3 Steps to Secure Your Cloud While Getting Maximum Benefit

 In Cybersecurity

In many ways, moving business workloads to the cloud resembles preparing a vessel for an ocean voyage. Before you embark, you need to chart a safe course and certify your ship can withstand a barrage of outside forces. And you need the entire crew working toward the same goal.

Often, organizations get swept up in the excitement of the cloud’s possibilities, only to realize later that their cloud environment is far from watertight. For maximum security and safety, cloud migrations require careful configuration, communication, leadership, and the right tools.

In short, your cloud journey requires preparation—and the risks of underpreparing are great. To avoid the financial and reputational losses that come with cybersecurity breaches, consider these three measures before you make a move.

  1. Understand where you’re protected—and where you’re vulnerable.

The shared security model is common and frequently misunderstood. It dictates that both cloud providers and cloud users have security obligations. In most cases, cloud providers will physically secure hardware—think heavily monitored and guarded data centers—while leaving virtual security to their clients.

The problem? These clients often assume the cloud provider takes care of all security measures, physical, virtual and otherwise. This lack of understanding results in major vulnerabilities for data breaches, attacks, and leaks. According to recent analyst research, by 2025, 99% percent of cloud security failures will have been the customer’s fault.

Because security roles vary based on providers and services, make sure you understand what security tasks fall to you and your team as you expand your cloud environment. And remember, your attack surface grows as you introduce multiple cloud providers, new users, and new entry points. Fortify your security posture with appropriate security policies. They don’t have to be complicated to be effective.

  1. Establish shared responsibility measures.

One of the cloud’s greatest advantages—the ability to quickly stand up new workloads—is at times also its greatest curse. More easily than ever, employees and teams within an organization can move workloads to the cloud on their own without consulting the CTO, CISO, or IT team.

This form of “shadow IT” opens numerous security vulnerabilities, since non-security professionals aren’t as likely to install proper security measures when opening new cloud pathways. On top of security concerns, adding new applications and workloads unchecked to cloud environments can rapidly dry out the cloud budget. Going back to the boat analogy, your entire crew must work in unison and within certain parameters to keep your enterprise on course.

Start by introducing a change control process. This establishes clear rules on how an enterprise sets up new workloads in the cloud, ensuring security is baked into the process every time. The CTO/CISO should be involved in creating the process and ensuring everyone throughout the organization understands the rules.

Cybersecurity is a constant balance between security and functionality—100% security means 0% functionality, and vice versa. The CTO/CISO must be in constant communication with other leaders across the business to ensure users get the maximum competitive advantage from the cloud while minimizing cyber risks.

  1. Utilize all the cybersecurity tools at your disposal.

Simple measures can go a long way toward protecting workloads on the cloud. For example, multi-factor authentication is a relatively basic yet proven method for deterring cyberattacks. In the same vein, taking the time to train your teams on how and when to use the enterprise’s cloud environments can yield massive security benefits. Many breaches occur because users lack awareness about how their actions leave the environment vulnerable.

On the next tier of security, CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) and CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform) tools help ensure your cloud environments comply with HIPAA and other industry-specific regulations. They also send you alerts about misconfigurations, new vulnerabilities, or other changes that affect cloud security and functionality. These tools are particularly helpful for providing oversight on containers and multicloud environments that have many moving pieces.

How Stratascale Can Help

Stratascale has dedicated cloud and cloud security teams that help you choose and deploy the right tools to secure your cloud environment. We provide objective feedback about which cloud vendors fit your organizational needs, outline the vulnerabilities within your existing or new cloud environment, and help you change the culture of cybersecurity at your organization.

Our experts also help you understand why your vulnerabilities exist and what steps will allow you to address them while maintaining the critical balance between security and functionality.