Cloud security continues to be a top concern for IT leaders. As organizations aggressively pursue digital initiatives, cloud adoption increases. And the push toward the cloud is expected to continue.
Why is cloud security still so troubling for many organizations? There are many reasons, not the least of which is fear. We have all seen very costly examples of data breaches play out in big bold letters in the media.
The truth is humbling: your organization never will be 100% safe from a security breach. It’s simply impossible. There are too many ways threat actors can attack you using increasingly sophisticated, organized methods.
You can, however, reduce your risk of serious loss with a solid security strategy.
5 Key Elements of a Strong Cloud Security Strategy
Today’s security landscape is complex. Protecting your organization requires accepting the fact that your systems will be breached at some point. Therefore, your strategy must contain both pre- and post-breach elements. Following are five key elements of a strong cloud security strategy:
Lack of visibility around cloud infrastructure is one of the top concerns for many organizations. The cloud makes it easy to spin up new workloads at any time. For example, a workload is created to address a short-term project or spike in demand. Once the project is completed, those assets can be easily forgotten. Cloud environments are dynamic, not static. Without visibility to changes in your environment, your organization can be left exposed to potential security vulnerabilities. After all, you can’t protect what you can’t see.
Protecting your organization is about limiting your exposure and reducing risk. Prioritizing and addressing vulnerabilities that can cause disruption to your business is a team effort. You need alignment on the top concerns between your IT and security groups and a strong, collaborative relationship between them to effectively manage your exposure.
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Another concern for organizations, particularly those with large on-premises or hybrid environments, is the lack of tool compatibility. Many find their existing tools won’t translate to the cloud. In addition, as an IT estate increases in the cloud, there are new attack vectors to worry about. As you expand into the cloud, ensure you have the right security controls in place and a plan to graduate controls as necessary to protect you against emerging attack vectors.
When your security is breached, what happens? Are you able to detect it? For many organizations, this can be a challenge because of the shortage of security expertise in the marketplace. Globally, more than 3.43 million cybersecurity positions were unable to be filled in 2022. Your security system needs to identify when something is wrong, so you can take action to minimize the impact. Threat actors use automated systems to attack, so you have to watch your environment constantly or have a third party do it for you.
[Related Reading: Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage]
Every effective cloud security strategy includes a plan of action. You have to assume a breach will occur at some point. As a result, you need a documented plan with defined roles and responsibilities — including names of specific departments and individuals — so everyone in the organization knows what is expected of them to minimize the impact and return to normal business operations. The plan should also be tested, reviewed and updated at least once a year.
Cloud security is a shared responsibility between you and your cloud provider. To develop a cloud security strategy that will protect your organization, it’s important that you understand where the provider stops and where your responsibility begins.
Fortra’s Alert Logic is a managed detection and response (MDR) solution provider. Our security experts, data scientists, vulnerability researchers, and 24/7 monitoring capability can help you proactively identify vulnerabilities and root out threat actors so you can deliver the best protection possible for your organization’s applications and data.