Why managing network objects is important to managing multi-cloud network security

    With rapidly changing application management and data privacy needs, many businesses have yet to master the implementation of new security standards. The challenge becomes more complex when managing objects in a secure multiverse network. Each vendor has its own management platform, which often forces cybersecurity administrators to identify objects multiple times, leading to the opposite effect.

    First, this can be an inefficient use of valuable resources and cause workload bottlenecks. Second, it creates naming inconsistencies and generates loads of unexpected errors, leading to security failures and connectivity problems. This begs the question: Are businesses doing enough to ensure their network objects are synchronized in legacy and green environments?

    What is network object management and why should we talk about it?

    If you want your IT and security admins buried in mediocre workloads and productivity bottlenecks, poor network object management is a great way to get there. Inconsistent or incorrect naming of network objects can cause a seemingly limitless number of problems for your organization, from connection troubles to holes in the network security that you may have missed. can not see. In this regard, poor network audience management can actually be one of the biggest “insider threats” to an organization’s overall cybersecurity efforts; if object names are incorrectly paired with a particular security policy due to inconsistent naming, everything should be fine on paper until a breach occurs, and even then it can be difficult to find vulnerabilities .

    This is why smart and proactive network audience management is so important to a multi-cloud strategy. At a basic level, organizations can simply name things like servers, IP addresses, and similar groups of objects to which fairly simple security rules can be applied. But as an organization grows, it tends to end up with more network objects than can be counted, sometimes in the tens of thousands. Even a dedicated team of security and IT professionals cannot monitor and update such a large number of objects, and avoidable human errors go through the roof. It’s easy to see how things can go wrong with a manual or legacy approach to naming network objects – and they do.

    Why network audience management is more important with a multi-cloud approach

    For cybersecurity policies to work, so-called “objects” on the network, such as servers or groups of IP addresses, need to be named so that they can be included in the policies that apply to them. they. One of the biggest challenges that emerge with multi-cloud solutions is that businesses often use solutions that filter network traffic from multiple cloud providers. Each solution will typically have a vendor-specific platform, forcing security and network administrators to identify objects on their network multiple times. This not only wastes a lot of time that could be spent elsewhere in the business, but it can also lead to costly bugs and security holes.

    What’s more, this opens the door to another problem – naming. On a small scale, this is fairly easily remedied by a team that knows what to look for. But for larger organizations, naming can become a much bigger problem. It is not uncommon for two copies of the same name to have two distinctly separate definitions.

    For example, let’s say we have a group of database servers containing three IP addresses that we name “DB1” and the associated security policy that applies. Then someone took the name “DB1” and used it to identify a data server in another network environment, this time containing only two IP addresses. In this example, the privacy policy rule that uses the name “DB1” will look good to even the most trained of people because the names and definitions in it appear to be identical. But now we are in a situation where one of these groups will apply to two IP addresses instead of three and that will cause more problems as the definition is used more.

    Best pratice

    It’s always good to have a set of maintenance manuals that can help you achieve a higher standard of cyber hygiene. To help you get there, here are some general best practices that can serve as your cleanup checklist for managing network objects.

    • Remove duplicate objects.
    • Delete expired and unused rules and objects.
    • Break up long rule sections into readable chunks.
    • Enforce object naming conventions.
    • Remove old and unused policies.
    • Document rules, audiences, and policy revisions.

    Carried away

    Network object management may not be big or exciting, but it is the foundation for running safely and securely in multi-cloud network environments. If a business achieves 100% accuracy in its approach to network object management, perhaps by leveraging automation and monitoring tools, there is little reason why the business cannot continue. achieve 100% network performance and efficiency.

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