It is not easy to imagine digital transformation without the cloud. Cloud is integral to any business wishing to stay agile and relevant in this digitally inclined world. The economy of scale offered by the cloud is unmatched. It also optimizes the infrastructure by providing quicker access to computer services and resources. Cloud further heightens service delivery efficiencies and aligns IT services to changing business obligations.
However, by transitioning more functions to cloud ecosystems, enterprises have increased their dependencies on the cloud for better connectivity, innovation, data storage, collaboration, and application access. Moreover, this dependency has increased the attack surface with enterprises having data across on-premise, public, and private cloud architectures. They also access their applications and data from AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
Cloud convenience comes with a price. The downside is that the ease of connectivity and remote access capabilities only heightens a security breach's risk. Cloud security is a critical enterprise imperative. As per a CSA survey, nearly 73% of organizations are holding back cloud adoption due to data security concerns.
Be wary of cloud threats
The success of cloud deployments is dependent on the level of security offered. Be it an IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS offering; you need a comprehensive cloud strategy to secure cloud apps, operating systems, and network traffic to mitigate security risks and threats.
Common cloud security challenges include – lack of data visibility since cloud services are accessed outside the corporate network. This gap can lead to making the cloud more vulnerable to data breaches. The inability to control cloud data is another bottleneck, leading to account hijacking, where attackers steal credentials or user tokens to remotely access data. Attacks from within the organization cannot be ruled out. Employees can have malicious intentions leading to the misuse of sensitive data for personal gains. Malware injections are another way of eavesdropping into cloud environments to steal data. These are code added in a cloud service to function as a legitimate instance on a server. Customizations in the cloud through APIs pose a different risk; APIs are critical, but their ability to enable communication between apps can leave quite a few exploitable risks. DDoS attackers can sneak to prevent internet and server services unavailable; data losses might happen due to adversarial breach who might exploit the errors or vulnerabilities in a cloud deployment. This breach can also happen due to misconfigurations in an IaaS environment.
Build cloud security from ground up
Begin by reviewing your cloud security strategy to enable a robust cloud security foundation. This strategy concerning Identity & Access Management (IAM), cloud-native security, workloads, applications, and architecture must align with compliance & privacy requirements. Fixes must be prioritized based on cost, effort, and risk. The foundation must be in sync with digital transformation goals and implement robust security architecture and guard rails. Rapid migration to the cloud can lead to inconsistent security policy enforcement, compliance, and controls. A secure transition to the cloud can be enabled through standardized tools, scripts, and methodologies. Customizing security solutions and frequent evaluation of security measures can help to sustain this transition.
A comprehensive risk management program should be adopted to mitigate security risks. The risk assessment approach is customized to the enterprise cloud threat profile and aligned to Cloud Security Alliance, NIST, and CIS 20 frameworks. View security risks and applicability at different organization levels and drive risk assessment at scale to suit your business context. The risk management program can also be automated using GRC implementations to improve efficiencies and enhance cloud usage.
Customized cloud architectures are built by most enterprises to meet the demand to offer 24/7 digital services. Security can be an issue in these architectures as they are developed through advanced tier technologies & microservices. DevSecOps approach must be leveraged to automate the security and configuration of cloud assets. It helps by proactively integrating security into continuous delivery and continuous integration environments and can mitigate risks by enhancing Identity and Access Management controls to keep hackers at bay.
Managing configuration security of Cloud IT infrastructure is critical to minimize risks. Automated Security Configuration Management (SCM) ensures effective control and maintenance of these configurations by keeping them updated. SCM automation help in dynamic updates, and every system is configured in a consistent manner and at scale. The advantage of automated SCM is continuous configuration, which helps automate patch validation regularly and configure systems to the desired state. It allows IT teams to experience real-time, comprehensive visibility of asset inventories to faster identify security or compliance risks.
Cloud security is incomplete without Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services. MDR is critical in taking on cloud computing threats, such as Advanced Persistent Threats, insider threats, insecure APIs, and misconfigurations in storage. It focuses on proactive threat management to predict and neutralize threats. MDR leverages advanced technologies such as threat intelligence, behavior analysis, analytics, UEBA (User and Entity Behavior Analytics), and ML-driven real-time correlation to mitigate complex threats. Other next-gen capabilities of MDR include SIEM (Security information and event management) services and operations for effective incident management and SOAR (Security Orchestration and Automation) for effective threat and vulnerability management, incident response, and automating security operations.
Secure your digital future. Protect the cloud.
Executing a cloud security strategy is critical in a digital transformation journey. Cloud security implications in such as transformation are vital and must be prioritized early in this journey. Enterprises must leverage next-gen cloud security services to design, build, and execute security operations. It can help them maintain compliance and secure them from breaches, data leads, data exfiltration, and malware infections. These services can also enable improved security visibility & efficiency of security spend, protect customer & employee data, strengthen business continuity, and maximizing cloud operational capabilities.