Multi-cloud has become the new standard and a new cloud reality. As one of the major cloud computing trends of 2020, Multi-cloud is quickly catching up the momentum to become a new cloud reality which the entire corporate world has been waiting for. Ambitious enterprises thrive to accelerate agility, resiliency, flexibility, scalability, and drive innovation all at once. And, a perfectly devised multi-cloud strategy is the ultimate solution for it. Multi-cloud setups provide more freedom in availing cloud services from different providers and minimize the risks associated with vendor lock-ins.
With multi-cloud strategies getting a lot of traction, security concerns have skyrocketed on the flip side. Robust and far-reaching security strategies are the best tools to overcome current and future trends. Security demands in a multi-cloud arena are catered by focusing on authentication and authorization, application hardening, confidential computing and continuous monitoring. The move to the multi-cloud requires careful assessment of the challenges keeping security on top of the mind while planning, architecting, and designing cloud strategy. Before implementing the multi-cloud strategy, it is important to consider certain security implications that are part and parcel of this unique cloud environment.
Security Challenges That Impact Multi-cloud Systems
Access – It’s difficult to fully control identity and access management in a multi-cloud environment. Keeping an eye on who can see which file or application is difficult as various users have access to disparate cloud resources at once. After implementing access controls, it is important to maintain continuous protection and ensure that the workload is protected. Improper access management allows hackers to have unauthorized access to sensitive data which can put the entire organization at stake. Hackers will come knocking the door. As it’s not a question of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’.
Visibility – Visibility is pivotal in a multi-cloud strategy for enterprises as streamlining security measures across multiple cloud platforms simultaneously can be challenging. Every cloud provider offers their own security features that cause visibility issues across the cloud environment as a whole. Visibility in the multi-cloud gets complicated even more when enterprises download their own cloud service as it’s hard to obtain the information about the location of the data they are using on a daily basis.
Complexity – A Multi-cloud environment is the most complex cloud system for an enterprise as they incorporate various services from different cloud providers and the system becomes vulnerable to attack. Cloud vendors, with their own security measures for data protection, add complexities by making it difficult to secure the resources. As multi-cloud environments continue so are the security threats as it’s difficult to identify the potential vulnerabilities that are involved with multi-cloud structure.
Best Practices to Keep in Mind for Multi-Cloud Security
Synchronization – Settings and Policies
If the operations are identical on different clouds then maintain the same security settings on every cloud by synchronizing the settings and policies.
Security – Separate Security Policy for Every Service
Create individual security policies if there are varied workloads and applications also the security policy must be based on the chosen platform.
Automation – Automation to Effectively Manage Multi-cloud Environment
Make sure the automation is taken into consideration from DevSecOps standpoint to keep security intact throughout the process.
Monitoring – Continuous Monitoring Strategy to Ensure Security
Create a security monitoring strategy that includes logs, alerts and events into one location and use tools that guide on remediation strategies.
Point Security Solutions – Minimize Point Security Solutions to Minimize Complexity
Reduce the point security solutions that don’t get along well as every new point solution needs new integrations that could lead to errors.
Mitigate Security Threats in the Multi-cloud
Application Hardening – Beyond upgrading and patching, hardening cloud apps can withstand the potential security threats and create strategies that empower apps against risks and vulnerabilities in the cloud environment.
Encryption – Use a separate encryption key for every cloud platform as encryption is vital in the multi-cloud set-up to keep unauthorized users away from gaining access to the sensitive files stored in the cloud environment.
Security Policies – Develop cloud agnostic security policies that are in strict adherence to the underlying security procedures and the policies should be clear and consistent across every cloud platform to minimize risks.
Bottom Line – Make Multi-cloud Security a Core Part of Business Strategy!
A phenomenal amount of momentum is building towards the multi-cloud as new-age enterprises are opting for a multi-cloud route to get an impressive list of advantages. Multi-cloud environments demand stellar planning and strategization to manage the security posture once they’re up and running.
Security strategy should be created with a multi cloud security solution that can offer unmatched coverage between clouds that perfectly fits in the organizational model and help in taking the advantages of multi-cloud, while maintaining the security of the environment. Maintaining the security of multiple clouds is crucial as there is a larger landscape with a high probability of security risks and vulnerabilities.
To wrap up, for every enterprise of every size and scale, it is quintessential to consider ‘cloud security’ first by taking business objectives, requirements, and limitations into the account – especially everything that is related to the end-to-end security of overall infrastructure – before getting started full fledgedly with a multi-cloud strategy!
Martin Moyers is a business analyst and an avid tech blogger who is associated with Zymr, Inc. He is obsessed with AI-ML, cloud technologies, and the universe of social media. In his leisure time, he enjoys rafting, sailing, and hiking.