Ways to Automate Multi-cloud Security

May 13, 2022
4 min read

Introduction

In today’s digital age, many companies are shifting to cloud platforms to pursue innovation and enhanced security – essentials to remain profitable and relevant in a highly competitive environment. As per Gartner, above 95% of the workloads are expected to be implemented on cloud platforms by the end of 2025 which is 30% higher than 2021.

To address modern challenges and manage various cloud platforms seamlessly, many companies are drifting into embracing a multi-cloud strategy. But what is the concept of multi-cloud and how to automate multi-cloud security? Let’s dive deeper and try to find the answers to these questions.

Multi-cloud means using two or more cloud platforms to exploit the capabilities of each platform and execute different tasks. With many organizations using Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) at the same time, adopting a multi-cloud strategy would work best for such organizations as it helps eliminate dependency on only one cloud platform.

Using multi-cloud, many organizations are reaping multiple benefits like reduced costs, higher agility, better risk management, freedom to choose among many providers, and others. Deployment of multi-cloud platforms is however complicated which increases the possibilities of cyber attacks and other security concerns related to identity and access. The impact of these vulnerabilities is augmented even further if companies have traditional or manual security systems in place.

To combat these challenges, automating multi-cloud security seems to be a viable option as manual processes tend to overburden the security engineers.

Tips to automate multi-cloud environment:

Use secure-by-design approach

Prevention is better than cure. This adage is a great reminder for the companies that are keen on building a robust security posture foundationally. More and more companies prefer not to use third-party security tools and technologies and their leadership is of the mindset to integrate security into the infrastructure and design of their software and applications from the beginning.

Secure by design means companies integrate increased security capabilities in their software and applications in the very developmental stage – minimizing the chances of security breaches and system errors in the later stage. Moreover, this approach helps companies streamline infrastructure design and automate security control in order to secure their resources on cloud platforms and the IT management processes. For security engineers, this would mean spending more time on developing software and other security processes that can effectively safeguard multiple systems and cloud platforms and less time on managing individual systems or platforms.

Recently, the secure-by-design approach has gained high traction among the companies to strengthen the security and privacy of software, applications, cloud platforms, and other critical IT resources – which can act as entry points for cyberattacks and must be thus protected.

Embrace tools to automate crucial security functions from a single policy plane

The problem is every cloud platform has different security needs, but the larger problem is most companies are not well-positioned to fulfill those needs – which can threaten their security posture. Furthermore, there is no denial of the fact that difficulties in managing security in multi-cloud can negatively affect revenue and the overall performance of business activities.

To properly exploit the potential of multi-cloud, companies should embrace security tools that can effectively separate crucial security functions such as traffic monitoring, intrusion prevention, and firewall spanning all cloud platforms into a single policy plane. Plus, automated tools help companies to create the same security settings in different cloud platforms – to gain better control over and insights into each platform.

Adopt security tools for cloud platforms and applications

For both end-users as well as providers, monitoring and managing cloud security has become a priority as much of their success relies on securing virtual systems. In a scenario where there is a varied security requirement of SaaS platforms, security engineers would need to manage security and monitor multi-cloud platforms that contain confidential data and crucial applications.

While companies are already cognizant of cloud security concerns and ways to deal with them, the need to secure SaaS data is an emerging challenge for many organizations. Before companies become optimistic about multi-cloud adoption, their security engineers must implement effective and automated cloud security tools that are built to manage the nitty-gritty of all SaaS platforms. With these tools at their disposal, the security engineers of an organization can better anticipate emerging issues and find answers to such problems.

Automate privileged access management

One of the limitations of using multi-cloud is to manage privileged access to cloud workloads with the help of tools made available by every provider. The possibilities of identity silos and risks are high – especially because these providers do not work with each other and have different offerings. Though privileged access management can address these security concerns by automating access controls.

Automating privileged access management (PAM) can empower companies to bring down the complications of the multi-cloud strategy – particularly when manual processes are no longer useful or effective. Thus, the need of the hour is to build PAM systems with automation from the ground up so that they gain insights into all the current virtual systems.

Conclusion:

For organizations, the journey to multi-cloud adoption is exciting and challenging at the time. While reduced costs, higher visibility & control over resources can push the adoption of the multi-cloud, concerns like complex deployment and security risks can act as obstacles. A few companies place the burden of managing multi-cloud security squarely on their engineers which is not sustainable in the long run. That’s the reason many companies are exploring methods that can expertly manage multi-cloud environments and their security – allowing their employees to focus on tasks that value the most.

With the rising amount of data and high adoption of multi-cloud environments, using traditional or manual security systems has become obsolete. Thus, companies need to rethink their strategies so that they can automate security in multi-cloud environments to protect their valuable resources that are directly linked with their reputation. Strategies like using the secure-by-design approach, embracing tools to automate crucial security functions from a single policy plane, adopting security tools for cloud platforms and applications, and automating privileged access management are helping companies to automate their multi-cloud security so that they can be well-prepared for the security challenges in the dynamic market.

Lastly, automated multi-cloud security can empower security teams with accurate insights and intelligence about potential & upcoming security threats – to counter such attacks and secure crucial resources like software, applications, virtual systems, and many IT processes.