Three Steps for Securing a Multi-Cloud Environment

November 19, 2018

Security in a multi-cloud environment cannot be adequately addressed by traditional approaches. A perimeter established by firewalls doesn’t secure the cloud or the movement of data to and from cloud applications. The security plane is expanded significantly by one cloud migration, so a multi-cloud solution further complicates security. An adequate solution should be able to accommodate growth, but also protect data as a single workload may be housed in more than one cloud solution.
Expanding to the cloud means expanding security complexity. While in a traditional, on-site system, segmentation was a strategy for securing assets and containing threats, it becomes more of a challenge as applications, workflows and data move across private cloud or Software as a Service (SaaS) environments. The ability to apply segmentation is limited, and consistent tagging and labeling need to be prioritized. These allow you to consistently apply security policies and then respond when a threat is detected.
Security teams also struggle to achieve the visibility needed, not only requiring access to each solution through cloud-specific tools, but also the ability to monitor security across the multi-cloud environment. They require tools that allow them to assess the impact that a threat in one cloud solution can have on others.
A multi-cloud environment also demands an integrated security solution that coordinates a response to more sophisticated threats. Enterprises need to be able to avoid hours spent sifting data from different cloud management portals, as response time during a security threat is crucial.
When securing your multi-cloud environment, there are three key steps that need to be prioritized in order to maintain a holistic approach that empowers the enterprise security team:

  1. A consistent set of security functions and their enforcement need to be applied, no matter what the cloud environment. It’s necessary that the classification and workloads comply with all of the cloud infrastructures. Security functionality needs to be delivered similarly in each cloud infrastructure.
  2. Any security tools need to be managed from the enterprise with a single pane of glass and allow one centralized set of routines that are automated and applied to the multi-cloud infrastructures. This includes the ability to define security policies, as well as introduce segmentation of workloads, applications and systems according to their risk profiles. Policies must be tracked to support complex workflows and applications.
  3. Integration across the suite of security tools used in a multi-cloud environment must be prioritized to improve visibility and control in order to coordinate threat detection and mitigation. Local coordination as well as integration across major public cloud environments is necessary to sufficiently detect and resolve threats.

Digital transformation and the introduction of multi-cloud environments provides many benefits to enterprises, but it also ushers in a new and more complex set of security vulnerabilities. To leverage the right security tools for your enterprise and integrate them across a multi-cloud environment, contact us at Access Tech.

For more insights on this topic: