When network security moves to the cloud
Jan 22, 2024

When network security moves to the cloud

Ramesh N G

As enterprises adopt a hybrid working model, employees are increasingly accessing resources from potentially insecure devices and networks across various locations. According to the Alliances Virtual Offices report, remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a 238% increase in cyber-attacks, and the average costs of the data breaches increased to $3.86 Million for enterprises. This shift has made it essential for organizations to have a robust security posture to protect against potential threats.

Secure Service Access Edge (SASE) has been a popular term in the market since the rise of SD-WAN, which brought about the need for integrated security in enterprise networks. SASE is a cloud-based security architecture that converges networking and security functions into a single, unified platform. SASE aims to provide secure access to resources and applications, regardless of their location or access methods. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is the concept that has evolved into a SASE solution, and organizations continue to adopt it. However, the term Security Service Edge (SSE) has gained traction in the industry and continues to become popular.

SSE is a subset of SASE that focuses specifically on security services needed to protect users and data from threats. It is designed to address the growing need for a comprehensive network and security framework that integrates and prioritizes security functions right from the start and not as an afterthought. Many organizations have started designing their network edge and security separately, with SSE providing a clear focus on security functions like secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), and firewall as a service (FWaaS). This approach is considered mature since it prioritizes security functions and allows organizations to build a robust and integrated security framework to protect against various threats. According to Gartner, by 2026, 85% of organizations seeking to procure cloud access security broker (CASB), secure web gateway (SWG), or Next-Gen Firewalls offerings will obtain these from a converged solution.

So, with the rise of hybrid work models, it has become increasingly essential for organizations to have a comprehensive network and security framework that can protect against varied threats from a wide range of threat vectors. SASE and SSE emerge as popular approaches to achieve this goal, with SSE focusing specifically on security services. Organizations can build a mature, integrated security solution that keeps their users and data safe by prioritizing security functions like SWG, CASB, and FWaaS.

What is the difference between Traditional security and cloud-based security for enterprise networks?

The below table shows a comprehensive view of the difference between traditional network security and cloud-based network security:


Traditional network security is deployed on-premises, requiring organizations to purchase and maintain supporting hardware and software appliances. This can be complex and expensive, especially for large organizations with multiple locations spread across the globe.

Cloud-based or SSE-based network security eliminates the need for on-premises hardware and software, reducing costs and simplifying management. It is agile, scalable, flexible, and cost-effective. It can be used for a wider variety of use cases, such as protecting cloud workloads, securing remote users, and protecting web applications. It also provides better visibility and automation capabilities, simplifying the management process.

While traditional network security is suitable for safeguarding on-premises networks, it is less effective at protecting cloud workloads and remote users. It also requires manual updates and configurations to comply with security regulations, which can be time-consuming.

Cloud-based or SSE-based network security provides a seamless user experience and is hosted in secure data centers, making it a safer option.

Why do I need to move my security controls to the cloud?

Enterprises are increasingly adopting the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) in the modern era of hybrid workforces. The decision to migrate security controls to the cloud is propelled by the expanding attack surface. Cloud-based security solutions, in contrast to traditional approaches, provide better scalability, flexibility, and transparency through real-time monitoring of security events. This real-time oversight empowers organizations to detect and remediate potential threats promptly.

The adoption of cloud-based security solutions facilitates seamless adherence to security regulations, ensuring compliance with minimal organizational intervention. For an organization to be dynamic and competitive, traditional security is not an agile solution that addresses the new-age business needs, especially while effectively protecting the movement of workloads to the cloud and adopting SaaS applications. Often, these on-premises approaches disrupt user productivity and create a less seamless user experience, impacting the business operations and end-customer experience. Cloud-based security solutions provide a more seamless and user-friendly experience, ensuring that security does not hinder user productivity. The migration of security controls to the cloud is a growing trend in the industry, and for good reason. Cloud-based security solutions offer more scalability, flexibility, visibility, and compliance, making them an ideal choice for organizations, especially those with a hybrid workforce working in cloud environments and SaaS applications.

How to ensure smooth migration of network security to the cloud

The migration of network security to the cloud can unlock substantial benefits for enterprises through the adoption of a Secure Service Edge (SSE) based security model. While this transition offers improved security, cost reduction, and increased agility, a careful approach is essential. Here are some important things to keep in mind when making the transition:

1. Design your Security Requirements:

  • Tailor your security requirements based on the application workloads and the desired security posture required to ensure your organization’s overall security.
  • Assess the network security needs and identify gaps and potential threats to determine the necessary protection levels to safeguard data, users, and applications.
  • Implement appropriate measures to mitigate risks and protect the organization against potential attacks.

2. Evaluate SSE vendors:

  • Research and evaluate various SSE vendors to select the one that aligns with your organization's needs.
  • Look for vendors with a strong reputation, capabilities, and experience in your industry.
  • Assess end-to-end services, security features, product maturity, and vendor support services.

3. Create a migration plan:

  • Develop a comprehensive migration plan ensuring existing firewalls and security services and policies are migrated and functioning properly before taking them live.
  • Consolidate and standardize security policies to simplify the migration process.
  • Assess user systems and edge network devices for compatibility with the new cloud security platform.

4. Consider the impact on user experience:

  • Avoid implementing strict and non-user-friendly policies without adequate mechanisms for end-users.   
  • Adopt user-friendly authentication methods and simplify the login process to minimize user friction and impact on productivity.
  • Evaluate policies from the end-user side before deploying them to assess their impact on user experience.

5. Consolidate Policies with Governance:   

  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities for access control, incident response, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Define tasks and duties, communicate them to relevant stakeholders, and establish governance policies including data privacy and incident response.
  • Clearly outline the sequence of tasks to be undertaken steps in case of a security incident and identify relevant stakeholders  

6. Enable Real-time Visibility:

  • Implement tools for continuous cloud infrastructure monitoring for optimal security.
  • Conduct regular log reviews to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities and
  • Deploy automated security tools for real-time detection and response to security threat events.  

7. Regular Audit:

  • Conduct periodic security audits to maintain a solid security posture.
  • Identify potential vulnerabilities and address them promptly.
  • Hire qualified security professionals for audits and analyze findings to enhance security measures.

8. Periodic user training and Communication:

  •  Ensure clear communication and training for security personnel and employees
  • Educate on new policies, procedures, and tools to improve security awareness and compliance.


How can Microland help:

To successfully transition to the Cloud security model, conducting a proper and thorough assessment of the current security posture, policies, challenges, and target security design is important. To help our customers with this process, Microland offers comprehensive guidelines for transformation assessment, providing structured approaches for Consulting Services and specific network and security consulting services.

Once our customers have selected the right approach, Microland's Zero trust network access (ZTNA) based solutions with a high focus on user experience, driven by the Platform approach using Intelligeni NetOps, enables customers to smoothly adapt to the cloud security model and ensure business continuity. This approach is designed to provide our customers with the best possible security and user experience.

In addition, our SmartBranch offerings approach is designed to help customers seamlessly transform their on-premises policies to SSE-based cloud security. This approach enables our customers to smoothly transition their existing policies to the cloud security model without glitches. At Microland, we are committed to providing our customers with the best possible cloud security solutions. Our comprehensive guidelines and structured approaches ensure that our customers can transition to the cloud security model smoothly and efficiently while ensuring maximum security and user experience.



Stats from Gartner report:

  • By 2025, 70% of organizations implementing agent-based zero trust network access (ZTNA) will choose either a SASE or SSE provider for ZTNA, rather than a stand-alone offering.
  • By 2026, 85% of organizations seeking to procure cloud access security broker (CASB), secure web gateway (SWG) or ZTNA access offerings will obtain these from a converged solution.
  • By 2026, 45% of organizations will prioritize advanced data security features for inspection of data at rest and in motion as a selection criterion for SSE.