The advent of cloud computing brings in competition for bandwidth with internal applications moving to the cloud. Organizations cannot deploy new solutions for each new challenge thrown up by the cloud. The solution lies in what firewalls what firewalls can do.
If we stopped looking at firewalls or UTMs as “just security” solutions that block bad traffic, we would be in a position to turn them into productivity solutions that function as business enablers. Making them operate at the Application Layer 7 and the User Layer 8 enables them to view application traffic not with an outdated port protocol combination but as a dynamic function which they can then enable effectively.
Using the 4 Elements of who (user), which (application), when (time) and what (bandwidth), firewalls can introduce layer 7 and 8 visibility and control based on time and bandwidth
requirements to lower the peaks and troughs in the bandwidth demand, give priority to white applications, block black applications, yet allow intelligent access to grey applications. With this, they enhance productivity, yet create an attractive work place.
Cloud computing adds to this complexity in application access and control. By blurring the hitherto clear distinction between internal applications hosted within organizations’ data centers and external applications available over the World Wide Web, the challenge of managing application access and control becomes far more complex than is garnering attention.
Traditional firewall appliance paid attention to the source and destination address, the ports and protocols. It didn’t seem to matter which packet was entering or leaving the network, as long as it met the rules created for these parameters, because applications themselves followed the port- protocol combination.
Further, it didn’t seem to matter who received the traffic in the organization as long as the destination or source address was acceptable because few people had access to Internet.