The trend in enterprise IT is to move from a hardware-centric to an application-centric network model, enabling businesses to streamline processes and improve end-user experiences, all while enhancing their competitive positioning. As a result, IT organizations are under tremendous pressure to rapidly transform in order to keep pace with these new business demands. This need to run processes more efficiently, improve time-to-market and enhance user experience is subsequently driving more and more businesses to embrace IaaS as part of their IT strategy.
The rising tide of cloud deployments is providing sufficient proof-points of the business benefits of public cloud infrastructure and fueling further cloud adoption. It is no longer a question of “if” but “when” an organization will start moving data and workflows to the cloud.
Public clouds are a natural fit for organizations that prefer to transfer the management of day-to-day infrastructure operations to a third-party provider. Businesses that utilize public clouds benefit from a shared pay-per-use model that keeps costs low and improves business agility, but the public model raises concerns around data security, privacy and compliance. Private clouds, in contrast, are corporate owned and managed, provide greater data control and security but require substantially larger investments. Striking the right balance between costs, control and business agility is a key factor for the rise of the hybrid cloud model.
Hybrid cloud is the combination of private cloud infrastructure with one or more public clouds that are bound together to function as an extension of existing corporate systems and processes. Essentially, hybrid clouds deliver the best of both worlds; the agility, extensibility and cost saving benefits of public cloud environments coupled with the management benefits of leveraging tools and processes already in place in private clouds. Hybrid models enable greater flexibility in deciding where to allocate resources for maximum business impact.
Still, security concerns associated with moving data beyond IT control keeps many organizations from fully embracing the cloud. Businesses want the ability to control their own data and keep it private, protect themselves from cyber threats and securely connect their cloud with their traditional ‘on-premise’ network, all while maintaining compliance with regulatory mandates.
Traditional security solutions, however, don’t easily extend nor were they really built for the elastic and dynamic nature of the cloud. Add to this a lack of knowledge of cloud security technology and techniques and business are scrambling to figure out how best to keep their cloud environments secure. Thus, enterprise and IT leaders seek trusted partners, such as Microsoft Azure, to close the gaps between agility and security to confidently make the move to the cloud.
Microsoft Azure provides public and hybrid cloud services for a wide range of enterprise user cases. Azure is a unified, multi-tenant platform that utilizes a shared infrastructure to support millions of simultaneous customers world-wide. Foundational to the Azure cloud are enhanced security, operational management and threat mitigation practices that protect the Azure infrastructure, cloud fabric, hypervisors, services and tenant environments. Yet securing the infrastructure is just one piece of the overall cloud security puzzle. A defense-in-depth strategy for the cloud should also include the ability to protect workloads and data from exploits, malware and other sophisticated attacks.
Recently, Microsoft announced the commercial availability of the Azure Security Center. Azure Security Center gives customers a centralized view of the state of their cloud resources, as well as monitors configurations, detects threats and can even recommend when to deploy additional security tools, tools like Check Point vSEC.
To address the security challenges of protecting workloads and data, Microsoft partnered with Check Point to offer customers comprehensive security protections for their public and hybrid cloud environments. Check Point vSEC for Azure provides industry-leading threat prevention security to keep customer Azure virtual networks (VNETs) safe from even the most sophisticated attacks. The integration of Check Point vSEC enhances the native isolation and virtual networking of Azure to dynamically deliver advanced threat prevention security and consistent policy enforcement customers need for protecting their cloud workloads and application data.
Taking advantage of the cost efficiencies and automation of Microsoft Azure, vSEC can be deployed and orchestrated through the Azure Security Center and is managed through a common policy and reporting engine, such as the corporate on-premise security infrastructure. vSEC for Azure gives businesses the confidence to securely extend resources and workloads to hybrid clouds, providing tangible benefits such as:
- Protection against security breaches, malware and zero-day attacks in the public cloud that may lead to private cloud / data center breaches
- Unified security management, visibility and reporting across both private and public cloud networks
- Automated workflows and orchestration to minimize configuration errors
- Elimination of the costs and loss of reputation associated with business disruptions and downtime
- Migration of sensitive workloads, applications and data to the public cloud with confidence
Working together, Microsoft Azure and Check Point have integrated their best-of-breed cloud virtualization and advanced threat prevention technologies to enable the secure delivery of applications in public and hybrid cloud environments. Click here to learn more about our vSEC for Microsoft Azure solution and how it is helping enterprises realize the full value of their public and hybrid cloud architectures.