24 February 2020

The Full Scope of Cloud Security

By Adam Scully - Chief Sales Officer

When you take your corporate data to public cloud platforms such as Office 365, AWS, or Azure, you’re paying for good data security. These cloud platforms set the standard for securing distributed environments, exceed the most rigorous global security standards available, and do it in a way that can only be achieved at scale. Billions of dollars a year are devoted to securing customer data, and rightly so, when it comes to protecting the integrity of services and brands.

That said, malicious actors still try their best, and human error is an ever-present threat, but today businesses have an abundance of tools and resources at their disposal to minimise exposure to these risks. No matter how you refer to your cloud, we live in a world where computing environments are distributed, and teams of people are accessing data from multiple sources at the same time to do their jobs. They need to be able to access all relevant information from anywhere, at any time. But that data in flight is where security becomes a concern for CIOs and CISOs.

When you add the reality, most organisations still house crucial data and application on private infrastructure that's located in-house. Without the benefits of scaled security, it’s evident that holistic protection across distributed environments is a complex challenge.

Classifying the role of data

The biggest issues come from classifying data and defining relationships – so essentially staying on top of where data is and who has access to it. Automation can simplify this task, but you still need tools to manage access. From a business services perspective, how do you ensure those controls don’t hinder the organisation’s ability to reap the benefits of an effective Hybrid Cloud strategy, which is designed to enable strategy?

It’s all about embracing classification and metadata tags associated with information being created. Ultimately, what you are hoping to achieve is role-based tagging and classification of information so that your teams only have access to the data they need. It’s only once you’ve completed this categorisation process that you can start leveraging automation functionality which applies role-based access controls to prevent data leakage from your distributed systems, something global cloud security services provider Netskope helps to remedy.

New kid on the security block

Since starting up six years ago, Netskope has exploded onto the security scene – proving themselves to be an innovator and disruptor in the global security market, providing enhanced security solutions for distributed cloud computing environments to organisations around the world. Its solutions were conceived, designed, and deployed for the cloud-first era. By building a global cloud security infrastructure platform at the edges, their value proposition is focused around comprehensively securing Hybrid Cloud architectures with no more than 15 milliseconds of latency across a geographic spread covering more than 90% of the world’s population.

Netskope’s global Engineering team is in the process of rolling out a whopping 50 infrastructure deployments across the globe, including NEXTDC in Australia. One of many admirable qualities about Netskope is the pride they take in securing their customers most valuable resource: their data! As such, they hand-selected the best data centre services companies to partner with, where they embed themselves into connected ecosystems - including the leading hyperscale platforms, carrier services, and ICT services partners - and deliver a world-class service and an experience that's second to none.

Content-and context-aware

Cloud security platforms need to be content-and context-aware, as well as action-oriented, to be effective in a typical distributed environment. They must also enable today’s cloud environments without sacrificing any of the layers of protection that are wrapped around access and data protection policies.

Modern-day workplaces are less tied to physical locations, focusing moreso on mobility, integration and availability. Netskope provides an approach that organisations need to enable their employees to access all their cloud-based tools, irrespective of where they are, with uncompromised security.

To prevent data loss, security in the cloud needs to be able to inspect data in flight for its classification and control its route to the intended, authorised recipient. During that process, Netskope’s TLS-encrypted cloud traffic is safely decrypted using cloud-scale architecture as part of the traffic steering process. Then, the data is inspected to determine its commercial sensitivity and confirm a legitimate route, before being re-encrypted and sent on its way to the nominated destination.

To achieve this process without inhibiting application performance in the cloud, there is a need for high capacity computing power, located as close as possible to the customer’s network and edges of the cloud where the data is being used. This is precisely why Netskope is investing heavily in their comprehensive virtual data centre strategy, to provide customers with robust cloud security without impeding the performance of their core business applications and processes.

As compute loads required to provide this intensity of cloud security scale up with demand, the use-case for cloud security providers and their customers setting up IT infrastructure within the connected ecosystems of colocation facilities becomes ever-more compelling.

The silent enabler

From an end-user perspective, the beauty of an effective cloud security platform is that the full freedom and mobility inherent in cloud computing is unhindered. If the right tool is implemented with the right classification and tagging of data, application performance will be unhindered.

Your users won’t even know the security layer is there, unless an alert is issued as the result of predefined rules and protocols for data sharing or access being breached. It works in the background and switches on like all your other tools when you provide authenticated log-in to your systems

Meanwhile, organisations enjoy the full benefits of their investment into digital technologies without compromising on their need for rigorous security in protecting their corporate data.

To learn more about how you can enhance the security posture of your distributed cloud environment visit Cloud Centre to learn more about cloud security from Netskope. Alternatively, if you’re looking to reduce your risk and optimise the performance of your Hybrid Cloud environment speak to the NEXTDC team.