Sunday, February 4, 2018
What is your multi-cloud strategy? Today it is not uncommon for organizations to be running a mix of public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environments, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In fact, a recent study concluded that one-third of the world’s companies are using four or more cloud vendors in their day-to-day operations.
But ultimately, without the right strategy, multi-cloud can quickly turn into multi-headaches for you and your organization. While these varied cloud environments can offer a wide array of services, ensuring that you have adequate protection across the entire environment can be challenging.
Here are six quick tips to help ensure that you and your company are securely covered in a multi-cloud environment.
- Standardize Policies
One of the most common mistakes organizations make is thinking their policies are being followed and that they're effective. When dealing with a single cloud provider or platform, wording can be specific. However, this can be an easily overlooked issue when using multiple cloud providers. Because different cloud providers have different security features, it can be easy to overlook something if policies are not closely monitored and regularly checked for relevance. A good approach to multi-cloud security is a comprehensive policy that addresses protection, monitoring, and control at the data, user, and application levels. Matt Keil, public cloud security director at Palo Alto Networks, recommends anchoring the policy first around data, which tends to be the resource attackers are most interested in.
- Create a Culture Change
It is time to ensure everyone in your organization takes cybersecurity seriously. Regardless of which cloud environment you're working with, it is important that all members of the organization are working to ensure adherence. Additionally, when adopting a multi-cloud model, the IT department should make sure everyone in the organization understands key terms such as multi-cloud strategy, application program interface, and AWS, just to name a few.
- Be Selective
While there are a number of different cloud providers, many companies overlook simple security features like encryption. This goes along nicely with creating a culture change because it’s important that everyone across the organization has a thorough understanding of what protections are offered by the platform and which might need to be added by a third party.
- Actively Assess Your Cloud Environments
Carefully evaluate providers for a multi-cloud environment to ensure they offer the services you need and that it fits within budget. When choosing cloud providers for multi-cloud computing, determine which blend of services fit your needs and keep security in mind.
- Visibility is Key
Being able to see what is happening across your entire cloud network is essential. Behavior-based monitoring can be more effective than solely relying on signature-based monitoring. Because it is able to detect anomalous behavior and patterns across the different clouds at once, such monitoring can give the users a great amount of clarity when it comes to problem solving.
- Add Extra Defenses
Due to the convenience of the cloud, it's easy to forget that the encryption and protections that come with these services are most likely not enough to meet the needs of your company. Adding services that monitor and track who, when, and how data is being shared adds a layer of control and peace of mind. The good news is content controls and analytics, which can give feedback and reduce the risk of a security breach, are easy to find in third-party vendors.
Running a multi-cloud environment can add great value, but ultimately does come with its share of risks. However, adhering to these six tips could help mitigate risk and set you up for added value going forward.
Want to learn more about how Palo Alto Networks' Next-Generation Security Platform is addressing this topic?
Click here to watch a recap of the Epic Cloud Security Event from February 6.
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