Multi cloud and Security Challenges

Most organizations run on multi cloud environments, given the digital transformation that is taking place.  This broadly means that organizations decision to run enterprise applications in multiple cloud environments like public, private, or hybrid, and the decision to use a mix of cloud service providers, also this can involve multiple infrastructure as a service (IaaS) vendors as well.

A Gartner survey indicates that 81% of respondents said that they are working with two or more service providers. The reason for it can be the move towards agility and minimize vendor lock-in.  The global cloud security market is expected to size up close to $10 billion by next year.  The switch to a multi cloud strategy can see benefits of having more flexibility than getting locked into one vendor’s platform, allowing more time to innovate and reduced cost savings.

An organization’s main business asset is ‘data‘.  In a typical multi cloud environment means data is stored in multiple locations, that could be over public/private clouds, SaaS platforms, and on- premise.  Protecting such data that runs on the cloud is the organization’s responsibility, as the security of the data moves out of the organization’s network.

Security challenges that is faced in multi cloud environment includes:

  • Integration gaps within cloud and on-premise IT infrastructure that may expose the business assets
  • Delivery of business services from a heterogeneous set of clouds may not be secure
  • Assessing security of data stored, and data flows in a cloud environment, or within servers of SaaS providers poses a big challenge
  • Challenges represented by unique portals, migration of apps, and other security challenges
  • Larger vulnerability landscape – multi cloud to on premises
  • Misconfiguration of a multi cloud environment

Mitigate the Challenges:

  • Ensure that your business partner’s and other stakeholders understand the shared security model, and how it is applied to multi cloud, and on-premise environment
  • Ensure that the cloud and infrastructure vendors understand the scope of the security measures, and requirements
  • Threat detection and containment across multi cloud
  • Ensure visibility into workloads running in multi cloud vendors identify and mitigate risks
  • Automate the management and response to security events using Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) tools
  • Ensure that the cloud and infrastructure vendors that the security tools deployed is fully compliant with regulatory standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, FISMA,and SOX
  • Scaling security measures in pace with business needs