Cloud Safekeeping

For many organizations, using the potential of the new digital economy involves migrating services, data, and infrastructure to the cloud. The cloud is a powerfully unsettling technology. It allows businesses to be more sprightly, reactive, and available than ever before by changing traditional compute architectures and best practices that have been in place for decades.

Most organizations today have some sort of a cloud strategy. Nearly all of them are implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure that combines their private cloud with one or more public cloud solutions. As a result, organizations now use an average of 1,427 distinct cloud services, with cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) apps climbing to their highest value ever. And nearly half of all workloads are now being run in a cloud environment.

Unfortunately, many organizations are now facing a cloud skill hole every bit as serious as the one affecting cybersecurity. The result is that many companies are having a difficult time effortlessly integrating their old network with their new cloud environments.

And of course, every time you extend or change the network you also expand the probable attack surface. Mobile computing, the surge of new applications, and the distribution of data into the cloud means that users, devices, and applications can access virtually any information or intermingle with virtually any user or device, from any location. New cloud-related risks include insider threats, especially from privileged users, compromised accounts, and shadow IT.

The old-style security models and technologies we have trusted on for decades were simply never designed to protect today’s adaptable and highly virtualized environments. And as we continue to see, cybercriminals are ready and able to exploit every weakness in these new technologies. So, while we are in the process of re-engineering our businesses, it is also time to fundamentally rethink security.

To respond to this new threat landscape, many organizations have enhanced the implementation of specialized security, such as virtualized, on-demand data center protection, web-application firewalls, security for mobile devices, secure email gateways, advanced threat protection, and sandboxes. However, lots of isolated security tools, regardless of how relevant they may seem to be, create their own problem. Overworked IT teams are poorly equipped to sufficiently deploy, configure, monitor, and manage dozens of new security tools, especially when there is no good way to connect the threat intelligence each of these devices produces.

Consequently, this surge of isolated security tools being deployed has created a blind spot in the overall security strategy of many organizations. And as we continue to see, a critical gap in visibility, control, or coordination in any part of the distributed network, especially in the cloud, can mean disaster for a digital business.

To address this challenge, security needs to be reshaped. Today’s organizations necessitate an interrelated security framework that can dynamically develop and adapt as organizations extend into the cloud. Security policy and enforcement need to impeccably follow and protect data, users, and applications as they move back and forth between IoT, old-style networks, and the cloud. And networks need to be able to automatically respond in a corresponding fashion at the speed of an attack.

To adequately protect today’s distributed business, organizations need to implement a combined security strategy that can aggressively collect, share, and correlate threat information, dispense mitigation instructions across all attack vectors, extend visibility and control across the networked environment, and enable a corresponding attack response. One active way to do this is to design a security architecture, that permits you to tie your deployed security tools into a single, rounded solution.

As your organization expands its security strategy into the cloud, you should consider the following:

Warrant that the security tools and services accessible to you through your cloud provider are compatible with those you have deployed in your local and remote networks and on your endpoint devices.

Make the provision of open standards a critical obligation when evaluating new security solutions to ensure interoperability and enable dependable, coordinated response wherever a threat is discovered.

Select solutions that truly extend visibility and control into your cloud infrastructure through a single management tool. This will allow you to establish, distribute, and enforce security policies anywhere your data travels.

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