4 Key Considerations for Unifying App Delivery and Security

Ilya Krutov Thumbnail
Ilya Krutov
Published May 06, 2024

Organizations today are facing the challenges of modernizing their applications and infrastructure to meet customers’ evolving needs. The transformation from monolithic architectures to microservices coupled with the shift from on-prem data centers to hybrid, multi-cloud environments is complex and fraught with risks. This transition to a perimeterless environment can leave organizations that rely on yesterday’s cybersecurity solutions open to today’s increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats. Considering the high number of apps, vendors, and tools across different environments in a modern organization’s tech stack, it’s no surprise that consistently managing and securing these complex app environments can be difficult and expensive. To overcome the challenges associated with tool and vendor sprawl, keep the four following strategic considerations in mind.

1. Improving Security Posture Without Adding Complexity

Imagine a walled city with one large central gate, and a group of guards tasked with protecting important people in the city. In this scenario it makes sense to station the guards at the gate so they can stop any potential threats before they enter the city. Now imagine the walls of the city are gone — it makes more sense for the guards to stay close to the people they’re protecting. Organizations’ app environments have evolved in a similar way, and the perimeter that acted as the walls of the city is no more. That’s why security should be close to the application, wherever it may be. To reduce tool sprawl, organizations should consider a high-performance, platform-agnostic solution that combines security and app delivery tools. To ensure that applications are protected from all angles, an integrated Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Denial-of-Service (DoS) defense are critical. A robust WAF protects vulnerable apps from exploits, while DoS defense ensures application availability and performance. These security measures should also extend to protecting APIs, including REST, gRPC, and GraphQL, with advanced signatures, bot detection, and seamless integration with CI/CD pipelines through the Kubernetes API.

2. Gaining Visibility into App Health and Performance

Without visibility into app health and performance, ensuring that all apps are up to date and working properly can quickly turn into a management headache. A lack of visibility can make it hard or even impossible to maintain business SLAs, with prolonged downtimes, performance degradation, and cumbersome troubleshooting. An effective solution should give organizations access to detailed real-time and historical metrics that are necessary for troubleshooting and maintaining performance. For optimal performance and user experience, the solution should deliver scalability and low compute overhead.

3. Delivering Apps Faster Through Self-Service and Automation

Digital transformation is happening quickly, and as a result apps need to be delivered quickly too. Organizations can deliver apps faster and with greater agility by leveraging automation with self-service. This makes it quicker and easier for developers to release new application features through their CI/CD pipelines without using an outdated request-based provisioning model — developers shouldn’t need to submit a ticket whenever establishing, configuring, and re-configuring app connectivity.

4. Reducing Complexity Through Centralized Management

Modern application environments typically involve a wide range of tools to support app delivery. While it might not seem feasible to have one app delivery tool that does everything, monitoring and managing all an organization’s tools in one place is achievable. A centralized management tool can provide a single pane of glass for gaining visibility and control over security, routing, and monitoring policies at scale. This makes configuration management across diverse environments simpler, more consistent, and less expensive. Adopting a holistic approach that encompasses security, visibility, automation, and centralized management enables organizations to deliver and secure apps from code to customer, improving customer experiences by reducing complexity and risk, increasing uptime, and providing better insights at scale. By prioritizing these key considerations, organizations can confidently navigate the complexities of modern application delivery. To learn more about how NGINX can help you deliver apps simply, securely, and at scale and chat with one of our experts, click here. For more technically-oriented readers, download the NGINX Cookbook, our step-by-step guide on how to do all things NGINX.

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