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Into the Cloud – Part 2

  • August 5, 2022

Part II: The triple whammy of Cloud Security

There are yet challenges to address in creating a secure Cloud architecture. Here’s what you should know:

With businesses around the world pushing toward a network Cloud architecture, the need to prioritize security becomes unequivocally primary – and crucial. Prioritizing a ‘Cloud first’ approach, in this regard, will enable firms’ digital transformation with scale and agility. The adage that security is the biggest inhibitor to firms’ Cloud-first journey is a fact that often holds true – but it could, in fact, prove to be its biggest accelerator, according to experts.

Triple Whammy

While Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) work hard to secure their infrastructure and upgrade native security features, they are not responsible for maintaining the security posture of a Cloud-enabled environment. The issue lies herein:

“The default settings when you create a new Cloud instance are unlikely to satisfy even the basic security requirements of any business operation. It is still the responsibility of each organization to apply those tools to secure the environment they create—and the applications they build—for use in the Cloud,” according to consulting giants Accenture.

There are, in fact, three major challenges to address:

  • Weaknesses in security governance and compliance:

Security and compliance risks usually act as the biggest barrier to realizing the benefits of the clouds, according to a majority of senior IT executives. Information security departments need to be able to clearly communicate transparent governance risk frameworks and provide close monitoring and anomaly remediation in the maintenance of compliance standards.

Security in multiple Cloud environments is central in the development and release of new services from any of the CSPs. The challenge in securing Cloud environments is, however, considerable when compared to on-site environments. To ensure compliance standards are maintained across the board, organizations still need to develop skills to scan and monitor all Cloud environments simultaneously. This is an area that will need special consideration in the immediate future.

  • Finding and retaining the right skills:

Accenture says: “automation helps with talent shortages, but organizations need to be more creative to ensure the right skills are in place. Cloud security people are in short supply. In our research, 30% of better-performing leaders provided training for more than three-quarters of users when it was needed, versus just 9% of non-leaders.

Security teams need to develop the right mindset, along with the right security policies, processes, and procedures, to effectively manage a secure Cloud environment.”

To aid in future adoption, it is crucial that developers recognize the valuable additions that security makes to their existing skillsets. The extension of security capabilities in other business areas becomes only natural as security control distribution reaches developers working with application pipelines and complex infrastructures.

  • Proactively addressing the complexity of secure configuration:

Modern Cloud strategies in a majority of organizations today are evolving with hybrid structures, the biggest present vulnerability to which is the misconfiguration of Cloud resources. Asset and configuration controls write Accenture, “must be defined early and automated configuration used to enable successful Cloud migration that has security baked in from the start.”

The three major aspects to be taken care of, in this regard, include the securing of a platform, and its services and integrating adequate tools and operations in its features.

  • Deploying base security controls to ensure a secure landing zone on Cloud solution platforms is central to this – calling out for specialized identity access management.
  • Network security in data centers must concentrate on setting up ‘hub and spoke’ network security models. This will allow us to create reusable Cloud solutions with integrated security controls.
  • Integrating tools and operations to bring together existing client enterprise security tools with op7erational procedures in a stable and secure Cloud configuration is key.

(To be continued)

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