Using Distributed Application Security Policies in Secure Multicloud Networking Customer Edge Sites

Introduction

Multicloud networking is a concept that enables organizations to leverage multiple cloud providers for their computing and user access needs. This offers benefits such as cost optimization, performance improvement, lower latency, redundancy, and scalability. However, multicloud networking also introduces challenges such as complexity, heterogeneity, and security risks with incongruent and disjointed security products. To address these challenges, organizations need to adopt a consistent and centralized approach to managing the security of their applications across different cloud environments. This is where distributed F5 Distributed Cloud unified application security policies come in.

This article is the first in a series of articles covering Secure MCN, and the focus is on using Distributed Cloud to deploy a unified app fabric and apply uniform app security policies across multiple customer edge locations.

Distributed application security policies are a set of rules that define the desired security posture of an application and its components, regardless of where they are deployed. These policies can specify various aspects of security, such as encryption, authentication, authorization, firewall, logging, monitoring, and auditing. By applying these policies to the application layer, rather than the infrastructure layer, organizations can achieve a higher level of security and compliance, while reducing operational overhead and complexity.

The value and purpose of using distributed application security policies in multicloud networking environments are manifold. Some of the benefits are:

  • Enhanced security: By enforcing consistent and granular security policies across different cloud platforms, organizations can protect their applications from various threats and vulnerabilities, such as data breaches, denial-of-service attacks, unauthorized access, and configuration errors.
  • Simplified management: By abstracting the security policies from the underlying infrastructure, organizations can simplify the management and deployment of their applications, without worrying about the differences and nuances of each cloud provider. This also enables them to automate and orchestrate security policies using tools and frameworks that are compatible with multiple cloud platforms.
  • Improved visibility: By applying security policies at the application layer, organizations can gain better visibility and insight into the security posture and performance of their applications, across different cloud environments. This also facilitates the auditing and reporting of the security compliance, and governance of their applications.

DevOps and DevSecOps teams are the ideal teams positioned on the frontline to automate the handling of Secure MCN deployments while applying uniform security policies across the complete infrastructure.

Scenario

Consider the following. A business has accelerated the development of its multi-service app by dividing its dev teams between three organizations, with two of the three having been recent acquisitions. The organization has an immediate need to secure applications that have services running in multiple cloud providers, ideally with policies that are uniformly configured and applied. By deploying and using F5 Distributed Cloud Customer Edge (CE) sites in each cloud provider to frontend the application as well as connect the app endpoints that run in different providers, the organization can quickly secure and gain visibility of the app’s services in each location, as well as minimize overhead needed to maintain it.

The following workflow guide and automation framework provides an an example for how to:

  1. Deploy F5 XC Customer Edge sites in AWS, Azure, and GCP
  2. Deploy workloads for the app to each cloud provider
  3. Deploy F5 XC MCN App Connect policies to provide ingress to the app as well as interconnect each of the app’s services
  4. Apply F5 XC WAAP policies to uniformly secure the app

Distributed Cloud WAAP Secure MCN Workflow Guide (GitHub)

 

Conclusion

Distributed application security policies are a powerful and effective way to secure and manage applications in multicloud networking environments. They enable organizations to achieve a consistent and centralized security posture, while leveraging the benefits of multiple cloud providers.

Next up: Part 2 in this series explores The App Delivery Fabric with Secure Multicloud Networking.

Resources

Distributed Cloud WAAP Secure MCN Workflow Guide (GitHub)

 

Secure MCN Article Series

Secure MCN Intro: Introducing Secure MCN features on F5 Distributed Cloud
Secure MCN Part 1: Using Distributed Application Security Policies in Secure Multicloud Networking Customer Edge Sites
Secure MCN Part 2: The App Delivery Fabric with Secure Multicloud Networking
Secure MCN Part 3: Coming Soon: The Secure Network Fabric with Multicloud Network Segmentation & Private Provider Network Connectivity

Related Technical Articles

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Video

F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP - YouTube series

Product Info

Distributed Cloud WAF

Distributed Cloud API Security

Secure MCN Solutions & Resources

 

Updated Apr 22, 2024
Version 3.0

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