Cloud computing is having a major impact on all other areas of IT and delivering generally profound changes to the business world. Here’s a look at how the security field is evolving to embrace the cloud in 2016.
- Malware Protection
- Use of Firewalls
- Load Balancing
- App-Based Storage
The security industry is rapidly changing, with firewall and switching companies fading away to make room for solutions more directly geared toward the cloud. On the other hand, there are certain types of security firms that will continue to grow as the landscape shifts increasingly from physical to virtual.
Anti-malware companies have expertise related to security, but their focus has traditionally been on in-house systems. Now that the cloud is becoming so central to computing, malicious parties are turning to those systems as points of entry for attack. In 2016, anti-malware firms will further invest in the development and introduction of cloud-specific tools.
The services that will be used are fundamentally similar since the basic idea is to check traffic for possible malware injections. One challenging aspect is interoperability, notes TechCrunch – “how the anti-malware solution gets inserted into a cloud system to which it doesn’t necessarily have access.”
This year, cloud infrastructure-as-a-service providers will be allowing people to use more malware options with their systems.
RELATED: As companies explore public cloud, they are realizing it’s important to look beyond brand recognition and price to the actual technologies and design principles that are used. In other words, what defines a strong IaaS service? At Superb Internet, we offer distributed rather than centralized storage (for no single point of failure) and InfiniBand rather than 10 GigE (for dozens of times lower latency).
Use of Firewalls
The unfortunate news for firewall providers is that their market is taking a huge hit with the emergence of cloud since access control is now being handled externally.
Firewalls determine the extent to which communication between certain systems is allowed and which protocols are acceptable. These systems have typically been IP- focused. Services such as packet monitoring and app awareness will still be needed, but access control is handled as part of the cloud service.
Load balancing is a critical part of computing, but the companies specializing in this area will also become less prominent in 2016. Load balancing spreads workloads evenly across machines, a characteristic that is built into the cloud model and seen as one of its primary strengths.
Load balancing will still make sense with some legacy systems.
With traditional systems, encryption was an afterthought for many scenarios. In 2016, as the cloud blossoms, so will encryption – which now has a more pivotal role. However, adaptation to cloud is key.
“Traditional agent-based encryption is … hard to deploy because it doesn’t work seamlessly with data management and other infrastructure functions,” notes TechCrunch. “[E]ncryption vendors need to develop solutions that are massively scalable and truly transparent.”
Encryption will be built into many cloud systems in 2016. Independent encryption tools will also become more prevalent. Encryption could eventually become a more comprehensive strategy to safeguard networks via access control, alongside its role in shielding the data.
Encryption could gradually become the new “ground zero” for security.
Switching solutions are sophisticated tools, with capabilities such as establishment of a virtual local area network (VLAN). Typically switching systems designate which servers within a data center can and can’t interact. Within a network management context, switching becomes a much more elaborate undertaking.
With cloud, you no longer have to worry about network management in that sense. You can establish parameters through which switching occurs automatically. Network access control becomes a non-issue.
You do want to have switches so that you can have a single network supported by more than one infrastructure, but that’s not huge business. The business of switching will therefore be in decline in 2016.
The problems of switching companies are amplified by the challenge of cloud integration. “To get a so-called virtual switch inserted in a cloud-based data center, it would need to be tightly integrated with a cloud-based hypervisor,” says TechCrunch. “[There is] no incentive for cloud providers to give third-party switch vendors special access to their systems.”
Data is expanding astronomically, and the cloud gives enterprises someplace to immediately store all that extra information. That gives rise, in turn, to storage through applications.
The companies that will be the most successful with these cloud storage solutions are ones that will allow organizations to manage both public and private clouds.
The storage systems that will succeed the most will be ones that have encryption as a central component. Otherwise it will be necessary to encrypt through additional means, and that’s inconvenient.
There has been a lot of hype for the cloud in the last few years, but 2016 will be a year of massive change. As TechCrunch notes, “The transition of the enterprise from private to public clouds is likely to be the most impactful transition in the IT data center sector in the past three decades.”