August 19, 2020

Modern Cloud Platforms Secure CSP Software Deployments

Security, or the lack of it, has dogged cloud computing for years. But new approaches and technologies are setting a new standard for telco cloud security in the digital age.

Since the communications industry started to explore the use cases for cloud computing, the issue of security was the major topic of debate and in the early days was a major stumbling block to deployments. Today however, the idea of a CSP starting a new transformation project without using the cloud is unthinkable. So what changed, and how are cloud platforms set to change the way CSPs arrange their security architectures and infrastructure?

Telecom-specific Cloud Security
The world’s largest IT companies have come to dominate the cloud service provider space with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform making huge investments in cloud security over the last decade. These companies, realizing the ever-growing opportunity for a dominant cloud providers in the 21st century, were fully aware that the security discussion was their number one commercial barrier. Consequently, a huge range of cloud-specific security measures were developed around private, public and hybrid cloud deployments.

One of the main reasons that the telecom industry hasn’t always tracked with advancements in the wider IT industry is specific routines and transactions are unique to a CSP’s operational architecture. Trying to align generalized computer networking strategy to telco networks was not tightly aligned, including the security arrangements.

Vendors, equipment manufacturers, systems integrators and CSPs themselves have all done a lot to build the current best practice for CSP-specific cloud security. In the last 2-3 years we have seen a massive push from the large cloud providers to meet the security demands of the communications industry. As such, the perceived security disparity between private cloud and public/hybrid cloud has lessened significantly.

Setting New Standards with Real-time Cloud Security
Rigorous testing of cloud-native software systems and the clouds themselves ensure that CSPs can place their trust in accredited vendors that align with industry-specific standards and comply with security and privacy regulations as well as contractual obligations. This drives forward accountability and best practice from the ground up, which has the effect of including security concerns into all new software solutions and into the ongoing DevOps activities jointly undertaken by vendor and operator.

Real-time threat detection across applications, network and infrastructure, in real time, is difficult across the convoluted multivendor architectures of the past. As such, operators are recognizing the security advantages of large single-vendor deployments with extremely tight, aligned security arrangements across all assets.

When this is coupled with the vendor’s own security team adding a layer of real-time detection to the more static security measures in the software and cloud itself, cloud platforms become a much more secure environment than a traditional on-premises deployment. In addition to this, developments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain are building an environment that is setting new standards in the digital age.

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