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Why Security and Compliance are Paramount in the Cloud

By Harold Bell

Ok, you’ve decided to move to the cloud. You heard there’s a bunch of cool stuff you can do at a fraction of your current IT spend. Application development and deployment is going to be easier. Scaling to serve a large user base should be easier. And, yes, those are all compelling reasons to move to the cloud. But what about your cloud security and compliance with regulatory standards?

Taking a security-first approach and achieving a state of continuous compliance is necessary for success in the cloud. This approach can minimize risks and reduce complexity in your cloud environment and cloud operations. It can also potentially save you money in the long run by helping you dodge data breaches and fines due to lack of compliance with regulatory standards. And no, you can’t just stick your head in the sand and hope for this to go away. Industry leading analysts predict that by 2020, most of the server workload will become virtual. Meaning cloud security is a non-negotiable today and every day going forward. With that said, this blog will detail why security and compliance are paramount in the cloud.

In most enterprises, cloud is used by multiple teams across different business units for various workloads and applications. Which means potentially hundreds to thousands of different cloud accounts are created and in-use. For example, in a public cloud like AWS, there are hundreds of services, each with unique security access controls. At any given point in time, there can be configuration changes within multiple cloud services across multiple geographical locations. These changes can be initiated by a human or programmatically using APIs. Quite a technology matrix right? Can you imagine the potential for disaster in this scenario?

Over and over again, enterprises using public cloud assume that their cloud provider is entirely responsible for securing applications and data - they would be wrong. Most of the cloud providers promise security of the underlying platform. This generally makes customers casual towards the security of the public cloud infrastructure they use. Ultimately, they become somewhat carefree towards risk as they don’t know the way to monitor the cloud security. But as is the case with every business, ignorance is not bliss. And to be quite frank, security is a shared responsibility between the cloud service consumer and the cloud provider. Cloud providers can promise the world but you need to do your due diligence and understand what their promises mean. Where do their obligations end and yours begin? These are all the things you need to have clarity on when it comes to protecting your cloud environment.

Creating a Security-first Model

The bottom line - it is very difficult to manually ensure that all security best practices are being followed around the clock. It’s practically impossible when you consider the volume of cloud services, the number of internal teams, and potential velocity of configuration changes being made. Yet many organizations continue running on the manual security treadmill - working hard and getting nowhere. Oftentimes IT defers to their public cloud provider for security - forgetting that security is a shared experience.

The security-first model must focus on continuous monitoring and management of cloud security risks and threats. You must leverage purpose-built tools and automation techniques to monitor and remediate security threats in real-time. Having the right tools will help you understand the security threats by analyzing cloud resource configurations against known security baselines. These insights evolve as threats are resolved through automated policies, processes, and controls. This includes the ability to measure security and compliance results through robust reporting capabilities.

This model would ensure:

  • A more complete and unified view across all your cloud accounts
  • Ability to generate regulatory policy compliance reports
  • Identification, prioritization, and remediation of compliance risks
  • End-to-end lifecycle compliance monitoring

How to Get Started

If you’re not too confident in your current cloud security posture, don’t fret. Nutanix is here to help. We’ve recently partnered with Wiley Publications to produce the Multi-Cloud Security for Dummies Ebook. We offer knowledge and stories to aid in your quest to provide your organization with the best possible security posture. The ebook will help you secure your multi-cloud environment while enabling the activities that make your business successful.


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