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Modern, cloud-native applications can be developed and run with ease using cloud-native architectures. Customers as well as developers and administrators of cloud-native applications benefit from numerous advantages.

However, there are a lot of bad actors, and it’s hard to keep your cloud-native application safe. To ensure the safety of your application, you can and should do a lot of things.

Isolation zones are an approach to enhancing the security of your cloud-native applications that is frequently overlooked.

Isolation zones: what are they? Separating your application into multiple security regions that are as much as possible isolated from one another is referred to as an isolation zone.

Application Storage in Multiple Zones Using Isolation Zones Each zone handles a crucial component of the application’s processing. The outer zone is regarded as the least secure because it is closest to customers and the public internet.

Here, only actions that must take place in this exposed area take place. An application calls back into successively more secure zones whenever it needs to carry out more secure operations. The most sensitive processing and sensitive data are stored in the most secure inner zone.

Each zone can only communicate with the zones that are immediately adjacent to it; it cannot enter zones that are deeper within the application without utilizing services provided by the layers that are in between.

Cloud-Native Applications tools

Cloud-native applications based on services and microservices architectures benefit most from using isolation zones. This is due to the fact that services-based applications can be divided into multiple zones much more easily than monoliths can, and cloud providers offer tools for creating and managing isolation zones that are simple to set up, such as VPCs. Therefore, cloud-native applications benefit greatly from using isolation zones.

Defining Your Zones There is no one model that can be used to define your zones; Depending on the requirements of your application, you can design your zones in a variety of ways. However, if you are just beginning to construct isolation zones for your applications, I recommend beginning with three fundamental zones:

Public Area This is the zone that connects directly to the public internet, making it the outermost zone. Services and components for validating traffic coming from the public internet are located in this zone. Firewalls, BOT blockers, and basic traffic filtering are all examples of this. However, there are services in this zone that are in charge of verifying a user’s access to the website. These services include authorization, authentication, and basic permission management. Services in this zone can communicate with the public internet and with services in the next zone, the DMZ, from the inside.

The Demilitarized Zone The zone that links the private zone to the public zone is this one. It serves as a buffer of isolation between the services in the relatively unsecure public zone and the services in the extremely secure private zone, which are connected to the public internet. This zone scrutinizes messages from the public zone and ensures that they only reach the appropriate private zone location. The traffic cop is in this zone. It ensures the safety of all private and public communications.

Private Space The majority of your application’s data and deeper processing takes place in this zone. It is the farthest from the public internet and the most secure zone. Services in this zone can usually talk to each other freely when they need to, but they can only talk to services in the DMZ “outwards.” Without first passing through the DMZ, they are unable to send or receive messages from any services in the public internet or public zone.

These are only the most fundamental areas. There may be additional specific security requirements for your application that necessitate a different zone structure. For instance, the following application specifications may result in additional requirements:

Management of financial transactions. Rather than using a service like Stripe, your application must typically comply with additional security requirements set forth by systems like PCI if it processes credit card payments directly. Services that accept credit cards and data stores that store credit card information are subject to these regulations’ stringent security requirements. Services that directly interact with these services are frequently covered by these requirements. Typically, impacted systems are isolated from the rest of the application in a separate isolation zone to meet this higher security requirement. This improves the security of services within the zone while also limiting the scope of services affected by PCI.

  • HIPAA: As mandated by HIPAA, if you deal with personal medical information, you must comply with numerous storage and processing requirements. If these services are in a separate zone, they might be easier to manage and better protected.

Other information that is very sensitive. Maintaining the data’s security is essential to your business if you deal with highly sensitive data, such as confidential employee information or government secrets. This data should be stored and used by services in separate, highly sensitive zones.

Your burden with security will be lessened as a result, and overall security will be improved. Virtually all cloud-native applications rely heavily on application and data security, which is becoming increasingly important and challenging. You can isolate components of your system by utilizing a variety of tools, including security zones, which will increase your application’s overall security.

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