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Barracuda: IT Pros Increasingly Concerned About Traditional Firewalls in the Cloud

Firewall

The vast majority of IT professionals in a new survey have concerns about the effectiveness of traditional security tools in cloud environments.

Barracuda Networks commissioned the study, which was conducted by Dimensional Research. Data was collected from more than 600 respondents from around the world to help capture a view of experiences and attitudes in regard to cloud security

Tim Jefferson, Barracuda’s vice president of public cloud, tells Channel Partners the challenge for the channel is to shift their business and value proposition around consulting and helping customers build and migrate workloads to public cloud.

Barracuda's Tim Jefferson

Barracuda’s Tim Jefferson

“It requires unique and hard-to-acquire expertise, and a new business model that does not rely as much on product revenue,” he said. “The survey highlights the fact that unique expertise is required to consult, design, build and potentially manage cloud infrastructure for customers.”

According to the survey, more than four in five (83 percent) respondents have concerns about deploying traditional firewalls in the cloud, with two in five (39 percent) naming “pricing and licensing not appropriate for the cloud,” and one in three (34 percent) citing “lack of integration prevents cloud automation” as their top two concerns.

Some three in four (74 percent) respondents cite the most beneficial cloud-specific firewall capability as “integration with cloud management, monitoring and automation capabilities,” and 59 percent cite the ability to “regulate traffic flows between on-premises and cloud data centers” as the second most beneficial capability.

“One of the highlights from the survey that stands out to me was the mention that 99 percent of the respondents said that cloud-specific firewall capabilities would be beneficial,” Jefferson said. “And if you take a look at the list of features … like integration with cloud management, ease of deployment and configuration, the ability to regulate traffic flows for hybrid environments — customers are recognizing or at least thinking about how security solutions like cloud-generation firewalls could help their cloud deployments.”

Cloud firewalls in many cases are replacing traditional firewalls.

“Traditional firewalls are optimized in architectures that are tightly coupled and scale vertically, while cloud deployment best-practices dictate building architectures that are loosely coupled and scale horizontally; only cloud-generation firewalls can work in these environments,” he said.

According to the survey, of the organizations that have adopted DevOps, DevSecOps, or CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous deployment), almost all (93 percent) have faced challenges integrating security into those practices.

“The ability to automate security controls in public cloud is the tip of the spear/highly aspirational state for most customers today,” Jefferson said. “There is a big appetite to learn the best practices and journey to support DevSecOps work flows. We’ve had one CEO comment that finding a qualified cloud-security architect is like finding a ‘leprechaun riding a unicorn over a rainbow.’ Partners are having a difficult time finding and keeping qualified engineers to build their practices around.”

According to Gartner’s recent report on cloud versus traditional firewalls, “vendors have so far come up short on adopting more agile deployment methods, and instrumenting different environments with APIs, including cloud provider APIs. The key to firewall vendors being successful with API strategies is greater visibility and instrumentation, as well as ease of use and simplicity,”


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