Four Tips To Build Security Into Your Accidental Multi-cloud

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Cloud computing is really nothing new… it’s been around in some form or another since the ‘70s. But over the past decade, cloud adoption has seen immense growth, especially at the enterprise level. In the name of moving the business forward, many organizations have now adopted cloud, with 67% using two or more cloud providers.  Other organizations are quickly following suit as they pursue a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy (71%) to integrate multiple services, facilitate scalability, and provide business continuity.

The hurried adoption of cloud, however, has made some organizations the proud owners of an accidental multi-cloud, comprised of different tools and solutions to address different functions and applications; and in many instances, security has been overlooked. In their myopic pursuit of business results, organizations have inadvertently relegated “effective” security to a secondary consideration. Organizations sometimes think of security as an afterthought or a nice-to-have, and may just relent and use what’s on hand, which might not necessarily be the most effective solution.

The Risks of Lacking Cloud Security

The risks associated with little to no security are too great to ignore. Disparate tools, sometimes with basic security built-in by the cloud provider, are less effective than consolidated systems and add complexity as well as operational overhead. Many organizations overlook or misunderstand the shared responsibility model and assume that the cloud provider has everything covered, leaving too much exposed and to chance. And because misconfigured cloud databases continue to be a primary source of threats, managing disparate tools is a never-ending battle. The main reason these databases are misconfigured is a lack of visibility: Just because you can’t see the problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This creates more risks and often causes considerable gaps in compliance. Network engineering and operations leaders know that the lack of complete visibility into encrypted data and control of a network infrastructure that spans applications, users, data, and multiple network edges—especially across a hybrid cloud environment—can open up the entire organization to vulnerabilities.

Effective multi-cloud security must be holistic—into, within, and between clouds. Ignoring any one of these pieces can have disastrous results. But not to worry… with the right approach, you can make sure security is integrated end-to-end and moves at the speed of your business.

Multi-cloud Includes Hybrid Cloud

Security solutions should also cover what is deployed in hybrid clouds (data centers and private clouds). Using the same technology/solution deployed there and in the cloud makes for better, seamless security. Combining network and security into one integrated platform, Secure SD-WAN delivers secure, superior, consistent application experiences. Choosing a platform that covers the end-to-end lifecycle helps organizations reduce complexity and risks and provides visibility and automation across their deployments. Most importantly, it ensures that as your multi-cloud grows, security will be a business enabler, not something that slows you down.

Four Tips To Building Security Into Your Accidental Multi-Cloud

Ideally, the best way to approach cloud security is to build it from the beginning—from concept to development to deployment and production. But if you find yourself running to jump on a fast-moving train, you can still fortify your cloud security with these four tips.

1. Approach multi-cloud, every cloud, in a holistic manner when it comes to security. Cloud ultimately is about delivering business results via application lifecycles. Security needs to follow the applications everywhere they go and where they reside.
2. Leverage a platform, fabric, or mesh approach to security. The building blocks of a successful platform security infrastructure include:

  • complete visibility into the network and entire infrastructure.
  • knowledge, gained by the use artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to gather, analyze, correlate, and make sense of all data.
  • control, which requires distributing policies, federating enforcement, and taking action whenever and wherever needed to minimize the impact of a threat. Consistency and visibility matter most when it comes to cloud security.

3. Understand that the cloud is fluid and expansive, and choose solutions that enable flexibility to meet those needs, especially those integrated with a broad ecosystem of technologies.
4. Choose solutions that work well together. A critical need for most organizations to successfully drive digital innovations into and across clouds is to leverage a comprehensive cybersecurity platform.

Speed Business Outcomes With Comprehensive Cloud Security

Security has gotten a bad reputation of hindering business rather than serving as an enabler. Who wants to stop or slow down the train so security can hop on? The bottom line is that organizations should never bypass security controls and make sure they’re never put in the position where they might be tempted to decide between security and keeping the business moving forward. To avoid choosing transformation over security, implement solutions that add as little friction to the deployment process as possible. With the right tools, security will seamlessly integrate into your accidental multi-cloud… and be right along for the ride, securely, no matter where your business takes you next.

Learn how Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions provide the necessary visibility and control across cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from data center to cloud.

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