Whether you are responsible for overall IT, IT security, DevOps or regulatory compliance, chances are public cloud services are an ever-growing part of your portfolio. This can be great for the business, enabling lower costs, greater agility and faster speed to market. But it can present new and difficult challenges in ensuring security and compliance.
Public cloud is a whole new world. If you think traditional methods of securing the data center or firewalling the perimeter are going to keep your data and applications protected, you may be in for a rude awakening. The fundamental problem with legacy approaches is that they were not designed for the cloud era, which means they don’t support or leverage the API-centric infrastructure of the public cloud.
Whatever your role in the organization, you can derive significant benefits by embracing a modern, cloud-native model that uses purpose-built tools to continuously and automatically monitor and manage security and compliance along the API control plane.
If you responsible for IT, security or compliance, you can reduce costs, improve protections and assert greater control over cloud deployments and shadow IT. If you are in DevOps, you can move quickly without waiting for approvals from security—while eliminating the potential for disaster that is always looming if proper security and compliance checks and balances are not in place.
With the right cloud security platform, the overall organization can leverage automation to reduce risk and remove the human element from vital processes. Automation allows you to achieve complete and continuous visibility across your cloud deployments, enabling consistent duplication among usage environments such as development, staging and production.
Automation, security, compliance and the cloud
Cloud deployments move too quickly and are subject to too much rapid change for organizations to rely on manual resources. The challenge, however, is that most organizations still use legacy tools, technologies and practices to manage cloud security and compliance.
Fortunately, new cloud-native solutions are now available, delivering an agentless platform designed specifically for modern public clouds. These solutions leverage the cloud’s API architecture to derive tremendous flexibility in scaling and managing cloud security and compliance.
The following steps describe how a modern automated approach to continuous cloud security and compliance works. It is based on the Evident Security Platform from leading cloud security firm Evident.io.
Step 1. Monitoring: The cloud environment is changing continuously. These changes can be normal, routine activities of your DevOps or IT teams; they can also be the work of people who would do harm to your business. As changes are made—across all clouds, regions and services—the cloud security platform monitors the configurations of the infrastructure to ensure that it adheres to security and compliance best practices.
Step 2. Evaluation: The security platform securely collects data about your cloud services and continuously performs checks against a series of predetermined best security practices. It also performs checks against any predefined custom signatures. These checks determine, on a continuous basis, if there are any potentially exploitable vulnerabilities.
Step 3. Deep Analysis: The platform then performs an analysis to determine whether the misconfigurations and exposures are ranked as high, medium or low risk.
Step 4. Automated Remediation: The resulting analysis is displayed on a dashboard and can be sent to integrated systems for auto-remediation workflows to kick in.
Step 5: Robust Reporting: Detailed reports are made available so your teams can see information about the risk, including user attribution and affected resources.
Step 6: Correction: The teams can then use easy-to-follow remediation steps to get the infrastructure back to a secure state.
Public cloud is not going away. Just the opposite. By the end of the decade, the public cloud services market will exceed $230 billion, according to Forrester Research.1 As cloud becomes more vital to the success of your organization, it is vital that you focus on security and compliance, no matter whether your role is in IT, security, compliance, DevOps or corporate management.
By embracing a continuous security model, your organization will be able to automate many processes that would overwhelm your teams and systems if they had to be done manually. It not only provides for enhanced security and compliance protections, it also relieves the burden on your staff, improves security for DevOPs and other teams, and lowers the cost and risk of cloud security and compliance.
1 “The Public Cloud Services Market Will Grow Rapidly To $236 Billion In 2020,” Forrester Research, Sept. 1, 2016