Enterprises today are far from the traditional on-premises IT behemoths they were as little as 5-10 years ago. That’s because most enterprises are transitioning workloads to the cloud quickly if they haven’t moved them there already.

In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2020 “cloud-first” and “cloud-only” will be standard corporate policies rather than exceptions. Echoing that is IDC which says that by 2021 more than half of the typical enterprise IT infrastructures will be in the cloud.

While the use of public and private cloud services will no doubt continue to grow, use of public cloud services is expected to grow at a slightly faster pace. It’s unlikely that organizations have standardized on any single cloud vendor. Rather, most enterprises rely on multiple vendors like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure to build out their cloud infrastructures.

Having a mix of on-premises infrastructure, remote data centers, and public and private cloud presents some challenges. In an informal survey during our webinar “3 Things to Know About Mixed, Multi-Cloud Environments,” nearly 90% of attendees called out security as a big concern when moving workloads to the cloud. Half of our participants said lack of app support for mixed environments is another concern.

Those numbers align with what we’ve experienced in the field: The hodgepodge of disparate, disconnected security products enterprises use today weren’t made to secure the cloud. Some vendors have “cloud-washed” their products, but these deliver questionable value. And in real-world situations, these products perform poorly, lack critical functionality, and can’t provide the visibility time-strapped security teams require to be effective.

Filling the cloud visibility gap isn’t an easy problem to solve. Legacy, appliance-based products are typically deployed at the perimeter. They also don’t provide complete visibility into network activity within traditional enterprise boundaries, let alone within cloud environments.

Cloud instances are also always in flux. New workloads are continually spun up, moved, and torn down. That elasticity means workloads expand as demand grows, and that’s a lot more network activity as well. So products that try to fill the visibility gap have to be able to monitor and to analyze large data sets effectively.

Further complicating matters is the fact that there’s no access to packet-level data in the cloud. It’s easy to tap spans so you can collect and monitor network traffic on your on-prem equipment, or to tap spans between the enterprise and the cloud. Where it becomes challenging and visibility becomes limited is tapping the span between an instance in the cloud -- because it’s virtual there’s nowhere to tap!

ProtectWise and Ixia make it easy to secure workloads in the Cloud, including multi-cloud environments, in addition to traditional on-premises networks. Running entirely in the Cloud, The ProtectWise Grid delivers pervasive visibility via automatic real-time and retrospective threat detection, long-term retention of full-fidelity packet capture (PCAP) and unlimited forensic exploration.

Ixia CloudLens™ simplifies capture of network traffic from public cloud, virtual, or physical environments and delivers it to The ProtectWise Grid seamlessly. Through this integration, ProtectWise and Ixia give security teams a single solution for end-to-end visibility across heterogeneous public cloud, enterprise, and hybrid environments.

If you weren’t able to attend our webinar, we invite you to watch an on-demand replay so you can learn how easy it is to secure the cloud with the joint ProtectWise-Ixia solution. In the webinar Scott Register, VP of product management at Ixia and I discuss why security in mixed- and multi-cloud environments can be difficult, how moving to the Cloud limits visibility for legacy security solutions, and how a modern approach to security provides pervasive visibility.

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