The Top Cloud Security Issues Right Now – And What To Do About Them

To stay secure in today’s evolving threat landscape, security teams must protect, detect and respond fast, at scale. But these teams are faced with increasingly diverse and complex threats from changing workplace norms and geopolitical instability, to technology advancements, regulatory changes and more.

Let’s take a look at how these challenges are affecting IT and security teams, and what can be done to mitigate their impact.

Remote working

The rapid shift to remote work meant organisations had to change almost overnight. And that kind of change tends to spell bad news for IT and security teams. Sure, it’s been a couple of years since the initial impact of Covid and this move to remote work, but that time has also allowed threats to become more agile and sophisticated, too.

So, it’s vital businesses ensure the changes that were made to enable and embrace remote work are still managed properly, and regular assessments are done to identify risks. And this isn’t just to protect from threats, but to reduce technical debt in the future – it’s likely some of these changes were forced through quickly without thorough security grounding, and that spells danger for the future.

Have you had issues keeping up with development velocity? Do you have doubts that there might be something that’s been missed? If so, it might be worth considering a fresh point of view on your cloud environment.

Geopolitical instability

The threat landscape has changed dramatically with recent major recent geopolitical events bringing concerns about security, especially in public sector organisations or private sector businesses that deliver critical services to society. 

It means these organisations have to consider themselves as under threat, and are having to double-down on considerations like: Where is our data stored? What is the availability of our services in a crisis? Are they safe from state-sponsored adversaries? What are the risks and how can we manage them?

There should never just be one barrier between a potential attacker and its target. And security should be scalable and enabled by default.

The big change businesses must make here is moving to a proactive security strategy. Currently, many take a security approach designed around reacting to threats as they arise. But in today’s environment, that’s just not robust or agile enough.

This comes from governance – the right governance approach provides a foundation for ongoing security across systems, data types and users. It means effective processes, benchmarks and guardrails, maintaining a robust security posture no matter what system, department or individual is involved. 

Regulatory challenges

GDPR came in 2018 and more recently Schrems 2. GDPR heavily affected data management and upped the stakes in terms of the risks which are related to it. And in reality, where exactly are we after 5 years? We’re seeing more regulations, and we’re still seeing rising issues with data privacy and cyber threats.

So now cloud vendors and businesses are preparing for similar (or possibly worse) implications of Schrems 2, and possibly more on the horizon. 

And compliance is at the heart of implementations in many sectors, particularly public sector and FSI, but many are struggling to keep on top of compliance lifecycle management across their businesses.

A more automated approach to regulatory compliance is possible, delivering built-in measures to enable cloud with secure and scalable foundations across their hyperscaler environments.

But technical solutions alone cannot overcome the issues in governance and management. If you fail to know what you have, where you have it and how you should manage it, technical solutions cannot leverage their potential and you invest your money in poor implementations that may leave you falling short of regulations.

Data

Data is huge, and still growing. And let’s remember – data is a good thing. It allows businesses to make more informed decisions, build better services, and better provide for their customers. 

But as data grows in volume, businesses must adapt how they manage it through the whole lifecycle and proactively react to regulation and use security capabilities as enabler instead of cost and burden for business.

Poor data governance, and poor data classification can undermine these efforts. A lack of knowledge around how to manage and use specific types of data in terms of security is common.

Data control during the whole of its lifecycle is crucial and teams need to be proactive with its management to minimise the risk of compliance violations.

Data breaches are still rife, many caused by human or process error. Access rights are often poorly managed or controls are not enforced by automation.

The important things to know about your data from a security point of view are: What should have, what you actually have, where you have it, who uses it, who tries to use it, where it travels, how long it should live and how long it actually lives.

Multi-cloud

Managing security across multiple cloud and hybrid environments is complex, and until recently the hyperscalers had provided relatively few services that support this.

However, cloud vendors are now investing in and developing more multi-cloud solutions, with Google in particular investing heavily in this area. 

This will allow teams to more easily provision and manage resources across different cloud and hybrid environments. Added to this, cloud partners (like us) can help design and build multi-cloud gateway platforms with standardised tooling covering automation, IaC, development, deployment, Kubernetes in a framework with built-in configurations to ensure security-by-design at scale.

Automation

Automation is a hot topic for myriad reasons: the rising number of threats, the amount of data sources, volume of data that should be managed, the number of different vendors and access rights, multi-cloud considerations. 

And while security can often be seen as an obstacle to cloud adoption, in fact it can be a real accelerator when automated, powering innovation on a secure foundation. However, many organisations struggle implementing automation.

It’s often a case of businesses seeing security as a bolt-on to the end of release cycles. However, a truly automated approach means implementing the right tools and processes from the beginning of the application lifecycle. This is known as shifting security left.

Shifting it to the start of the lifecycle – to the design phase – means integrating into processes to minimize management overhead. And automation isn’t just automated incident remediation – it delivers the most value when added to the things that are repetitive and occur often, like application development, release pipelines, identity access management.

Respond to the changing threat landscape fast

We’re big believers in the importance of evolving and optimising your use of cloud – and see security as a big part of that. From helping implement best-practice governance to providing end-to-end security solutions, we help you reduce risk while accelerating value delivery. Contact our expert security team to get started today.

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