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The key to managing and securing multicloud infrastructures

The key to managing and securing multicloud infrastructures

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The cloud in all forms can be used as a valuable tool for modern businesses and is now widely adopted among the majority. Ronan David, VP Business Development and Marketing at EfficientIP, explores the true value of multicloud and how businesses should best manage and secure it to reap its benefits.

When it comes to the handling of new applications and workloads for modern digital infrastructures, multicloud is an unquestionable reality. 

Although businesses have quickly learnt to transition into virtual off-premise spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, pressure has risen from both employees and consumers for companies to provide quick and efficient access to a broad range of applications by making use of multicloud infrastructures.

Yet the real value of multicloud is being held back by an inability to best secure the technology. Frequent security challenges which arise are both costly and time-consuming for companies as they may lead to service downtime or even a loss of business and critical data.

Businesses in Europe have been looking to secure their multicloud structures in a variety of ways, each focusing on aspects such as automation, centralised management and visibility. This enables businesses to avoid the complexities associated with having multiple public and private clouds, while protecting themselves from the increased security risks cloud can bring about.

DDI, the combination of DNS, DHCP and IPAM which is used to manage IP resources in networking, provides a valuable security solution when integrated with multicloud as it optimises visibility, management and automation.

Challenges of securing multicloud infrastructures

What makes multicloud a valuable business asset is that it provides the flexibility needed to pick and choose services which enhance the way we work, from storage solutions, to Slack, and Office 365. This is unlike a single cloud provider which may focus only on a specific area of use for a company such as email or videoconferencing. The Digital Transformation of our IT architectures is vital for businesses to stay one step ahead of their competitors at a challenging time.  

Despite the clear need for multicloud, many businesses are struggling, experiencing network misconfigurations and a general loss of control as they try to cope with multiple data silos, multiple access points, varied cloud APIs and skills shortages. Challenges arising from this include a lack of unified management, inconsistent or inaccurate configuration data, and an inability to drive one security policy across different cloud providers.

As infrastructure continues to spread from on- to off-premises, visibility into virtual networks becomes limited, preventing effective management of IP resources. This creates problems with the interconnection of applications located in different clouds which can cause application downtime. User experience for enterprise cloud services is impacted as a consequence, as is the delivery of applications globally.   

As soon as cloud workloads go beyond simple web hosting, security of networks becomes a risk which must be addressed. 

Multicloud security trends

Security trends often focus on the automation of multicloud deployment and management. This is to ensure the most efficient and resourceful way to use multicloud by managing its complexity and allowing it to grow and change to meet the business’ evolving needs.

As companies use their private clouds with public cloud infrastructure (such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Cloud), this creates a dispersed, hybrid cloud DNS environment that is difficult to oversee and protect without unified management. Providing a centralised management system is key to securing multicloud infrastructures, and must exist in any multicloud security solution.

The effective control and security of multicloud environments relies on cross-platform visibility as well as automation. Inter-cloud observability is vital for security across the cloud and ensures private data is protected. That all starts with an accurate view of the IP plan structure and resources, making it important to use a cloud-agnostic DDI solution which brings global visibility, allows management of external resources and is fully meshed in the automation processes with other IT solutions due to open APIs. 

How to stay secure – through DDI

The success of hybrid multicloud projects is very much reliant on resiliency, accessibility, security and performance of cloud infrastructures and services. For this, managing the IP resources deployed in clouds with a DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM) solution is critical, as it brings the visibility, automation and control required for the infrastructure to be run and managed efficiently.

Fundamental to all this is having a consolidated, dynamic data repository which acts as the ‘IP Source of Truth’ for an organisation’s network. By ensuring data consistency throughout the infrastructure, this IP data lake can be used by an automated DDI solution to avoid configuration errors which potentially create security holes for cyberattacks, the top cause of cloud data breaches in 2020 (Cloud Security Alliance). Forgotten VM IP addresses in the cloud, for example, can leave the door open for DNS attacks, which tend to target organisations with large and complex infrastructures.

IT infrastructures are only as valuable as they are safe. DNS – a part of DDI – is the first line of defence because it allows oversight over almost all IP traffic, meaning it can provide threat detection at all levels, ultimately helping guard against data theft, protect users’ privacy and filter access to applications hosted in cloud and on-premises.

Furthermore, analysis of DNS traffic, from source to destination, works to protect private data from cyberattacks which are becoming more frequent for cloud architectures. 

As the world of work continues to evolve, innovative multicloud platforms will become the solution of choice. That’s why businesses need to act quickly to ensure the foundations of their network infrastructure – of which DDI is a cornerstone – are robust and secure. This can prevent application downtime and data breaches which can lead to long-lasting reputational damage and a loss of revenue.

By taking DDI into account, businesses can be sure that multicloud is providing a simple, safe and scalable option for collaborative business practice that can add real value to our working lives.

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