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Rodney Holmes
May 9, 2017
The Insecurity Complex – A Growing List of IT Security Issues Keeping You Awake at Night?

Shadow IT bothering you – and your leadership team, your compliance experts, your technology audit groups?

Today, more and more enterprises IT teams are waking up to their latest nightmare – employees either innocently or intentionally using cloud services to share information, data and to collaborate for any number of reasons, including the desire to operate independently and not be restricted by company policies.

Rather than ignore the risk – or be forced to respond when bad things happen – when confidential files are shared on Dropbox, when data is leaked through Google docs, when conference calls are opened up on UberConference to people without NDAs with the company – IT teams are now embracing the cloud and the cloud applications playing offense, not defense.

In fact, Shadow IT has been a way into hybrid cloud for many enterprises and businesses who no longer need to fight the rising tide associated with the convenience, economics and productivity cloud applications deliver, but are now taking the lead. This includes advocating for and serving the rising number of DevOps teams inside enterprises, building competitive and often mission-critical software applications that, if attacked, stolen or compromised could costs businesses millions of dollars, future business and market power.

Shadow IT also highlighted new concerns about security and control, and while a MultiCloud world will be a fact of life for all enterprises (according to Gartner, by 2020), it doesn’t have to mean less security – with new ways to create ultra-private and secure networks, without sacrificing performance, managing can be simplified. Old approaches won’t work as one naturally understands – the more clouds, the more networks, the more moving parts, the more policy and administration, and the more risks.

Unless your IT is 100 percent physical or 100% cloud – whether it’s your own private cloud or a public cloud – you are already “hybrid.” It’s the multiple cloud types and applications within an enterprise’s internal “supercloud” – as well as those which extend outward to consumers, customers, partners and supply chain – that prompted us to develop not just a “hybrid” but “MultiCloud” connectivity solution. That solution is a software overlay, turning the public Internet into your own private service networks, which can serve an entire enterprise, or be deployed initially on a per-cloud or per-app basis.

The growing popularity of the MultiCloud approach is affirms what our years of research and hundreds of discussions with large, global enterprises and organizations, and the Systems Integrators, consultants and software and hardware vendors indicated. This mass migration to a MultiCloud world is what inspired us to establish NetFoundry in 2016. We believe the majority of businesses, governments, educational institutions and industries will no longer follow a black and white, “either or” strategy.

Security in the Mix

A MultiCloud strategy with a unified and simplified connectivity platform unlocks the real value of leveraging not “the cloud” but the “many clouds” including accessing and controlling a close, local, private cloud solution with the convenience, scalability, performance, cost, and mobility benefits solutions managed by a public, multitenant cloud provider, particularly when the same security policies can be applied across the board. Without unification of the policy and security management platform, the nightmares will come back.

A MultiCloud approach also delivers the very important option of scaling resources for each workload and choosing the best application with more agility, while also rolling out new services with this same agility. Applications can run on whichever platform is best for what that workload required – for example, an ultra-low latency application (trading for example) may always be best served on a private cloud, while that same bank may find public cloud completely appropriate for an application like embedded chat in a website. Regardless, great security of the connectivity networks (and the applications) cannot compromise availability, performance and the increasingly critical “quality of experience” as more and more business becomes fundamentally digital.

Sophistication in the Strategy

Today, neither “the network” nor “security” can be an afterthought when it comes to digital transformation. More and more developers are thinking in advance about embedded connectivity and security into the solution – in a “cloud-native” way. Some of the smartest and most visionary IT teams we work with understand that MultiCloud implementations will vary. Some will require deep integration between cloud and private/ on-premises environments, with more distributed computing and collaboration, while some may be inherently simpler and therefore less expensive to support. The trade-offs, including economic, are still in place for IT teams, particularly in large enterprises where budgets are often under pressure – however the trade-offs themselves are becoming quite different.

Virtualization is not new to these sophisticated IT teams. They have already moved compute to VMs and there are now many “black belts” able to spin up VMs, including supporting the growing DevOps teams – to create, test, and roll out new applications.

What NetFoundry’s MultiCloud Connect platform enables is these same IT teams to “spin up” Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) without having to provision and pay for expensive MPLS or continue to maintain clunky traditional VPNs.

Given all the well-known benefits of cloud and now hybrid clouds, businesses and organizations are anxious to continue benefitting from cost reductions including heavy capex, while also creating more velocity as part of their own flavors of digital transformation. That said, all the cost savings in the world will be forgotten with the first large security breach, the first large DDoS attack, network downtime, and more.

Ensuring a super secure private network – with the resilience and survivability only the Public Internet can deliver – will contribute to a better night’s sleep for IT teams in the future. MultiClouds done in our new, modern fashion are a logical extension of cloud as well as software defined networking (SDN) generally; with the appropriate investment in automation, metrics, convenient self-service consoles, and security and performance tracking built in – even more advances beyond hybrid cloud are possible.

Beyond Hybrid and Into the Prismatic MultiCloud Future

The success of any MultiCloud strategy will depend not only the physical infrastructures leveraged (data centers, servers, etc.) but on the software that makes the infrastructure management possible. Putting it another way – beyond Hybrid Cloud, there is a MultiCloud future and it truly can be more secure, more resilient, and less risky than legacy connectivity services. IT teams of the future will be able to offer tremendous support, to employees, to developers, to partners, and customers when their culture shifts from control and expertise to collaboration – but in a sane, simplified and safe way.

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