Barracuda Networks, a cloud-enabled security and data protection solutions provider headquartered in Campbell, CA, today published the findings of a new survey on cloud security, with a particular focus on firewalls.
Market research firm Dimensional Research conducted the survey on Barracuda’s behalf, which involved interviewing over 600 IT security professionals who manage cloud environments, or work in environments with intensive cloud investments. A range of questions were put to the participants on the current state of security in the cloud in order to obtain an overview of their experiences and attitudes towards cloud security. The research also “takes a deep dive into experiences with existing NGFs in cloud environments and the demand for additional cloud-specific firewall capabilities”.
The report found that the cloud and hybrid approaches to security are changing the role of the firewall, and in fact calling into question the effectiveness of current Next Generation Firewall (NGF) approaches. As cloud deployments have radically altered network and system topologies, the perimeter has become more difficult to define and defend.
“A few points really stand out based on the information presented from this survey,” said Tim Jefferson, VP of public cloud at Barracuda. “We’re continuing to see questions and concerns around how organizations should be approaching security with their cloud deployments, especially from larger companies. There are a number of reasons for this, but for organizations that are used to operating under traditional data center architecture, moving to the cloud will require a new way of thinking when they approach security. Using security tools specifically designed for the public cloud can actually make a business more secure than they were when they operated purely on-premises.”
Key findings include:
- The cloud is changing the firewall’s traditional role – 66% of respondents have deployed NGFs in on-premises environments, compared to only 34% having done so in the cloud. A significant majority (83%) have concerns about deploying traditional NGFs in the cloud, with the top two reasons being “pricing and licensing not appropriate for the cloud” and a “lack of integration prevents cloud automation”. Increased overhead due to a lack of integration was also cited as a concern in transitioning firewalls to the cloud.
- Cloud-specific security capabilities are valued – While over half (56%) of respondents say that their on-premises security is currently superior to the cloud, virtually all (99%) do see the value in cloud-specific firewall capabilities. These include “Integration with cloud management, monitoring, and automation capabilities” and the ability to “regulate traffic flows between on-premises and cloud data centers”.
- Security automation benefits devop teams – 93% of those organizations who have adopted DevOps, DevSecOps, or CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) said they had met challenges while integrating security into their processes, including limitations with standard security solutions.
Dimensional Research also asked the question, “Do existing NGF approaches continue to deliver needed protection or are new capabilities needed?”
Barracuda is well poised to answer, as it specializes in Cloud Generation Firewalls, offering “security, access and reliability for cloud-connected networks and applications”. Its CloudGen Firewall and CloudGen WAF were built for cloud-only and hybrid-cloud environments, intending to provide network and application security there.
Cloud-specific features include metered billing, allowing customers to deploy cloud and hybrid-cloud security in conjunction with their current public cloud consumption model. Barracuda also offers support for the unique needs of the cloud, such as horizontal scalability, distributed policy sets, fully meshed connectivity and north-south traffic management. Its Cloud Generation Firewalls integrate directly with public cloud fabric, offer API integrations for DevOps tools and automation workflows, and provide centralized management across hybrid environments.
From the survey’s results, it appears that many organizations are eager to find solutions in the cloud, and require the scalability and flexibility that cloud-hosted applications increasingly demand.