Cloud Migration Complicates Security in Hybrid Environments

Nearly one-third of organizations plan to grow their public cloud infrastructure over the next 12-18 months, but they are grappling with migration challenges including managing security policies and broken applications.

AlgoSec, a provider of firewall policy management software, surveyed 450 C-level executives and security professionals to take stock of their hybrid cloud security strategies, releasing its results today.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said their organization runs up to 20 percent of workloads in the public cloud, while 26 percent use public cloud for between 21 and 40 percent of workloads. Seven percent use public cloud for 61 to 100 percent of workloads. The majority of respondents (58 percent) use Microsoft Azure, 52 percent use Amazon Web Services (AWS), and 19 percent use Google Cloud.

Between a lack of visibility and inconsistent management of security policies, hybrid environments present challenges to organizations, who are most concerned about cyberattacks (58 percent) and unauthorized access (53 percent). Despite all the advancements in cybersecurity mitigation, nearly 40 percent of respondents still say security concerns are impeding further adoption of cloud platforms.

Forty-four percent of respondents had difficulty managing security policies post migration, 32 percent had difficulty mapping application traffic flows before starting a migration project, and 30 percent reported their applications didn’t work post-migration.

“Migrating applications is a complex, tedious and error-prone process that requires detailed preparation if it is to proceed smoothly without compromising security, compliance and business agility,” AlgoSec said in its report. “Understanding and mapping existing application connectivity flows for complex enterprise applications premigration — which is critical in order to re-establish the correct traffic flows following migration — is extremely difficult. There is usually little to no up-to-date documentation on existing application connectivity and it can take months to gather the necessary information, understand the requirements and then painstakingly adjust and migrate every firewall rule, router ACL and cloud security group to the new environment. A single mistake can cause outages, compliance violations and create holes in the security perimeter.”

Indeed, mistakes can happen when security and migration rely on manual processes, which is why 26 percent of respondents said they use automation to manage security in hybrid environments, compared to 20 percent who use manual process. Enterprises who use automation said that it allows them to address security changes faster and more accurately, while speeding up cloud migrations, and enforcing compliance.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they use a cloud provider’s native security controls to secure cloud deployments, and 44 percent said they also use third-party firewalls, including those from Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Fortinet and Juniper.

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