When considering a cloud solution, many enterprises ask the question: Is the cloud as secure as my on-premise solution? The answer is, of course, that depends. Launching a secure cloud deployment requires different considerations than an on-site application that has perimeter-oriented security practices. But if you take the right steps, your cloud deployment may be more secure than a traditional approach.
First, you need to consider what type of cloud environment you plan to deploy and how that will shape the creation of a secure cloud deployment:
Private: A private cloud solution is housed and managed on-site, so it’s easy for any weaknesses in your current security policy to impact your new cloud environment. Assuming you’re addressing those weaknesses, this can be one of the more secure options.
Public: Many businesses value a public cloud environment because it can be more cost-effective to share services with other tenants, but it also means that you may bump up against another enterprise that doesn’t share the same level of security policy that you do. You’ll all sign agreements about how you’ll use the service, but be sure to put protections in place in case another tenant doesn’t adhere to the agreement.
Hybrid: A hybrid cloud environment is often a sweet spot for enterprises that like the advantages of private cloud for some workloads and public cloud for others, but it comes with some security complications. For instance, you may have different security policies for each cloud provider, and ensuring there are no gaps in your environment will take a high level of diligence.
Multi: Using multiple public cloud providers can help you address particular requirements for your cloud environment, but be sure you understand the security needs for each solution and how you’ll protect your data and systems. Once you’ve examined how your particular mix of cloud solutions will influence your approach to a secure cloud deployment, it’s time to formulate a plan. There are three basic steps to any cloud security strategy:
- Prevention ensures that cyber security attacks fail before they begin. In this step, you’ll set up tools to identify vulnerabilities, then prioritize them based on severity and the assets that would be affected by a breach. You can then address these vulnerabilities with a security patch. This is simplifying a complex step because organizations often struggle with the volume of vulnerabilities and correctly prioritizing them, or they may not dedicate enough time to them in an environment where IT professionals are overloaded.
- Detection is achieved through careful and consistent monitoring, so that when an anomaly occurs, it is quickly identified as such. Putting detection practices into place may include some automation so certain types of threats are handled and patched quickly and without the involvement of the IT team.
- Correction is intended to minimize the damage. It can include security patches and disaster recovery plans for handling the impact of a breach. The essential question this step should answer is “What happens next?”
It’s important to note that secure cloud deployment is also supported through a third-party solution, and enterprises often find that investing in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or another managed service can help address some of the more common and sweeping security vulnerabilities.
To learn more about the steps you can take to protect data and systems in a secure cloud environment, contact us at eXemplify. We can help you combine the right steps with the right technology to create a comprehensive security strategy.