Optimizing Workload Distribution: How We Handle 80% of Your Cybersecurity Burden | Compuquip Cybersecurity

The classic expression tells us: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” In a business context, this advice to diversify can apply to anything from products and services to resource allocation. It also is crucial for workload distribution: assigning tasks and responsibilities among employees is imperative to avoid any one person or department becoming overburdened to promote fair and efficient processes. Unbalanced workloads can lead to lower team performance, more team conflict, and voluntary turnover, whereas even workload distributions can minimize risk and improve morale. Effective managers will assess team capacity, evaluate skills, set priorities, delegate assignments, and monitor metrics in an effort to keep things running smoothly.

The exact same principle applies to cloud security. Cloud workload and network security is vital for any business seeking growth in the digital world – ignore it at your peril, or set yourself up for success by investing time and energy in cyber security for the cloud. However, managing workload distribution for cloud security is quite a different animal from managing workloads that are performed by employees. So, how can you balance workload clouds to minimize risk and maximize rewards? To start, it is important to understand what cloud workloads are, and what the distribution and security thereof actually entails.

Definition of Cloud Workload Security

Cloud workload security – or cloud workload protection (CWP) – refers to the practice of protecting applications, services, and capabilities which run on a cloud resource. This is slightly different from cloud security posture management (CSPM), which focuses on cloud-based infrastructure rather than workloads, but both are important. A “workload” consists of all the processes and resources that support an application and the interactions with it – which, in the cloud, means the application, the data generated or entered into the application, and the resources supporting the connection between app and user, including relevant databases, servers, containers, functions, and machines. 

Understanding Cloud Workloads

What is cloud workload? To start, cloud workloads can be classified in a few different ways. One is by deployment model, which includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), for infrastructure-level workloads like operating systems (OS) and databases; platform as a service (PaaS), for application-level workloads like web and mobile applications; and software as a service (SaaS), for software-level workloads like email and customer relationship management (CRM). 

You can also classify types of workload in cloud by technology, usage patterns, or resource requirements. Cloud workload technologies include virtual machines (VMs) and containers, which allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously and in isolation between applications and dependencies. Different cloud workloads have different resource requirements, and may be static (running 24/7 like email), periodic (recurring like data backups), or inconsistent (varying like traffic-based apps). 

Importance of Cloud Workload Security

As the above information suggests, protecting the cloud necessitates securing an increasingly large attack surface, ranging between cloud workloads, virtual servers, and other cloud environment technologies. More and more organizations are moving away from strictly on-premises solutions and toward business models centered around cloud computing. Migrating data and applications presents new challenges for data protection, made even more complex when hybrid architectures are maintained since the responsibility for protecting the workload cloud is spread across many different users and sites. 

Outdated security strategies fall short when dealing with any workload in cloud because they work on a trust model that has become irrelevant in the modern threat landscape. Security controls must be workload-centric, decoupled from the network paths on which applications travel. As network security perimeters disappear and nearly all traffic is encrypted, outdated controls which cannot decrypt, inspect, and re-encrypt traffic will almost certainly be overlooking cyber attacks. Your organization must protect itself not just at the endpoints, but at the workload level. 


Cyber security workload management

Security Risks in Cloud Workloads

The unique characteristics of the cloud introduce new cloud security challenges, such as:

Expanded Attack Surface:

  • More systems distributed to more locations means more risk. Cyber security is no longer just about protecting physical servers, and cloud usage means increased access of users at different levels of security expertise.

Limited Visibility

  • Blind spots can lead to breaches, and traditional security tools are not designed to provide visibility granular enough to secure cloud systems. Additionally, containers can be short-lived, so finding evidence of breaches is difficult if containers disappear. 

Dynamic Operations

  • Though this may seem like a feature and not a bug, the rapidly changing cloud ecosystem means that agility and adaptability are accompanied by fluid attack surfaces that present new problems requiring new solutions. 

    Whether your organization uses a public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud deployment, workload clouds are vulnerable to a variety of threats. These can include ransomware, DDoS attacks, phishing, data breaches, configuration errors, insider threats, and more. Defending against these threats requires more than conventional IT security – it requires a shared responsibility model between the cloud service provider and the customer. 

Benefits of Cloud Workload Security

Cloud workload security, also known as cloud workload protection platforms (CWPP), revolves around workload segmentation – or cloud workload distribution – whereby application workloads are segmented into smaller pieces to simplify and secure traffic inspection. This is also referred to as microsegmentation. Creating secure, secluded zones within a cloud environment, data center, or network allows for secure isolation and granular traffic partitioning. This enables IT teams to tailor security settings to different types of traffic. 

Cloud workload and network security solutions provides organizations with myriad benefits:

Increased Visibility

You can only secure that which you can see. Cloud workload security systems can provide your organization the visibility necessary to discover, manage, monitor, and protect all workload clouds. This decreases the likelihood of misconfigurations and undetected errors.

Reduced Complexity

The amount of modifications and dependencies in cloud applications can create very complex issues. Cloud workload security helps companies simplify tracking and protection, addressing security requirements without increasing complexity or adding additional overhead. This sets you up for streamlined and frictionless scalability.

Continuous Risk Assessment

Automatically measure your visible network attack surface with security platforms for any workload in cloud. This will help you and your company understand all possible application communication pathways, quantify risk exposure, and increase cost-effective compliance.

Airtight Protection

Cloud services can change at any time, and traditional security tools like IP addresses, ports, and protocols are static and unreliable. Cloud workload security platforms close those gaps by locking down systems whenever suspicious activity is detected.

Next Steps

The good news is that Compuquip optimizes cloud workload distribution to take 80% of the cyber security burden off your plate with top-notch managed Security Operations Center (SOC) teams. Compuquip is well-equipped with their managed SOC to help evenly distribute your company’s cloud workloads for maximized security. Contact us to explore how we can enhance your security operations and introduce innovative security solutions for your organization.