Before the cloud, all business IT used to be on-premise. Now, hosting everything from data and middleware to your operating system offsite is the norm.
What makes the cloud safe?
The front-line defense for all cloud platforms is encryption. Encryption uses complex algorithms to conceal the information stored in your cloud—and they can only be decoded with an encryption key.
We already know that hackers can get their hands on encryption keys. Encryption is not 100% theft-proof.
Still, data stored in a SaaS cloud platform is more likely to get lost than to get stolen. A glitch in Dropbox a few years ago left many of their users with thousands of lost files. This was a stark reminder that even the tech giants can’t always be trusted to keep your data well-maintained.
That’s just your data storage. What about your network?
Most Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms that host your corporate network promise top-notch security. They protect data through features such as encryption and identity and access management.
But there’s a fundamental reason why so many IaaS providers still get hacked.
The 7 layers of network security
Networking systems are built on something called the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. Wait—before you skip over the jargon, the OSI simply describes the anatomy of a computer network.
Like you, me, onions, and ogres, networks have layers. When something goes wrong with a network, the seven-layer model helps network managers pinpoint what it is, analyzing each layer to narrow down the issue.
The application layer
To summarize, Layer 7 is the outermost layer—the one that users can see. Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and your email and chat applications (Outlook, Skype) are good examples of Layer 7 applications.
The physical layer
At the very core is Layer 1, and this is a crucial one to understand. You don’t have to conceptualize this one yourself—Layer 1 is physical. It’s the layout of cables, voltages, network adaptors, pins, and everything tangible at the foundation of a network.
The network layer
The last layer you need to know about is Layer 3, the network layer. This is the layer that most network engineers focus on securing with firewalls and other traffic management mechanisms.
What network providers won’t tell you is that all the appliances you put on Layer 3 can be visible to hackers. And you can buy them off the shelf.
What’s my best option for network and cloud security?
The safest security measures happen at Layer 1—the physical space where network managers work—where they’re truly concealed from outsiders.
The right cloud provider will implement Layer 1 security. Because Cywest owns its own network, it has full control of the physical networking layer. That guarantees military-grade security and no anxiety about your data being compromised.
The network we’re talking about is the Cywest SD-N.
In an online sea of conflicting messages about network security, we’re here to equip you with the right information. Want to learn more about Cywest SD-N? Read about it here.