For every IT organization, the biggest concerns are the risk of data loss and managing the customer and legal issues that result from any breaches in application security and performance. These are the common concerns of the business organizations that use the cloud environment for developing the applications because the advancement of cloud computing has resulted in many organizations placing many layers of security controls on their systems. At times, these security layers can take a toll on the application performance. Therefore, it is extremely important to strike the right balance between application security and application performance.
Cloud platforms are known for ensuring elasticity and speed of application development that is essential for today’s fast-paced world where everyone wants to create and deploy the applications quickly. Most organizations choose to host their applications on a uniform cloud computing platform whereas some applications are placed in a public cloud, some are placed in the private cloud and some legacy applications can only be accessed through a virtual private network. In this scenario, the organizations usually add layers in the monitoring and management technology for managing the operations and the application performance. Moreover, alerts are also configured that get triggered when the application performance drops below a certain pre-defined limit.
Going by the basics of data security, the organizations generally add a layer of encryption for securing sensitive data; but encryption might affect the application performance at times.
So how do you address the issue of security and performance?
The answer to this question is dependent on how you use the encryption? how you measure the application performance? and how your applications uses the encryption? It’s a misconception that application encryption and security will repeatedly hamper application performance while used for safeguarding sensitive data. But the truth is that if configured correctly, encryption has very little impact on application performance at both – the application level and the platform level.
How to bridge the gap between application security and performance?
One of the best ways to bridge the gap between application security and performance is by streamlining your operations. Other tips include the following:
Use logging that writes to the memory : By reducing the disk I/O (Input/Output) in the encryption operations, it is possible to reduce the overhead that is associated with encrypting your data. You can use software that enables memory-only-type logging systems.
Test application performance with security turned on : In many cases, usually the testing processes, including the ones for DevOps do not test the effect of the security measures on application performance. You must test the complete impact of security on performance and use it as a standard for tuning the performance. It is important to take into consideration that application performance will change as the data set increases so you have to plan for it while setting the application performance targets.
How to ensure application security in the cloud?
The top 5 best practices for application security in the cloud are mentioned below:
- Application security must be sufficient for the most demanding specifications of the applications that are hosted in the cloud.
- Fully featured APIs must be available that ensure complete control through orchestration tools that can be used by the DevOps teams.
- It should be possible to deploy security measures in high-availability clusters and they should have the ability to auto-scale in the cloud templates.
- It should be possible to manage and monitor them through a single user interface.
- The cloud security providers should ensure complete flexibility and affordability through consumption based payment models (Pay-Per-Use). This will enable the organizations to deploy as many instances as they want and only pay for the resources that are actually used by the application.
Good application security ensures optimum performance
It is not true that if you would like to ensure good application security, you must sacrifice on the performance. With the evolution of the systems and tools used in the cloud computing platform, it has become easier to fix the performance issues. The implementation and use of new hardware along with the advanced cloud technologies will help in reducing the performance issues with the help of technologies like advanced caching systems and in-memory persistence.
The Ultimate Solution : Use Of Web Application Firewall
A web application firewall (WAF) analyses all the incoming and outgoing traffic and it blocks the potential web attacks before they affect the web server. The WAF carefully examines the traffic for all the application layers and only allows the genuine and legitimate traffic to reach to the web server. By analyzing the web traffic, the web application firewall can also prevent the attacks that arise from web application security flaws, cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, file inclusion and security misconfiguations. MilesWeb has teamed up with Cloudbric which is a popular and leading web application and data security provider to provide the most efficient solution for website and application security. The web application firewall by MilesWeb has the capacity of blocking all web attacks with complete precision through the logic based analyses and detection technology. Implementing a web application firewall is the best solution for website and application security as it not just blocks the known attacks but it can block the unknown and modified attacks as well. In this way, complete website and application security is ensured and there is no negative impact on the performance of the application.