One of the most important challenges for CIOs and CISOs is to gain visibility into their cloud security stance. If they can’t identify where security or compliance gaps exist, how can they be expected to put the proper controls and protections into place?
Without a new approach, the problems promise to get a whole lot worse before they get better. Why? Let us count the ways:
- Public cloud growth: Organizations are using public cloud services to a much greater degree than ever before. According to one study, the average enterprise now uses a staggering 1,427 cloud services.1
- Shadow IT: More and more of those cloud applications are the result of shadow IT initiatives that are often out of the control of security teams, deployed by line-of-business managers who may not be familiar with security and compliance best practices.
- DevOps: DevOps teams continue to outpace security teams, going out on their own to deploy public cloud services to accelerate development. Often these teams don’t want to be slowed down by security and compliance concerns.
- Obsolete tools and technologies: Traditional endpoint monitoring and remediation tools that have been effective in data center environments are simply not effective in securing the public cloud.
- The pace of change: Cloud environments change too quickly for manual processes to keep pace—assuming organizations are even able to find and retain personnel who are trained and experienced in managing cloud security and compliance.
CIOs and CISOs also have to worry about complacency. As public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have stepped up their game in the past few years, surveys show that IT leaders are becoming less worried about cloud security. The reality, however, is that the biggest risks have always been more internal than external.
Automation = visibility = continuous security and compliance
The question, then, is how do CIOs and CISOs gain the visibility they need to minimize risk and maximize protection? As with so many questions in IT today, the answer is through automation. By automating monitoring, analysis and remediation across the entire cloud environment, security teams can gain the visibility they need to address their biggest cloud security and compliance challenges.
The architecture of the cloud makes it a perfect fit for an automated approach to security and compliance. Because the architecture of the cloud is based on an API model, cloud-native agentless solutions can be deployed to give IT, security and DevOps teams tremendous flexibility and visibility. With an automated model, CIOs and CISOs can:
- Get a big-picture view across all of their cloud environments with centralized management and control.
- Allow DevOps and other teams to manage their own cloud deployments with automated controls for best practices in security and compliance.
- Lower costs and reduce complexity and risk by replacing manual tasks with automated processes.
- Flag risks and remediate threats before they have a chance to affect operations, availability and compliance.
- Accelerate time to value by securely leveraging the public cloud to empower smaller teams, whether DevOps or individual lines of business.
Public cloud services are creating opportunities for CIOs and CISOs to deliver significant value to their organizations through lower costs, greater agility and accelerated development cycles. But along with those opportunities come risks. The biggest risks—and the most important challenges to overcome—are around security and compliance. Fortunately, there is a path to success: automation leading to continuous security and continuous compliance. Now’s the time to take the first step.
1 “New Skyhigh Networks Cloud Security Report Finds Growing Risk to Critical Business Data in the Cloud,” Skyhigh Networks, Nov. 17, 2016