Organizations that have adopted multi-cloud ecosystems are well into their cloud migration journeys. And they are not alone. According to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 92% of enterprises already have a multi-cloud strategy in place, with 80% using a hybrid cloud strategy. The report also notes that 61% of organizations plan to optimize cloud costs in 2021, making it the top initiative for the fifth year in a row.

For those organizations that are further along in their digital journeys—e.g., have already deployed SD-WAN and firewalls and are in the process of moving more workloads and data to the cloud—they may be dealing with vendor and solution sprawl and therefore unsure of how to create consistent cloud security policies across all environments and applications. Choosing the best provider with the best product to fit into an existing system can cause operational and management headaches, especially when it doesn’t interoperate with other solutions running in other environments.

The resulting disjointed management tools from disparate vendors can leads to numerous security issues, including a lack of visibility that can result in exposed vulnerabilities and delays in response times because none of the components communicate with one another. This can also result in a greater likelihood for mistakes and misconfigurations. The lack of visibility and communication across various point solutions invariably leads to greater exposure to risk. 

The benefits of a hybrid cloud environment

Multi-cloud deployments provide a number of financial, operational, and functional benefits, such as:

  • Greater choice: the flexibility to choose vendors to avoid provider or subscription lock-in
  • Exceptional functionality: being able to choose the best vendor with the best product
  • Price and performance: the option to choose consumption models based on needs and outcomes
  • Optimal resiliency: options to cover downtime and failover
  • Better global compliance: the ability to choose from a variety of cloud models

Getting unified

As infrastructures diversify to compete in this digital economy, new edges, technologies, and tools keep getting added to the network, which in turn continue to expand the attack surface. To gain visibility and define consistent security policies throughout the entire infrastructure, organizations need a single pane of glass management system to effectively manage risk. The question is how to consolidate and integrate different solutions in different cloud environments to ensure a consistent cloud security policy. The answer is clear: Organizations need a unified, comprehensive cloud security platform able to run on any platform to enable solutions to communicate and integrate. A platform with open APIs and integrations with third-party applications can ensure that all of the tools in the security toolkit are functioning with visibility and collaboration from install, and not just those running natively on the platform.

Security platforms designed to run across any edge, including traditional and multi-cloud environments, are able to protect workloads and business applications both in on-premises data centers as well as in any cloud environment—with built-in multilayer security for all cloud-based applications. Look for solutions that can follow the data, protecting and following applications everywhere they go with a single, centralized management console—rather than having to independently manage each one and then hand correlating threat intelligence, which is what many organizations currently have to do.

This platform approach provides organizations with a consolidated view of their security posture across their entire distributed network. It enables using a single console for policy management regardless of which cloud infrastructure they have—whether private, public, or hybrid cloud environments. Along with the benefits of utilizing multi-cloud environments, there are additional benefits of a platform approach to cloud security:

  • Reduce complexity for cloud operations and network operations teams  
  • Tighten security across the entire cloud ecosystem
  • Meet compliance requirements with consistent policy

An integrated, unified cybersecurity platform approach with a rich ecosystem built in to protect the extended digital attack surface provides:

  • Automation: for early prevention and detection
  • Consolidated visibility and management: for the various security solutions deployed across the network, enabling them to see one another and work together as a single system
  • Broad integration and easy implementation: for easy setup, management, and control of all security applications

The true way to ensure consistent security

The only true way to ensure consistent cloud security policies across a distributed infrastructure is to implement a platform architecture comprised of solutions that are integrated and designed to communicate and collaborate together. Utilizing a common operating system, advanced automation, APIs for third-party integrations, and a single, consolidated management platform will bring all of these security tools together for optimum prevention, detection, and response.

A cloud security platform natively built around a common operating system and management framework enables seamless interoperability, full visibility, and seamless communications. Multi-vendor cloud environments with disparate security solutions that can’t integrate or communicate with one another when deployed make it almost impossible for organizations to achieve consistent security policies across their entire infrastructure. A unified platform approach to cloud security solves these issues with consistency, visibility, and integrated orchestration with single-pane-of-glass management.

Learn how Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions provide increased visibility and control across cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from data center to cloud. 

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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