The urgent need for remotely administered, agile, and scalable networks has accelerated moves to the cloud, which allows flexibility in scale and resource management, while enabling accessibility from anywhere. The dynamic nature of cloud-based infrastructure breaks traditional network boundaries and introduces a variety of new challenges, making traditional security approaches ineffective.
Global organizations are digitally transforming via cloud native applications and services. Use of cloud native can drive innovation, accelerate speed to market, and can bring about cost savings that fuel new growth. Cloud native technologies enable organizations to tap into the agility required to keep up in the current competitive landscape and to create new business models.
In 2021, Gartner revealed that more than 85% of organizations globally will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025 and will not be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without the use of cloud-native architectures and technologies. They continued with the view that by 2025, over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021. But achieving efficient, flexible, distributed and resilient cloud native security is tough.
All major public cloud providers -Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud- of course offer security features and services, which are designed to address significant threats to cloud-based data. However, in spite of this, public cloud providers’ security tools commonly fail to meet operational needs, and their limitations should prompt organizations to consider or reconsider how they are protecting public cloud environments.
Cloud providers’ efforts to ensure security are barely adequate. Here are a few reasons why that’s the case and how it could impact your organization here in India:
Limited visibility. One of the major challenges associated with cloud-native is that, in contrast with on-prem deployment, owners cannot be sure of the security elements related to the cloud environment that the application is hosted on. As a result, it becomes the role of the IT team to track every resource and to add it to the application. Monitoring needs to proceed throughout application lifecycles. Lack of adequate visibility can needlessly compromise security.
Cloud native exposure to threats. The cloud is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, which means that threat actors are continually searching for ways to undermine systems’ security. As cyber attackers advance their strategies, cyber security prevention and defense methodologies also need to evolve. For example, enterprises need cloud security that can fend off brute-force attacks, phishing and SQL injections.
Policy centralization. At present, the average cloud native environment includes a number of tools from an assortment of developers and service providers. In a multi-cloud infrastructure, information technology managers may face fragmented security access controls, and due to implementation in separate provider environments, an impossible-to-keep-up-with set of monitoring tools. Policy centralization can make security management more uniform and more successful.
Slow security processes. Key reasons as to why enterprises are moving to the cloud include speed, agility and flexibility. But security can easily get left in the dust, so to speak. Given the speed of the continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline, security can lag. Enterprises can solve for this issue by shifting security as far left as possible. You can create a Shift Left environment through a third-party security platform.
Ensuring Cloud – Native Protection
All companies can expect more sophisticated cyberattacks, be it through the cloud or other IT means. Here in India, according to the Check Point Threat Intelligence Report, an organization in India is being attacked on average 1798 times per week in the last 6 months, compared to 1126 attacks per organization globally, with 88% of the malicious files in India delivered via Email in the last 30 days.
In anticipation of such cyberattacks, here are three key improvements to drive your organisation’s cloud-native security to ensure protection against these upcoming sophisticated attacks:
Improve Your Visualisation and Regular Reporting. To understand the current state of their security posture, enterprises must have access to up-to-date reports and visualizations (e.g., dashboards) that account for their entire application infrastructure to overcome information overload and lack of clarity, to quickly and effectively assess their overall security posture to improve upon, where needed
The Automation Game. Compliance rule sets and customized policies must be built into the development stages as well as carried over to runtime, which will require automation to ensure the deployment is compliant with internal and external rules.
Keeping up with Changes. Security professionals must keep pace with frequent changes to not only the resources within an expanding cloud sprawl, but security best practices and compliance regulations, which are being enacted at a rapid pace to keep up with the expanding cyberattacks taking place. Efforts should also be made to keep up with the speed and scale of the organization with new security protection measures implemented accordingly.
Experts also advocate automation in the cloud, to ensure the ease of use and support for automation at every stage of the security and development process. The earlier organizations enable security in the development cycle the more they can reduce the risk and cost of mistakes.
For organisations who are facing such cybersecurity challenges, making every effort to reduce their enterprise risks and limiting their exposure to threats, will require prevention-first security instead of just leaving it at detection.
Check Point Software offers broad and deep multi-layer security to protect customers at all stages of their cloud journey. Through a unified platform – Check Point CloudGuard – we offer a broad range of different cloud security capabilities, so that organizations can minimize inefficiencies and maximize TCO when using different cloud providers. Check Point CloudGuard for Cloud Security Posture Management was designed to prevent critical cloud security misconfigurations, automates governance across assets and services and enforces security best practices and compliance frameworks.
By 2023, more than 500 million digital applications and services will be developed and hosted through cloud native means. The findings and suggestions shared above, combined with the recent sharp increase in cyber attacks should lead organizations to consider whether or not they are making adequate effort to secure public cloud environments.