IaaS has continued to evolve and make it easier for companies to set up public cloud infrastructure faster than ever. Many are doing just that and moving more and more workloads to cloud environments. Although in these new, dynamic environments where changes happen often, and fast, security is mission-critical, but achieving security visibility is still a challenge for security teams.
The same properties that make a dynamic cloud environment attractive to businesses often add complexity to matters of security and compliance—a daunting challenge for quickly evolving, agile businesses, as well as those with legacy systems resistant to change.
If you’re hosting critical applications in public cloud infrastructure, security and compliance visibility should be a top priority. Without it, you might be in for some very unpleasant surprises.
Security Visibility is Mission-Critical in IaaS
In today’s business environment, the core value of many organizations depends on their digital footprint. Unauthorized access or damage to their cloud infrastructure poses a significant risk to the business. That’s why an effective cloud security solution should help you do three things:
- Prevent data breaches – Protect your business from risk, protect your customers from exposure, and show your meeting compliance requirements.
- Protect infrastructure assets – Your business processes depend on them, which makes them critical to your company, that’s why attackers want to subvert them for their own purposes or to disrupt business operations.
- Maintain compliance – If you can protect the business from risk, you can comply with regulators, and fulfill contractual requirements.
When the needs of a business expand to require diverse methods of data access and storage, often as a result of enabling competitive advantage, the risk of potential exposure increases. To manage business risk and protect customers, it is critical to maintain complete visibility into this rapidly changing landscape and its security posture.
Shared Security Model
While CSPs do a great job of providing a secure foundation across physical, infrastructure, and operational security. You maintain responsibility for protecting the security of your application workloads, data, identities, on-premises resources, and all the cloud components that you control within your public cloud infrastructure—referred to as the “Shared Responsibility Model.”
Maintaining your part of the shared security model is critical but a complex task. The very nature of these distributed systems can make it difficult to obtain accurate and up-to-date security visibility and inventory of cloud assets. In addition, rapid growth across multiple environments can make it nearly impossible to consistently apply best practices for security and compliance.
The most prominent breaches today typically involve the loss of data. Even where there is no direct harm to business operations, potential repercussions to customers, partners, and the public add legal, compliance, and marketing risk to the direct impacts of an attack.
Security is Challenging in IaaS Environments
The scale and speed of IaaS environments are bigger and much faster compared to traditional IT environments, with the number of assets in your public cloud potentially growing rapidly, and exponentially. Before you know it you could have thousands or tens of thousands to track and manage.
In addition, companies taking advantage of public cloud infrastructure often create and maintain many cloud services accounts. Reasons vary—for example, different accounts might be used by different business units or to separate development and production environments.
Whatever the reason, every account is a potential target for attackers, meaning complete security visibility and continuous monitoring for exposures is key to maintaining security across your cloud infrastructure.
User-error Causes Security Vulnerabilities
Add to the challenge of simply managing a multitude of accounts, all the chances for human error on the numerous configuration items in public cloud infrastructure, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Misconfiguration of the AWS cloud platform took the number one spot in this year’s AWS Cloud Security Report as the single biggest vulnerability to cloud security (62%), followed by unauthorized access through misuse of employee credentials and improper access controls (55%) and insecure interfaces/APIs (52%)
Without security automation, securing your cloud infrastructure has become almost impossible, so making sure you select the right cloud security solution is key to meeting your cloud infrastructure security requirements.
Public Cloud Security Solution Checklist
Your ideal cloud security visibility infrastructure solution should be:
- FAST – Aligns with dynamic IaaS. Automatic deployment and assessment
- PORTABLE – Works across multiple IaaS providers and components
- SCALABLE – Expands or contracts to meet shifting needs
- INTEGRATED – Visibility mechanisms are part of the infrastructure
- CONTINUOUS – Supports rate of change demands with continuous issue visibility
- COMPREHENSIVE – Covers all critical aspects of both security and compliance
- ACTIONABLE – Presents actionable security and compliance intelligence
Halo Meets Key Cloud Security Requirements
CloudPassage has built the Halo platform to help security teams deal with the challenges of cloud infrastructure, as well as maximize its benefits and opportunities. By optimizing and automating security visibility, it helps your team boost security defenses, streamline operations, and ensure compliance across your public cloud and hybrid infrastructure.
Better still, it provides immediate short term value by:
- Enabling immediate discovery and visibility of all your assets across your cloud infrastructure, at a high level, and rapid rollout of deeper visibility into workloads
- Providing the basis for building out advanced security programs by enabling you to implement internal security policies and roll them out in a structured way, as well as automate remediation and make DevOps a force multiplier
Download our white paper: Achieving Complete Security Visibility for Public Cloud Infrastructure to learn more about the challenges of security visibility in these dynamic environments, the characteristics of an effective solution and how Halo can help keep your clouds safe and compliant.