Cloud Security – Utilizing Distributed Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Environments for Securing the Chaos 

Although adoption of the cloud has been gradually increasing for years, it has suddenly exploded in the last three to four years, especially at the enterprise level. Organizations have continued to move forward despite unprecedented disruptions thanks to the cloud’s ability to quickly adapt to support the needs of remote workers and reach customers and partners wherever they are with what they need. 

The cloud has evolved into a growth and innovation engine, and the majority of businesses are adopting multi-cloud strategies to maximize results. 87% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy, according to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report, and 45% of businesses plan to increase usage and spending while 45% plan to maintain current levels despite economic uncertainty. 

Organizations choose multi-cloud for a number of reasons, including: 

Business adaptability: Diversity has long been a core principle of network infrastructure design, and it has benefited us greatly. It makes good business sense to use the same strategy to reduce risk in the cloud when so much of business operations and innovation are cloud-based. All cloud service providers (CSPs) experience outages; none of them are perfect. Therefore, it is best practice for businesses to spread the risk among several infrastructures. 

Best-in-class capabilities: Various clouds have varying degrees of expertise in various fields. One application might be better suited to be built in one cloud than another, according to development teams. And SaaS is encouraging many businesses to work with a variety of suppliers to meet a particular IT or business need. According to Enterprise Strategy Groups’ Research Report, Unified Communication and Collaboration Integrations for Modern Business Workflows, February 2023, 81% of organizations use six or more SaaS-based applications for communications and collaboration alone.  

Speed to market: These days, ordering hardware, adding power, and increasing bandwidth make it difficult to build applications locally. Planning for capacity is still necessary because even virtual machines are frequently built on demand. So, the cloud is a huge enabler to speed time to market when organizations need to accelerate service delivery. The services they require, such as managed databases and managed authentication providers, are already built into new cloud instances that developers can spin up in a matter of minutes. With a straightforward, practical package, application owners can innovate and help drive strategic business initiatives quickly. 

Chaos is bred by complexity. 

A multi-cloud strategy has many benefits, including business resilience, best-in-class capabilities, and quick time to market. But the end result is complexity that is placed on the operations teams and security operations center (SOC) teams in charge of managing and securing these environments. That is the cost of this chaos for us. Additionally, there are valid reasons why numerous organizations will keep their on-premises and legacy infrastructure in place. A certain amount of data will always remain on-premises, especially for businesses in highly regulated industries. The complexity of today’s atomized networks, which are made up of these scattered environments and various tools, has an impact on visibility, control, and, ultimately, security effectiveness. 

Individual CSPs can offer effective visibility mechanisms for their particular cloud environments, as I’ve previously discussed, but they don’t offer a unified view across clouds or the rest of the infrastructure. Teams therefore switch between various environments and panes of glass in an effort to piece together what is happening. 

Complexity extends to the aspect of control. The definitions of security and detection vary from cloud to cloud and even more so from on-prem environments and what the SOC is accustomed to. Along with their traditional tools, different teams use various cloud tools, each of which has a unique language and set of capabilities. It is impossible for teams to collectively understand what is happening and how to respond in a comprehensive manner across dispersed environments in anything approaching real-time because this fragmentation eliminates the possibility of automation and simplicity. 

Detection, investigation, and response suffer in this chaotic environment, which has the overall effect of severely reducing security effectiveness. This may help to explain why the total financial losses from cybercrime increased to $10.3 billion in 2022 from $6.9 billion in 2021, according to the most recent FBI Internet Crime Report published by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Loss of visibility and control results in more openings where attackers can conceal themselves and cause more damage. 

Inventions are born out of necessity. 

The good news is that this cycle has already been experienced by the security industry. Every time technology advances, a problem is found, and new solutions are then put forth to solve the issue. Due to the atomization of networks, SOC and operations teams must secure and manage both the old and the new using a patchwork of tools, which is detrimental to their efficiency. And it’s extremely risky to be involved in something that is harmful to a company’s security team. 

A bright strategy that is designed for various environments is required. Teams get consistent visibility, a unified view, and a single common language to describe what’s happening for real-time detection, investigation, and response across dispersed multi-cloud and hybrid environments when every environment is treated equally. It’s the only way to preserve the chaos, which is essential for future business success. 

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