Challenges In Cloud Computing

  • Limited visibility: Lack of visibility into network and security operations is one of the major security threats of cloud computing. The organizations, in exchange for on-demand cloud computing services and scalability, allow cloud service providers to manage portions of their technology infrastructure and data security. This shared responsibility model curtails the organization’s visibility in network and security operations.
  • Multi-tenancy: In a multi-tenancy cloud deployment environment, the responsibilities over aspects of privacy and security are shared between cloud service providers and tenants, which might result in ambiguity. This exposes potential security risks of critical security set-ups if left unguarded.
  • Unregulated access to and from anywhere: Cloud computing makes sharing and accessing of data easy and convenient. This vast exposure and easy accessibility of data also lead to it potentially being distributed among unauthorized users and malicious attackers. Storing data in virtual shared spaces makes data monitoring and handling challenging and also fuels the risks of data leaks if improperly managed.
  • Compliance: Data privacy is a growing security concern worldwide, hence why compliance regulations and industry standards like GDPR, CCPA, PCI DSS, and HIPAA are strict and mandatory for organizations. To meet the compliance requirements, it is crucial to monitor who can access the data and what they can do with that access permission. Cloud-native systems allow a large-scale user base to access data from anywhere. Failure to meet compliance standards and lack of access controls across networks can lead to weaknesses in the security posture.
  • Misconfiguration: Cloud misconfiguration refers to any security gaps or errors that can expose your network environment to major security risks or unplanned downtime events. Some of the most common cloud misconfigurations include unrestricted inbound and outbound ports, inefficient management of secrets like API keys, encryption keys, and admin credentials, insecure backups, and lack of access log monitoring.
  • Software vulnerabilities: Weak authentication and identity management, insufficient security tools, and using old and weak software versions and deprecated protocols can lead to diminished cyber defense against potent security risks.
  • Lack of Multifactor Authentication (MFA): Multifactor Authentication is a core component of Identity and Access Management (IAM), where added layers of extensive verification procedures help in minimizing the risks of possible security breaches. Failing to implement MFA can result in cyberattacks like man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access to the corporate networks.
  • Insufficiently segmented virtual networks: Virtual network segmentation helps in bolstering the overall security policy of the organization by granting access privileges to only those who need it, and ensuring security against cyberattacks and improved network performance. Lack of network segmentation can be advantageous to attackers in both privilege escalation and post-exploitation phase.

Benefits Of Cloud Computing

Flexibility

  • Scalability: Cloud computing adds scalability to businesses of various sizes. Based on their budget and resource requirements, for instance, extra bandwidth or storage spaces, businesses can instantly scale up or down their computing resources seamlessly. By outsourcing the computing resources and infrastructure requirements to cloud service providers, organizations can avoid undergoing complex and expensive upgrades to IT resources, and have more time to devote to the more critical aspects of businesses.
  • Storage: Users can opt for various cloud computing environments, private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud storage offerings, based on their security requirements, application demands, and business-specific needs.
  • Control choices: Cloud service providers offer multiple control choices with as-a-service options to select from, like platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Organizations can select from the control choices as per their level of control over corporate resources.
  • Selection of pre-built tools: Users can get the flexibility of selecting the pre-built tools and features to suit their specific needs.
  • Security features: Users can choose from a menu of security features like a virtual private cloud (VPC), encryption, and API keys. A cloud vendor monitors security in a more efficient manner than traditional in-house teams and continuously applies security fixes. Cloud service providers offer advanced security features like encryption of the data being transmitted over networks and stored in databases, access management, and authentication which help to ensure data security in the cloud computing environments.

Efficiency

  • Accessibility: Users can access cloud-based applications and software from anywhere in the world, all they need is Internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Cloud computing enhances accessibility to information resources, thereby fueling functionality, promoting collaboration, and fostering innovation.
  • Agility: Sluggish procurement processes and limited on-site hardware infrastructure can hamper application development and availability. With cloud computing, developers can obtain computing resources within minutes, test their ideas, and build application architecture with agility.
  • Time to market: With cloud computing, users can get their applications to market quickly, thus reducing time to market dramatically, improving product development and customer experience, and recognizing revenue faster.
  • Data security: Cloud computing helps you keep your critical data backed up to the cloud to make it easily accessible and safe. Cloud enables portability to your data, and you will not need external hard drives to store data. Data security is ensured as hardware failure does not lead to data loss.
  • Pay-as-you-go model: Transitioning from legacy platforms to the cloud will make access to corporate data convenient – saving both time and money. As most cloud computing services are pay-as-you-go, i.e. on the ‘utility’ basis, you will pay for the features you need when you use them. For instance, the feature of data storage is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means you will get the storage space needed to service your clients and pay for the same. Cloud computing uses remote resources, thus saving the organizations the overhead costs needed for manually managing the system and software upgrades, and the expense of servers, storage, and other critical IT resources.

Strategic Value

  • Streamlined work: Cloud service providers manage the underlying infrastructure and IT requirements, thus enabling organizations to prioritize more critical aspects that require attention, like application development and other business needs.
  • Regular updates: Manually managing organization-wide software updates taxes staff resources and adds significant cost. Cloud-based solutions provide automatic software updates to systems with advanced technology and enable organizations to use the latest software versions, and upgraded processing power. Regular updates are crucial so that systems and applications remain highly available and user experiences are not compromised.
  • Disaster recovery: Security incidents and unplanned downtime in your services can negatively impact productivity and revenue. Integrating cloud-based services in your systems can help you accelerate data recovery in the occurrence of unfavorable situations like hardware or software failure, cyberattacks, and unexpected outages. Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions ensure IT resiliency, business continuity, and application availability.
  • Collaboration: Cloud computing makes collaboration easy and effective. It enables team members to access and share information resources conveniently and securely across multiple cloud-based platforms worldwide. There are some cloud-based services that provide collaborative social spaces to connect employees from different departments of organizations and increase engagement.
  • Competitive edge: Organizations opting for cloud-based solutions and services have competitive advantages over those who don’t. Organizations who prefer to manage IT resources, critical infrastructure, and software locally, without subscribing to cloud computing services face distinct disadvantages in terms of productivity, agility and security.

SaaS: Single-Tenancy vs. Multi-Tenancy

When it comes to SaaS (Software as a Service) delivery model, single-tenancy and multi-tenancy are terms that are commonly discussed. To choose what model works best for your business, it is essential to understand what these terms mean, how they are different from each other, and their benefits and drawbacks.

What is Single-Tenant SaaS?

A single-tenant SaaS is a type of cloud architecture where every customer gets a dedicated instance of the software and the supporting infrastructure. In a single-tenancy, the server, database, and infrastructure services provided to one customer (also known as the tenant) are not shared with other customers—for example, Oracle Cloud.

To draw a real-world analogy, single-tenancy is like a neighborhood with independent houses. Each house has its own facilities that are not shared with other houses in the neighborhood and can be customized to suit the buyer or tenant’s needs.

Benefits of Single-Tenant SaaS:

    • Complete Control: As single-tenancy offers dedicated infrastructure, customers can customize the solution and add functionalities based on business needs. Software upgrades can also be installed individually as per the customer’s convenience instead of waiting for the vendor to roll out.
    • Reliable Performance: With an entire environment dedicated to a single client, resources are ample and always available, delivering high application performance. One customer suffering application downtime during upgrades does not cause availability issues for other customers.
    • Robust Security: In single-tenant architectures, application instances and databases are stored on dedicated SaaS servers, accessed only by people within the customer organization. As customer environments are completely separated from one another, the risks of unauthorized access and data breach are minimized.
    • Easy Restoration and Backup: As single-tenant environments offer separate, remote backups, it is easier to restore or backup the database in the event of a data loss. Customers can easily access and restore lost data and settings.

Drawbacks of Single-Tenant SaaS:

    • More Maintenance: Dedicated cloud environment typically means it is up to the customer to regularly patch and upgrade systems to keep them up and running smoothly. Constant maintenance can be resource-intensive, tedious, and time-consuming.
    • Complex Set Up: Single-tenant environments have a complex setup process as the software instance and databases must be configured for each customer around their needs. Due to this complexity, getting started with the solution takes a long time.
    • High Cost: As there is only one customer per environment, single-tenancy comes at a premium price. Every customer is required to invest in setup, hosting, maintenance, and upgrades that add up to the costs significantly.

What is Multi-Tenant SaaS?

A multi-tenant SaaS is another kind of cloud architecture where a single software instance and the supporting infrastructure serves multiple customers. Although it’s a shared model, each tenant’s data is isolated and remains invisible to other tenants, ensuring data security. Resources are distributed among the customers based on their workloads using load balancers (that allocate required application data between databases and servers).

While single tenancy resembles a neighborhood with independent houses, multi-tenancy is like an apartment building, where every tenant gets a flat of their own, but common amenities such as security systems, elevators, gym, and community halls are shared.

Examples of multi-tenant SaaS include Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Examples of multi-tenant SaaS include Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Amazon Web Services

Benefits of Multi-Tenant SaaS:

    • Lower Cost: As multi-tenancy involves sharing the software instance, databases, and servers between multiple customers, the cost is much lower when compared to single-tenancy.
    • High Scalability: Multi-tenancy favors scalability. As software and hardware are common to all customers, it is easy to add or remove resources based on business needs.
    • Easy and Quick Provisioning: Multi-tenant SaaS environments are easy to set up and configure. They usually involve a simple and quick sign-up process to start using the solution. The automated setup offers seamless user experience and helps achieve faster time to value when compared to single-tenant counterparts.
    • No Maintenance: As the software instance is hosted on the server belonging to the SaaS vendor, maintenance and upgrades are completely handled by the vendor. Automatic upgrades save a lot of time and effort for the customer. Further, as maintenance costs are associated with the SaaS subscription, customers are not charged on a per case basis, as they are with single-tenant SaaS.
    • Standardized Compliance: Multi-tenant SaaS solutions adhere to key industry-standard compliance regulations, such as PCI DSS for FinTech and HIPAA for healthcare. This is very helpful for customers who cannot afford to invest in compliance management.

Drawbacks of Multi-Tenant SaaS:

    • Limited Customization: As multi-tenancy comes with shared infrastructure, extensive customization options such as changes to the database are not allowed.
    • Security Risk: Although the tenant data is isolated from one another, multiple tenants still share the same database. This broad scope of access reduces the extent of control customers have over security of the environment. One customer experiencing a breach may affect other customers operating the solution. In multi-tenant SaaS, security is a shared responsibility.
    • Less Control: Customers cannot entirely control changes in a multi-tenant environment. Sometimes the system upgrades may cause hardware or software issues that can affect all customers, or if one customer faces an issue, it can impact others as well.

Should You Choose Single-Tenancy or Multi-Tenancy?

Choosing the right architecture for your organization depends largely on factors such as technical goals, budget, resource usage needs, security requirements, etc.

For large enterprises who want high performance, complete control, customization, and robust security, single-tenancy works best. On the other hand, for small and medium organizations looking for an affordable, easy-to-deploy, scalable, and maintenance-free option, multi-tenancy is an excellent fit.
That said, it is important to note that most SaaS solutions on the market today are multi-tenant due to the flexibility, cost-efficiency, and resource optimization capabilities it offers.

WAF – Web Application Firewall

What is WAF (Web application firewall)?

A web application firewall (WAF) protects web applications from application-layer attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and cookie poisoning. Attacks on apps are the leading cause of breaches—they are the gateway to your valuable data. With the suitable WAF in place, you can block the array of attacks that aim to exfiltrate that data by compromising your systems.

Web Application Firewall

How does a web application firewall (WAF) work?

The web application firewall (WAF) protects your web apps by filtering, monitoring, and blocking any malicious HTTP/S traffic traveling to the web application and preventing unauthorized data from leaving the app. It uses a set of rules and procedures to determine what kind of traffic is good or bad. In addition, the WAF acts as an intermediary to protect the web application server from a potentially malicious client as a proxy server. As a reverse proxy, the WAF is the one that covers the web application server.

Webs are the perfect choice for a WAF appliance. They’re easy to deploy and maintain and fit for web-scale operations. In addition, a policy can be customized to meet the unique needs of your web application or set of web applications. While many WAFs require you to update your policies regularly to keep up with changes in emerging threats, advances in machine learning allow some WAFs to do this automatically. Automation is a critical component of your security posture, and the growing threat landscape is making it more critical than ever before.

The difference between a web application firewall (WAF), an intrusion prevention system (IPS), and a next-generation firewall (NGFW).

An IP address is used to identify an individual computer or network in cybersecurity uniquely. A WAF is a web application firewall, and an NGFW is a next-generation firewall. What are the differences between them? The IPS is a more broadly focused security product. Security policies typically include security-focused processes that are often signature and policy-based. They generally are well established by large companies, and you can easily incorporate them into your infrastructure.

The IPS establishes a standard based on the database and policies, then sends alerts when any traffic deviates from the average. Over time, a signature grows in size and complexity as new vulnerabilities are discovered. IPS protects traffic across a range of protocol types such as DNS, SMTP, TELNET, RDP, SSH, and FTP. When IPS operates and protects layers 3 and 4, the network and session layers typically use and protect only layers 3 and 4. IPS sometimes provides limited protection at the application layer.
The web application firewall (WAF) is a powerful security tool designed to analyze each HTTP/S request at the application layer. It protects the application layer. Most applications and websites are not only user- or session-aware but also aware of the application services that are offered. Because of this, a WAF acts as an intermediary between the user and the app, analyzing all communications before they reach the app or the user. With traditional WAFs, you are restricted to performing only those actions allowed by your security policy.

When organizations choose to use WAFs for their applications, they often focus on the OWASP Top 10, which are the most-seen application vulnerabilities. These are the Top 10 currently. They are

  • Injection attacks
  • Broken Authentication
  • Sensitive data exposure
  • XML External Entities (XXE)
  • Broken Access control
  • Security misconfigurations
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Insecure Deserialization

The next-generation firewall monitors the traffic going out to the Internet. It monitors websites, email accounts, and SaaS. It’s an important concept to understand in developing applications, especially mobile apps. With a UGFW, you enforce policy based on who is doing what with what assets, so you can apply content filters, anti-virus/anti-malware, and more in conjunction with URL filtering. Although a web application firewall (WAF) is typically a reverse proxy (used by servers), network-based firewalls (NFW) are often forward proxies (used by clients such as a browser).

There are several ways to deploy a WAF: Where you want to deploy it and the services needed. Do you want to manage it yourself, or do you want to outsource that management? Is it better to run your web application firewall (WAF) in the cloud or data center? How you want to deploy will help determine which WAF is best for you. Choose from the options below.

WAF Deployment Modes:

  • Cloud-based + Fully Managed as a Service—this is an excellent option if you require the fastest, most hassle-free way to get WAF in front of your apps (especially if you have limited in-house security/IT resources)
  • Cloud-based + Self-Managed—get all the flexibility and security policy portability of the cloud while retaining control of traffic management and security policy settings.
  • Cloud-based + Auto-Provisioned—this is the easiest way to get started with a WAF in the cloud, deploying security policy efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • On-premises Advanced WAF (virtual or hardware appliance) meets the most demanding deployment requirements where flexibility, performance, and more advanced security concerns are mission-critical.

Cloud Services

What are cloud services?

The term “cloud services” refers to a wide range of services delivered to companies and customers over the Internet. These services make it easy for your employees to have access to various business applications and information. Whether they’re aware of it, from checking email to collaborating on documents, most employees use cloud services throughout the workday. Cloud computing vendors and service providers fully manage services provided through cloud computing. You don’t have to host applications on your servers. Instead, they can be accessed from the servers of a cloud service provider.

How are cloud services delivered?

It would help if you decided how to leverage the cloud. It could be a public cloud, a private cloud, or both. Services that a provider makes available to numerous customers over the web are called public cloud services. The service providers noted above are all providing cloud-based services. Cloud services are precious because they let organizations share resources at scale, which allows them to offer employees more capabilities than they could afford if they had to rely on physical servers and storage. Services that a provider does not make generally available to corporate users or subscribers are referred to as private cloud services.

The private cloud model is a common method of providing web hosting services. Data and applications are provided through the organization’s own internal infrastructure. As a result, you don’t have to give away all of your intellectual property. Companies dealing with sensitive data often use private clouds to leverage advanced security protocols and increase their resources. These companies include hospitals, banks, insurance firms, and pharmaceutical companies. A private cloud solution is combined with public cloud services in a hybrid cloud solution. This model is often used when an organization needs to store sensitive data in the private cloud. Still, employees need to access applications and resources in the public cloud for everyday communication and collaboration. Proprietary software is used to connect multiple cloud services.

What types of cloud services are there?

Cloud Service Models

There are three basic types of cloud services:

1.  Software as a Service (SaaS)
The most widely recognized type of cloud service is the so-called Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. This broad category encompasses a variety of services, including file storage and backup, web-based email, and project management tools. Examples of Cloud Service Providers are Dropbox, Google Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, etc.

2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
It would be best if you had an infrastructure to provide the infrastructure for running the cloud services you use, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. It’s software that lets you run your web applications and databases on the cloud without worrying about installing and maintaining the technology yourself. These service providers maintain all of the storage servers and networking equipment, and they may also offer additional services such as load balancing, firewall, and web application security. Many well-known SaaS providers run on IaaS platforms, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and VMware Cloud.

3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
With its new cloud computing model called platform as a service, or PaaS, Amazon Web Services (AWS) lets developers build applications on a shared web hosting infrastructure. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is an on-demand service that provides a platform and operating system, and programming language so that software developers can create their cloud-based applications. Many IaaS vendors offer PaaS capabilities, including the examples listed above.

What are the benefits of cloud services?

Key advantages of using cloud services include:

  • The ability to scale

Because the cloud service provider supplies all necessary resources and software, a company can save money by not investing in resources and additional staff. In addition, this makes it easy for you to scale your business as your users’ needs change. Whether that means adding more licenses to support a growing staff or expanding and enhancing the applications themselves, you’ll get all of your work done in no time.

  • Lowered costs

Some cloud services are provided on a monthly or annual subscription basis, eliminating purchasing on-premises software licenses. By using this cloud-based computing model, organizations can access software, storage, and other services without investing in the underlying infrastructure or handling maintenance and upgrades.

  • Increased flexibility

Cloud services give companies the ability to purchase services on an on-demand basis. There are a couple of ways to end an app. First, if the business is still active, but there is no longer a need for that particular application, the business can cancel the subscription and shut down the service.

What’s the future of cloud services?

With cloud computing becoming more prevalent, its applications are expanding as well. On-premises software deployments will continue to simplify how organizations deliver mission-critical apps and data to the workforce. In just a few short years, cloud-based services have transformed the way people work and businesses operate. There are many different cloud-based services to choose from, from application delivery to desktop virtualization solutions and beyond.

AppViewX solutions for cloud services

When using AppViewX ADC, it’s easy to deploy virtual machines, application software, or your data. It’s what works best for your business. You may be looking for a way to keep business-critical apps in your private cloud or move them to multiple public cloud services. Still, you may be worried about the security and performance of these different cloud environments. To support many hundreds or thousands of people, organizations need to be able to do so securely—even if those people are in other locations.

Continuous Authentication

What is continuous authentication?

One form of authentication is continuous authentication. It involves granting users access to corporate resources as long as they continue to authenticate themselves. It is based on the level of risk and contextual information about the user, such as their role, location, and type of device. Unlike traditional authentication mechanisms, this mechanism is enforced from login through the end of the user session.

How does continuous authentication work?

Continuous authentication is a process that uses technology to identify you, so you don’t have to authenticate yourself each time you use the Internet.

Continuous authentication looks at your current context and then dynamically determines whether or not you should continue to authenticate. If risk factors change, such as the user’s location, posture, or device, your system will automatically authorize them. 

Continuous authentication provides security for hybrid workforces by allowing authentication to the corporate network while restricting access if suspicious activity is detected.

What are the different types of authentication?

Authentication methods can be categorized according to different factors. Here are some common authentication methods:

Passwords: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an increasingly popular method of protecting people’s accounts, especially for high-value ones like their email or social media accounts. When the correct password is entered, the system recognizes the user. The downside of passwords is that users often forget them, especially if they have a long list of them to remember. An attacker can also steal them.

Token: This type of property-based authentication is known as a proximity card. Token-based authentication mechanisms offer more security since they require the attacker to gain physical access to the token item.

Behavioral biometrics: Biometric authentication uses behavior-based biometrics that identifies people based on their unique behavioral characteristics. Behavioral biometric authentication considers how someone uses their fingers or their phone to authenticate themselves. This type of authentication is used for online payments, e-commerce, and online banking.

Physiological biometrics: Physical characteristics (fingerprints, heartbeat patterns) are often used in security-based applications like biometric authentication. Biometric technologies, which involve physical characteristics or behaviors, are gaining popularity due to their high accuracy.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA): A single factor alone is not secure. Therefore, many companies implement multiple authentication methods—for instance, passwords and tokens. An excellent example of multi-factor authentication is 2-factor authentication. This method requires the user to give two types of authentication to prove their identities, such as a password and a code or a token sent to their device.

Certificate-based authentication: Authentication using a digital certificate allows you to identify someone without asking them for their password. The digital certification ensures that the user’s information is kept safe, allowing for a secure sign-up.

Continuous authentication types

Continuous authentication methods

Continuous user authentication goes beyond traditional methods to take security to the next level. Authentication scores are continually assessed based on factors, such as device posture and location, that help indicate when suspicious activity or attempts at unauthorized access occur. For example, if a user logs in to the device, the system checks the user’s account information and determines whether it is valid. In addition, you can set different confidence scores according to the type of action or resource involved.

Adaptive authentication

Adaptive authentication allows the scanning of end-user devices both before and throughout a user session to corporate applications. An admin can define how a user is authenticated and authorized to access their apps based on location, device posture, or user risk score. With adaptive authentication, these risk factors are evaluated continuously so that admins can enforce (and adapt) policies as needed.

Risk-based authentication

We use AI to develop risk-based authentication that uses machine learning to gain a real-time view of the context of any login. The solution monitors and analyzes a user’s activity, taking into account location, time of day, device, sensitivity, and other factors, to create an action plan and identify potential risks. If the request doesn’t meet the requirement, the system will ask for more information. The extra information might include a temporary code, a security question, biometric data, or codes sent to a smartphone.

Examples of continuous authentication

To identify attack vectors in hybrid and remote workforces, we need first to understand what cyberattacks are. Users bring their own devices for many reasons, whether they want to use their mobile devices for work purposes or to increase productivity. An attacker can gain access to your network with poorly secured networks. They could cause data leaks, so it’s essential to secure your system correctly. Employees should only use trusted Wi-Fi networks that have not been hacked.
Continuous authentication prevents unauthorized users from accessing the system by detecting access requests from non-secure networks or devices.

It’s not good to let remote employees choose their passwords for remote access accounts. It can create vulnerabilities, and it’s too much work for the organization to implement. It’s dangerous for organizations to allow employees to use inadequate passwords, reused passwords, or passwords shared with coworkers. Securing passwords is the first step in preventing a data breach.

How does continuous authentication help the user experience?

A good user experience is essential to any business, increasing productivity and improving workflow. However, whenever users login to the application, they’re often required to log back in. This results in less productivity for the user. Continuously authenticated users gain access to their regular apps and resources with single sign-on. One of the biggest challenges of social media marketing is convincing potential customers that your website or service is trustworthy.

Does continuous authentication prevent fraud?

A lot of businesses use continuous authentication to prevent fraud. It’s used in many different industries, including finance. The mobile analytics solutions gather information about a customer’s device, such as swipe patterns, keystrokes, GPS coordinates, and other data. This information is used to develop a user profile. When the system discovers a deviation from this pattern, it raises an alert or requests further user identity verification. Continuous authentication enables the profiles to work with the bank’s risk solution. This integration helps determine the most accurate risk score to detect fraud. The advantage of continuous risk-based authentication is that it allows security teams to match the risk to the transaction requested. When combined, the authentication system and anti-fraud technology can expand the security coverage over a more extensive attack surface.

AppViewX solutions for secure access

ADC+ allows you to securely access applications within your enterprise without compromising productivity. This integrated On-prem & SaaS solution offers adaptive authentication and single sign-on (SSO) to help improve your hybrid workforce’s ability to securely access apps and data related to applications.

Credential Stuffing

What is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing is when an attacker tries to get into your protected account using compromised credentials.

To avoid getting into trouble with credential stuffing, it’s essential to use an authentication and authorization workflow that prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to your accounts.

This attack can use various automated tools and fake logins but is most commonly used to mimic normal human behavior and impersonate real customers. There are many ways to combat credential stuffing, including CAPTCHA and multi-factor authentication (MFA). However, sophisticated attackers often bypass these traditional security solutions and can steal customer credentials. These credential thefts can lead to abandoned transactions and lost revenue. In addition, fraudsters use credential stuffing to carry out their scams. For example, criminals often use this method as a precursor to carrying out an account takeover or a data breach.

Why is Credential Stuffing important?

When it comes to cybercrime, credential stuffing has emerged as a top cybersecurity problem globally. There are times when over a hundred million email accounts and an estimated 10 billion passwords were exposed, making it one of the worst data breaches. Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent due to the frequency of data breaches, the success of phishing, and the fast monetization of credentials using automation. The business community is a victim of credential stuffing. The organization is forced to pay vast amounts of money for the stolen credentials, and there’s no evidence of a solution.

How does a credential stuffing attack work?

Credential stuffing starts with automated attacks that compromise credentials, ends with fraud, and results in account takeover and customer friction. Many readily available tools, infrastructure, and billions of compromised credentials make it easy for hackers to find, launch, and exploit. In addition, there are sophisticated tools that can emulate human behavior, so they can bypass security controls and leverage human click-farms to evade anti-automation algorithms. These tools have further evolved to use AI models to bypass risk-based authentication. One of the best ways to prevent sophisticated credential stuffing is through traditional approaches like IP blocking.

How does AppViewX automates F5 to handle credential stuffing?

F5 solutions deter credential stuffing attacks by disrupting their ROI, making it much less profitable to try to break in and steal credit cards and other credentials.
By monitoring and analyzing network, device, and environmental signals across data centers, clouds, and architectures, F5 solutions can detect anomalous behavior and automated attacks using compromised credentials.

In addition to helping customers protect themselves from criminals, F5 also helps customers detect criminal activities. This way, F5 help customers to protect their customers.

F5 solutions automatically deploy optimal countermeasures to prevent or block these malicious actions by utilizing automated threat intelligence modeling to identify similar threats and exploit patterns. Additionally, this software helps enterprises safeguard against attacker AI models that bypass risk-based authentication and the ripple effects of account takeover and fraud from impacting revenues, operations, and customer trust.

AppViewX ADC+, a load balancer automation product empowers app teams to have greater visibility and control over there F5 devices thereby enabling speedier action against any vulnerabilities and risks. For more information, please check out ADC+ use-cases.

Containerization

What is Containerization?

Containers are the new virtualization technology. They allow you to isolate applications running on the same Operating System into smaller containers. A container is essentially a fully packaged and portable computing environment:

When an application runs, it depends upon everything it requires—its binaries, libraries, configuration files, and dependencies. Containers are abstraction mechanisms that abstract the complexity of operating systems and resource management from the applications within them. The containerized application can be run on various types of infrastructure, from bare metal to virtual machines and in the cloud.

Containerization makes starting up an application much faster, so you can get started sooner. It also eliminates the need to set up a separate guest OS for every application since they share the same OS kernel. For example, it’s common for modern applications to have millions of lines of code, each of which is typically responsible for a discrete functional task.

How does containerization work?

Each container is an executable package of software running on top of a host operating system. A load balancer may serve many containers (tens, hundreds, or even thousands) concurrently, such as in the case of a complex microservices architecture that uses numerous containerized application delivery controllers (ADCs). In this setup, all containers share the same network namespace. It’s possible to isolate one container and the host machine from the others. This is useful for debugging and troubleshooting.

Think of a containerized application as the top layer of a multi-tier cake:

  • At the bottom, there’s the hardware of the infrastructure in question, including its CPU(s), disk storage, and network interfaces.
  • Above that is the host OS and its kernel—the latter serves as a bridge between the OS’s software and the underlying system’s hardware.
  • The container engine and its minimal guest OS, mainly the containerization technology being used, sit atop the host OS.
  • At the very top are the binaries and libraries (bins/libs) for each application and the apps themselves, running in their isolated user spaces (containers).

How does containerization work

Containerization as we know it is based on isolating a set of resources within a computer or a group of computers and controlling how much each one can use. Containers (LXC) are Linux processes isolated from one another and their parent process. You can run an LXC container as root, have it obtain an IP address, mount a file system, and do pretty much anything else that an LXC container can do. Its user space operates in its private area. LXC containers are the lightweight version of chroot, allowing you to sandbox multiple applications into one instance of Linux. They’re also available in a minimal form, making them ideal for use on embedded platforms.

LXC is the basis for Docker, which launched in 2013 and quickly became the most popular container technology—it’s now basically an industry standard. CoreOS wrote LXC as part of the company’s effort to develop an open-source cloud platform.

Docker contributes to the OCI specification, which specifies the image formats and runtimes that container engines use. Someone booting a container, whether using a Docker image or otherwise, can expect a similar experience, no matter the computing environment. The same containers can be run and scaled whether the user is on a Linux distribution or even Microsoft Windows. In today’s digital workspace, where employees use multiple devices, operating systems, and interfaces to get things done, cross-platform compatibility is essential.

How does containerization differentiate from virtualization?

Docker containers are designed to be contained within a shared environment; each container is treated as an independent process and shares the operating system kernel with other containers. That is not the case with virtualization.

containerization vs virtualization

  • A VM runs on top of a hypervisor, specialized hardware, software, or firmware for operating VMs on a host machine, like a server or laptop.
  • Via the hypervisor, every VM is assigned not only the essential bins/libs but also a virtualized hardware stack, including CPUs, storage, and network adapters.
  • Each VM relies on a full-fledged guest OS to run all of that. The hypervisor itself may be run from the host’s machine OS or as a bare-metal application.

Containerization provides isolation between applications and allows them to run independently of each other on the same set of resources. However, there are huge differences between the two.

  • Significant overheads are involved because all VMs have their guest OSes and virtualized kernels, plus a layer of abstraction between them and the host.
  • The hypervisor can cause performance issues, especially when running on a host OS such as Ubuntu.
  • Due to the high resource overhead associated with running multiple VMs, a host machine that might be able to run ten or more containers comfortably could struggle to support a single VM.

What are the main benefits of containerization?

Containerized apps can be readily delivered to users in a virtual workspace. Containerizing a microservices-based application, a set of F5/Nginx/Citrix ADCs, or a database (among other possibilities) is an essential step for achieving a broad range of benefits, ranging from improved agility during software development to more accessible cost controls.

More agile, DevOps-oriented software development

You can use containers to run your web apps on the multi-cloud. A variety of essential developer tools are necessary for quickly developing, packaging, and deploying containerized applications across OSes. In addition, DevOps teams and engineers can leverage containerization technologies to improve their workflows.

Less overhead and lower costs than virtual machines

A container doesn’t need to run on an entire guest operating system or require a hypervisor. Instead, it can live inside a VM. As a result, you get faster boot times, smaller memory footprints, and better performance when reducing your operating system’s footprint. Virtualization can also help organizations save money by lowering their hardware and software licensing costs. This can, in turn, lead to savings for consumers. In this way, containers help increase server efficiency and lower costs.

Fault isolation for applications and microservices

If one container fails, other containers sharing the same operating system are not affected, thanks to the user space isolation between them. That can help microservices-based applications, in which multiple different components support an application. Microservices within specific containers can be repaired, redeployed, and scaled without causing downtime to the application.

Excellent portability across digital workspaces

Containers make the ideal of “write once, run anywhere” a reality. Each container is abstracted from the host operating system and runs the same no matter what physical location it is installed in. This means it can be written for one host environment and then ported and deployed to another, as long as the new host supports the container technologies and OSes in question. Docker is not one company’s product; many different people build it up. You can run your containers reliably under Microsoft Windows in both VM environments and through Hyper-V isolation. Such compatibilities are essential because they support digital workspaces where numerous clouds, devices, and workflows interconnect.

Easier management through orchestration

It’s easy to manage containerized applications and services at scale in a Kubernetes platform, especially using Docker Swarm mode. You can use Kubernetes to orchestrate rollouts and rollbacks, perform load balancing, and restart any failing containers. Kubernetes is compatible with many containers engines, including Docker and OCI-compliant ones.

What applications and services are commonly containerized?

Containers today are not just for web applications or services – they can even run almost any type of application that in previous eras would have been traditionally virtualized or run natively on a

There are several well-established computing paradigms, including:

Microservices: The exemplary microservices architecture can be efficiently configured as a set of containers operating in tandem and spun up and down as needed.

Databases: Instead of connecting multiple databases to a central database server, which is problematic in many ways, database shards can be containerized, and each app is given its dedicated database instead.

Webservers: Using a container to spin up a web server requires just a few commands line inputs to get started, and it doesn’t require running the webserver directly on the host.
Containers within VMs: A container is an operating system instance that runs inside a virtual machine (VM) and shares resources and storage with the host machine.

ADCs: Application Delivery Controllers help you deliver your applications more securely and with lower latency. Containerization means that there are containers of the appropriate version and state.

AppViewX solutions for containerization

The components of an application are often packaged into individual microservices. They may be deployed and managed within containers on a scalable cloud infrastructure. Containers offer a variety of benefits, including minimal overhead, independently scalable, and easy management via a container orchestrator like Kubernetes. Appviewx ADC+ can help with the transition from monolithic to microservices-based applications.

Cloud Storage

What is cloud storage?

“Cloud storage” is data storage in an Internet-accessible environment managed by a cloud storage provider.
The cloud storage company offers its customers on-demand network access to their data from virtually any device or location. More data than ever is stored in cloud computing services for various purposes ranging from cloud backup to data analytics. As a result, a business needs to ensure a safe environment to store its sensitive data. And every cloud storage service it uses must implement robust security practices to safeguard its users’ data.

What are some examples of cloud storage?

A cloud storage system enables the users of a company to upload, download, sync, and share files in real-time. A cloud storage system can be a service provided by the company, or it can be an application installed on the user’s computer. One of the most complex uses of the cloud is storing files. For applications such as software development, image editing, and video content editing, cloud storage provides convenient file storage for applications and their users.

What are the types of cloud storage?

Types of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage comes in several types:

File storage: Data can be stored as a file hierarchy in a storage service. This file storage system may be easy to share files across the company. For instance, to support cross-company collaboration.

Object storage: In this example, the data is stored in objects, not files. Every object has its own identity and associated metadata. Storage is perfect for use cases like analytics and archiving.

Block storage: This is the type of low-latency cloud storage where data is managed through sectors and tracks. Applications that involve data storage require the use of block storage. Storage types are used in a wide range of Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud and web apps, including remote and hybrid workforces.

Why is cloud storage necessary?

Cloud storage is vital in a world of remote and hybrid work. Organizations can now purchase additional storage for their on-premises data centers rather than needing to continually add more storage space to accommodate increasing storage demands as the organization ramps up its use of storage.

Companies are rapidly moving their storage infrastructure to a cloud-based model because it gives them much more scalability and flexibility to support their workforces and apps. Users can back up files to the cloud using the internet from any location with an internet connection. They can collaborate on those files using online applications. This storage is like having a massive hard drive up there. If a significant outage were to occur, many cloud storage options are designed to allow companies to quickly and easily recover data.

What to look for in a cloud storage solution?

Cloud storage can either be provided as a core service or support another core service, such as the delivery of applications and data. Some good cloud storage business plans are:

Fast and easy to deploy

Getting started with cloud storage is often as simple as entering your credit card information. Afterward, the subscriber is no longer tied to the underlying system complexity since the cloud provider takes over tasks like patching and operating that infrastructure. In addition, storage management is no longer necessary for businesses, so companies can now spend more time developing new apps.

Elastic and scalable

As workloads and business and technical requirements evolve, the underlying cloud storage can automatically provision and de-provision its resources to adjust accordingly. As a result, cloud users can scale their storage precisely to their current needs, using the cloud storage provider’s vast pool of storage space. This enables them to use it when needed, rather than overprovisioning storage space.

Cost-effective

Pay-as-you-go cloud computing is an economical alternative to committing to a significant amount of on-prem storage. Companies don’t have to buy extra warehouse space to be able to store products when their production is high. Instead, you can save money by purchasing cloud capacity for specific use cases.

Secure

Cloud storage providers should ensure that there is a secure environment for data. Meanwhile, access to any work-related cloud storage must be secured and streamlined to maximize productivity and minimize risk. There are several reasons why you might have difficulty performing file sharing and other tasks without juggling multiple login and password resets. But organizations need to prevent their cloud storage accounts, such as a person’s private Dropbox, from consuming sensitive data and endangering their bandwidth. In addition, remote work and the hybrid work that comes with it are more challenging than ever before, especially when working with an unpredictable and variable workforce.

How does cloud storage work?

The cloud vendor provides cloud storage, which operates the virtual data storage infrastructure and enables access via an IP network, like the public internet. That cloud storage provider is responsible for the reliability and basic security of the storage resources in their cloud computing environment. You could implement it yourself by installing something like BitLocker. A customer subscribes to this storage.

They can connect their applications and data to it via storage protocols or APIs and use services from the cloud storage provider to analyze and otherwise manage their stored information. Users of those applications should be able to safely and conveniently login to the connected apps and access the cloud-stored data they need. Cloud storage is a part of a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.

How do you access cloud storage?

Cloud storage is the ability to access data stored in the cloud over the internet. You can use a device of your choice to log into the account associated with the storage and do things appropriate to your privilege level.

You can find many services to help you with all your devices. There are specialized apps for iPhone, Android, Macs, and other devices, and if you know where to look, you’ll find them. If you’re logged into the site, multiple access-related security mechanisms are put in place to ensure that the user is a legitimate visitor to the website. To start with, single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and virtual private networks are all ways to enhance security by helping you log in without entering your password.

Organizations will want to use SaaS apps in their organization, with cloud storage as the default storage model and the ability to manage user access to them. Customers need to be responsible for managing their encryption and backup procedures. This means that they should encrypt their files before uploading them to Amazon S3 or backup their files at least once a day and store them in multiple locations. Of course, you should always take care of encryption and other essential security measures, such as firewalls, virus protection, etc. This explanation might be proper for some situations, but other options include hosting your cloud using AWS or Azure.

What are the pros and cons of using cloud storage?

Cloud storage has many advantages plus disadvantages.

  • Pros of cloud storage include:
  • Highly scalability and flexibility
  • Simplicity—there’s no technical complexity for the customer to manage
  • Cost-effective subscription and payment options
  • Support for widespread remote and hybrid work
  • Encryption and infrastructure security from storage providers
  • Cons of cloud storage include:
  • Potential security liabilities related to misuse or unsecured access
  • Access security (i.e., to apps) that remains the customer’s responsibility
  • Remote and hybrid work complications when it comes to security

AppViewX solutions for cloud storage

DevOps need access to their applications to roll-out updates at a break-neck speed. They want to access the system from anywhere. Appviewx secure access solutions are designed for an advanced monitoring and risk mitigation.

AppViewX supports Safe Access to Cloud Solutions (SACS) solutions to enable organizations to set up safe user access to cloud storage and the applications without compromising user productivity and the overall experience. As a result, unsanctioned and risky apps are kept at bay, while legitimate ones are kept safe and easily accessible.

Multi-Cloud

What is multi-cloud?

A multi-cloud strategy means using two or more cloud computing platforms to perform various tasks. For example, an organization that doesn’t want to depend on a single cloud provider may use resources from several providers to get the best benefits from each unique service. Multiple clouds are combined in a single solution for hosting your data in a multi-cloud environment. It may also refer to several private and public cloud solutions. Generally, the term IT professional describes a strategy that uses several public cloud services.

Multiple Public Clouds for Different-functions

Why do organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy?

When organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy, they want to maximize their cost efficiency, reduce operational risks, and ensure business continuity.

Some leaders want to reduce their reliance on a single cloud provider, thereby reducing their exposure to financial risk. However, if you rely on just one source for technology, you may find it challenging to adopt a responsive strategy. Other organizations adopt a multi-cloud approach to mitigate the risk of a local hardware failure. For example, an on-site data center failure could bring down the entire company. Multi-cloud dramatically reduces the risk of catastrophic failure.

Cloud-based solutions are an excellent way to prevent shadow IT. In addition, they can be helpful in the unauthorized applications used by employees that the IT department doesn’t manage. This problem tends to occur when IT policies do not fully meet the needs of an organization, which is why it makes sense for organizations to make use of the flexibility offered by a multi-cloud environment: It allows users to benefit from chosen cloud technologies while complying with security standards. Furthermore, IT decision-makers can manage a multi-cloud architecture by using tools provided by cloud service providers.

This may include using different types of cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or even Microsoft Azure (Azure). There’s no single best practice guideline for managing multi-cloud. Each organization’s use case will be unique.

Multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud is more than just a multi-cloud. A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds.

A hybrid cloud is an approach that blends the best of two worlds – a private cloud and a public cloud. The private cloud provides a secure computing infrastructure for critical business applications. This model helps organizations keep sensitive data secure in a remote data center while leveraging the advantages of the public cloud for other workloads.

Multi-cloud deployment is the use of multiple public clouds within a single environment. To effectively do so, you should ensure that your infrastructure uses a hybrid approach that can leverage the benefits of each provider. This new approach to the cloud, known as private or hybrid clouds, allows organizations to move some of their critical information to the public cloud but retain some of the data in the private / virtualized data center.

Multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud

An organization could choose to store user data on-site, leveraging one provider for IaaS and another for SaaS. In addition, some cloud environments are tailored for specific use cases. This makes it essential for IT stakeholders to select different vendors for various business functions.

Benefits of the multi-cloud approach

A multi-cloud strategy brings choices to an organization. With more options comes the ability to invest in digital transformation without getting locked into a single service or putting down a considerable capital outlay. Specific benefits of multi-cloud include:
Increased ROI
A multi-cloud strategy helps organizations pick and choose the specific solutions that work best for their organization. Cloud computing is a way for businesses to provide their customers with flexible and scalable services, and it’s an option that allows customers to use the services of various cloud providers as and when their business needs them.

Advanced security
Hybrid clouds and multi-clouds empower organizations because they can maintain strict security compliance while optimizing computing resources. When it comes to multi-cloud, you reduce the risk that a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack could take critical business applications offline. However, for an organization to secure its data, they need to use advanced cloud security protocols. The ones that pay for themselves.

Freedom of choice
A single cloud provider may not be able to provide an organization with all of the computing services it requires. As a result, vendors are a significant component of our customers’ purchasing decisions. Our customers trust us to help them make the best possible decisions about which vendor they use, and that trust makes them feel comfortable buying their products from us. However, if your business finds a better deal with another provider, it may not be easy to transition to a new architecture designed for a different cloud environment.

Reliable architecture
Using multiple cloud solutions creates redundancies that reduce the risk of a single point of failure. Multi-Cloud minimizes the possibility that a single failure would bring down the entire enterprise network. Data that are stored in a cloud is much more vulnerable.

Better disaster recovery
Because of the highly reliable nature of AWS, the chances of a cloud outage, or downtime across several cloud vendors, are meager. However, clients of the cloud must be protected against rust. In addition to protecting against outages, service providers must also make sure that they provide adequate redundancy to meet the demands of their customers. Disaster prevention, risk management, and business continuity are best achieved by implementing several key technologies.

AppViewX solutions for multi-cloud strategies

Through partnerships with cloud service providers like AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, Appviewx makes it easy for organizations to create robust, easy-to-manage multi-cloud architectures.