Many organizations are being transformed by cloud computing. As cloud computing becomes more mainstream, companies are becoming more aware of the impact it has on their enterprise security.
Cloud-connected world requires more foundational controls and cultural change. Why? Security is not the exclusive domain of a small group of experts who report to the CISO. Software developers, IT staff, and business teams all have a part to play.
Cloud security is now a responsibility for everyone, from software developers to business teams to IT staff.GETTY
Cloud-first security models are a great way to increase cybersecurity. This allows you to move beyond the ambulance mode of chasing down and fixing issues as they arise. Instead, it allows you to use a framework that provides proactive end-to–end visibility with high levels of security automation.
The foundation of a leading-edge security model is the realization that security must be rethought. Systems, tools, and resources that provided adequate protection in the past likely don’t work well for multi-cloud Framework and cloud environments.
This is becoming more apparent to IT and business leaders. Nearly a third (31%) of those who participated in the CIO Imperative webcast said that governance issues are a barrier to cloud’s potential value. 25% also mentioned difficulties in integrating existing systems.
Security starts with the CIO/CISO connection
The good news is here. Cloud security, or securing cloud-first workloads, may seem overwhelming. However, it doesn’t take a complete security overhaul to get a better cybersecurity framework. Cloud security can provide a flexible, modular and automated security system. It can also help to remove barriers that have impeded business success.
Strong and committed leadership is key to cloud security success. This is more evident than in the working relationship of the CIO with the CISO. There are many situations where it is necessary to rethink roles and responsibilities. This means that you need to ensure that your teams are well-connected and ready for speed. You also need to invest in people and adapt and update processes and workflows as the business environment and clouds change.
CISOs and CIOs can work together to create the cultural and technical framework necessary for a strong security-first model. This ensures that technology meets security requirements, that security controls are consistent across all clouds and applications, and that employees are on the exact same page. This allows for cross-pollination between groups and teams and addresses resistance pockets. It also helps to keep everyone on the same page.
Once your CIO is in sync with your CISO, there are three crucial steps to building a cloud-native security system.
Step 1: Identify your security risks and create a clear security strategy
PwC’s Cloud Business Survey found that 53 percent of companies have not yet realized significant value from cloud investments. One reason is that third-party cloud providers can make the business more vulnerable and reduce trust.
Cloud risks can be difficult to comprehend for companies. Poor planning or insufficient planning can lead to slow and over-budget implementations. The survey revealed that only 17% of chief auditor executives (CROs), and chief risk officers (CROs), are involved in cloud projects during the planning stage. The majority of them come to the table later in requirements gathering.
It is crucial that security, risk, and tech leaders work together to find the best security tools and platforms. They also need to know how to set them up for cloud-first security. More information can be found in the next section. Employees should also be able to understand their security expectations, which will help drive effective and consistent adoption.
It is not possible to create an advanced security framework by accident. Security is not something that happens by chance. It is the responsibility of everyone involved in security, from IT administrators and software developers to line of business users to the C-suite. Therefore, it is important to balance technology with cultural and practical changes.
It is important to create a security strategy that aligns with the enterprise cloud Framework strategy. This involves identifying which security capabilities should be prioritized and creating a clear roadmap for maturing the security posture over time. It is important to challenge old paradigms and mindsets, and to identify opportunities for integration and automation of security as part the cloud delivery model.
Step 2: Select the right platform for technology and set up security guardrails
Instead of adding security layers as an afterthought, embed security in systems. This is the smart approach. Cloud providers have a wide range of powerful services and products that can be easily integrated into cloud platforms. These services can be leveraged and used to create the right-sized cloud controls that will be consistent in cloud environments. You will need to determine what controls and requirements are required in your cloud environment. This will help you create a framework for cloud security. Many tasks can be simplified and automated with these services, including those that are free. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers security plug-ins to help with identity and access control, malware scanning, data discovery, classification, and protection, key management, auditing, and automated security checks.
It is important to fully understand the cloud environment’s shared responsibility model and the controls that only the organization using it can control. There are five main categories that can be used to classify the foundations of cloud security.
- Account management & governance: Create a structure that organizes workloads based on risk and consumption patterns. This will provide blast radius isolation, governance and governance with a standard set of controls for each type. AWS Control Tower allows you to quickly set up prepackaged controls to secure and manage a multi-account AWS environment. Control Tower provides a landing area based on leading practices. It can be customized to meet your needs. It provides a prepackaged set of security, compliance, and operation guardrails. Distributed teams can quickly provision AWS accounts, while IT staff, CISOs, and other employees can rest assured that all accounts are in compliance with company policies.
- Identity management and access management (IAM: It is crucial to have a clearly defined process and platform for managing access to applications and users in the cloud. A centralized identity provider is a good choice to manage identities. It simplifies access management. AWS provides controls and services to manage identities, permissions, and access. To protect identities, implement strong credential management policies and MFA. To manage permissions for users and applications, define policies and controls. It is essential to automate access management and provisioning as the cloud footprint expands. AWS provides a variety of IAM policies and controls that can be used to create permission guardrails.
- Cloud protection: Use leading practices and implement effective controls based upon frameworks like NIST and CIS benchmarks to protect the cloud’s critical assets, such as storage, network, and compute. To secure the cloud infrastructure, you must define the trust boundaries and system-hardening controls. AWS Transit Gateway, VPC controls and AWS Transit Gateway can be used to control network traffic and connectivity. You should also implement controls to filter and inspect traffic at every layer of the network. Implement processes and controls that standardize hardening controls, vulnerability management, and automate the detection and enforcement of violations to secure compute resources.
- Data Protection: Learn about the environment in which the data is used and then classify it according to its sensitivity. Use labels or tags to identify data assets and apply security controls. Enforce encryption of data in transit and at rest. To control who has access to your data, you can implement key management and certificate management. AWS provides managed services that store and manage keys and certificate with the appropriate access control.
- Security monitoring and log logging: It is crucial to have visibility in the cloud environment to spot anomalies and respond quickly to them. To log and monitor activity in the cloud environment, implement controls. Use the cloud provider’s services to log account-level activities, resource configuration changes, service level, and application-level actions. CloudTrail and Config are just a few of the AWS services that support this. AWS Security Hub can also be used to consolidate and prioritize security alerts across multiple AWS services.
Cloud-centric models allow you to adopt and implement tools over time. This means that your company can start with just a few cloud security tools, and then expand. This approach encourages embedding security at an early stage and then building systems around it. This is how security can drive business transformation.
Step 3: Create a security culture, and then refine your operating model in order to support the cloud ecosystem.
A combination of people, technology and processes can make business initiatives successful. This equation relies heavily on the people component. Software developers, mobile app designers, web designers, database custodians and CMOs all have to play a part in security teams’ design and management of complex processes.
No longer are there any IT specialists who can handle tasks like setting up identities, authentication, and encryption. Many manual processes were too slow and prone to errors, which automation eliminates. Security-related tasks can now be completed quickly, accurately, and automatically, which allows groups to create new initiatives with minimal effort.
AWS services allow you to implement security controls as a foundation. A leading-practice approach to security is possible when an organization recognizes security risks and implements testing and security controls. Security gaps can be closed, silos can disappear and an extremely secure framework can emerge.
Securely accelerate innovation
Cloud can help you improve security and trust, while also accelerating business innovation. If you have a solid foundation of testing, visibility automation, alignment and coordination, you can transition to cloud-native security controls. This will allow you to equip your company with the tools it needs to address today’s cybersecurity and business challenges. Your organization can have a best-practice business structure with end-to-end visibility and monitoring.