes more users and computing outside the traditional organizational boundary.

The Impact of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud on Cybersecurity

Despite the fact that cloud adoption has become widespread, many businesses still rely on their on-premises data centers for a variety of reasons, including intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance, cost efficiency, and resilience. The resulting hybrid computer model will be around for a long time.

According to Gartner, enterprises will spend $200 billion on data center infrastructure in 2021, representing a 5.2 percent growth rate. Increased data center transformation spending will almost certainly be driven by the return to offices.

To expand cloud usage, today’s enterprise data centers are experiencing changes. Enterprises may take advantage of the cloud’s control, scalability, and cost savings by connecting their data centers to the cloud.

At the same time, on-premises investments add value to enterprises, emphasizing the importance of hybrid cloud systems.

A recent Fortinet poll found that most businesses are opting for a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy. They’re doing so for a variety of reasons, including service integration, scalability, and business continuity, and the majority are employing two or more cloud providers in addition to on-premises investments.

Traditional solutions for safeguarding on-premises data centers do not provide enterprises with a flexible network architecture. Connecting a company’s data center to one or more cloud service providers, including public and private clouds, is usually the first step in bringing it up to date.

To satisfy these new needs, the company should adopt a three-pronged approach that incorporates zero-trust access (ZTA) and converged networking and security solutions.

Using Zero-Trust Access

Organizations require ongoing verification of all users and devices as they access corporate apps and data as IoT devices flood networks and operating environments and users continue to work from anywhere.

ZTA is based on the principle of automatically trusting no person or device, and it needs identification for all network access requests. This adds to identity assurance by restricting user and device access to network resources to just those who need to know.

Powerful network access control technologies, strong authentication capabilities, and ubiquitous application access restrictions are all required when implementing ZTA.

Secure remote access is more vital than ever before as remote and hybrid work methods become increasingly established across all industries.

When enterprises employ the zero-trust paradigm for application access, they can reduce their reliance on traditional virtual private network (VPN) tunnels that enable unlimited network access.

Individual apps are granted access to zero-trust network access (ZTNA) connections on a per-session basis only after devices and users have been confirmed.

This ZTNA policy is also enforced when users are connected to the network, ensuring that users have the same zero-trust experience regardless of where they connect.

Since user identity, authentication, validation, and access permissions have become so important, businesses must carefully restrict access to guarantee that only authorized users have access to network resources.

This is the essence of zero trust: never think anything can be trusted just because it is “inside the perimeter.” With increasing users and computing outside of the traditional company perimeter, this is especially important today.

The Security and Networking Convergence

Organizations can safeguard both on-premises data centers and cloud deployments by adopting a security-driven networking strategy. SD-WAN, sophisticated routing capabilities, and next-generation firewalls are all part of this security-driven networking strategy (NGFW).

Converging security and networking eliminates security flaws caused by silos. The enterprise can create a holistic strategy to cybersecurity with security-driven networking.

Observing the Future

Businesses must now considered security as an extension of connectivity, since it should be factored into every technology decision. Work-from-anywhere policies necessitate both connectivity and security in their infrastructure.

Companies require a security architecture that is rooted in connection because of this level of connectivity. This, however, must be done in a way that is consistent with the organization’s long-term goals.

CISOs must ensure that workforce mobilization solutions are scalable and that security vulnerabilities are addressed. As attackers change their focus to the wider danger landscape produced by remote work, this will provide more protection for the remote workforce.

Point devices can provide protection for a specific use case, but using too many of them can result in a complex scenario that lacks the scalability and flexibility that businesses require to safeguard data centers and the cloud.

A Strategic Approach to Securing the Future of Work

Most enterprises now use hybrid and multi-cloud security strategy, and their security has become a top priority as cybercriminals shift their focus to less-secure home networks.

The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has significantly complicated network security.

ZTNA satisfies today’s security requirements, allowing employees to work from anywhere, on any device, without jeopardizing the network’s security.

Learn how Fortinet’s adaptive of a multi-cloud security strategy enable secure applications and connections from the data center to the cloud by increasing visibility and control across cloud infrastructures.

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Jonathan Nguyen-Duy is a Vice President in Fortinet’s global Field CISO team. He is a well-known cybersecurity author and industry speaker with unique global public sector and commercial experience with a deep understanding of threats, technology, compliance and business issues. Jonathan holds a BA in International Economics and an MBA in IT Marketing and International Business from the George Washington University.

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