Periodically, we turn over control of the CenturyLink Cloud blog to members of our certified technology ecosystem to share how they leverage our platform to enable customer success. This week’s guest author from the Cloud Marketplace Provider Program is Margaret Walker from Cohesive Networks, a software-defined networking company.

Cloud computing effectively outsources a lot of the traditional data center operations and management roles and responsibilities. Cloud providers build data centers that are faster and cheaper than most enterprises. That's great but what does that mean for the way you, the cloud users, secure your cloud resources?

Public cloud is arguably just as secure as an on-premise data center, but getting data to the cloud uses the public internet. The public internet is just that - public. Your data in motion moves from your device, over the public internet, then into a secure cloud environment.

Shared Attention: Overlapping Security Controls Are Powerful

CenturyLink is excellent at building secure data centers, screening and vetting their staff, and automating security controls that support their compliance policies. With a solid cloud platform, you no longer have to worry about hardware and virtual security in Layer 0 – 3.

So the underlying cloud is secure, which means you have a good foundation for building your deployment. But the implication is that you’re now sharing security responsibilities for your cloud-deployed applications with CenturyLink. But,you’re not off the hook for cloud security features from Layers 3 through 7. With software-defined overlay networks, you can start designing network controls into the architecture of your application and its cloud deployment model.

Overlay Networks: Supplemental Protection Built Into Application Architecture Rather than rely on public internet to connect to the cloud, you can use an overlay network to connect and encrypt all traffic travel to and from your CenturyLink deployments.

Overlay networks are networks built over the top of existing network infrastructure, such as the CenturyLink Public Cloud network. Overlays give you more control over network functions like protocols, encryption, and VPN endpoints. When you control these network functions, you can add features that only you own, control, and govern.

Overlays use Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to give control over your network. Overlays virtualize core networking functions, like firewalls, routing, and switching. By re-creating virtual networks over top of the underlying networks, you are adding security features above the cloud provider environment.

Overlays have the advantage of abstracting the cloud provider environment - so there is not a huge cost of switching vendors or rebuilding systems. Plus, with data encryption you control, you are free to connect between public cloud regions, partners, customers, and your company’s own data centers. End-to-end encryption means your data is secure from the time it leaves your servers to the time customers and partners receive it.

The Cohesive Networks Soltuion: VNS3 Overlay networks make it possible to add security features directly into your CenturyLink Public Cloud network with only a few clicks. You can easily add Layer 3 -7 network security to your CenturyLink deployments with Cohesive VNS3. This software-only virtual networking technology lets you create secure, private overlay networks over the top of nearly any cloud network backbone.

You can now add even more networking capabilities to CenturyLink Public Cloud deployments,, including end-to-end encryption and optimized routing tuned to your application traffic flow VNS3, is now available in the CenturyLink Cloud Marketplace. With added security and connectivity from VNS3, our CenturyLink Cloud customers can easily connect flexible, secure networks to customers and partners around the globe.

Try it free: find out more about the technology and how to get started today with VNS3 in the CenturyLink Public Cloud at or the CenturyLink Cloud Knowledge Base here.