When it comes to IT security, cloud computing has established a fairly bad reputation -- and perhaps rightly so. Moving beyond traditional perimeter security into public, private, and hybrid cloud architectures stretches the capabilities of traditional security tools. It creates new security holes and blind spots that were not there previously. But cloud security is looking brighter by the day, and very soon cloud security tools will outmatch any type of non-cloud parameter security architecture.
In many ways, cloud security is gaining in strength based on a seemingly inherent weakness. Cloud service providers are in a unique position to absorb vast amounts of data. Because large clouds are geographically dispersed in data centers around the globe, they can pull in all kinds of security intelligence as data flows in and out of the cloud. This intelligence can then be used to track security threats and stop them far more quickly.
When enterprises finally embrace the idea of cloud computing, it doesn't become simply an extension of the traditional enterprise network. It becomes the central focus. End-users access the cloud through any number of different entry points, such as private WANs or the public Internet. Because the cloud is a centralized point of entry for customers, it becomes the ideal location for securing client/server communications as well as a single point of management for encryption keys.
Finally, as cloud computing evolves alongside software-defined technologies, it allows for end-to-end visibility from a security protection standpoint. Never before have IT security administrators had the ability to create software overlays, which virtually flatten networks so that security postures can be streamlined and easier to manage.
For years, cloud computing progressed at a faster rate than cloud security could protect it. Starting in 2015 and beyond, that gap looks to be closing. Here, we present several cloud security tools and architectures that we believe will become mainstream for enterprises that leverage cloud computing services. If you continue to be concerned with protection of sensitive data in the cloud, you have a new perspective on cloud security after considering these options.