How cloud migration impacts modern network security

When compared to on-premise environments, the benefits of being on the cloud is exponentially better. Paul Wagenseil, custom content strategist for CyberRisk Alliance, shares an informative article on their website on the impacts on cloud migration and the modern network security platform. In April 2024, the CyberRisk Alliance (CRA) Business Intelligence surveyed 202 security and IT managers, executives and practitioners and found that in the previous 12 months, 93% of respondents migrated some share of their workloads to the cloud. Forty-two percent said more than half their workloads were cloud-based, while 16% said more than three-quarters were. Likewise, in Check Point’s 2022 Cloud Security Report, 98% of respondents said their organizations used “some form of cloud-based infrastructure,” and 76% used more than one cloud service provider (CSP), including private cloud deployments. One surveyor remarked, “The cloud gives us scalability. If we need a new server, we can spin that up in minutes rather than waiting on equipment purchase for on-prem. It lets us focus more on application support … rather than focusing on worrying about infrastructure.”

However, with any new technology comes risks. Securing a cloud-based or hybrid network with both cloud and on-premise elements is different from securing a fully on-premise network. Wagenseil notes that assets, application servers, and databases are often scattered among different cloud instances, or between cloud and on-prem servers, sometimes even with the same asset sharing space in multiple environments. “Network-security practitioners can no longer draw a ring around a core group of assets and declare that they are protected,” he says. “Instead, security tools and personnel have to follow each asset, each set of data and each user and create protections around them individually. This can lead to a radically different concept of network topology and security and requires drastic retraining of security personnel.” The biggest risk is often human error and misunderstanding on how the cloud network functions. “Misconfigurations are among the top risks facing cloud users,” says Wagenseil. “Check Point’s 2022 Cloud Security Report found that, for 33% of organizations, the complexity of their cloud environments makes it challenging to rapidly identify and correct misconfigurations before they can be exploited by an attacker. Likewise, CRA’s 2024 report put misconfiguration vulnerabilities at the top of the list of common cloud security-related incidents, with 35% of respondents citing such an incident in the past year.” Organizations should dedicate their efforts to fully learning their new cloud environments, and seek multiple resources such as written guides or IT partners. This way they can completely grasp their cloud networks and not need to worry about messing up their network security.


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