5 Best Practices to Ensure Multi-Cloud Security and Compliance

The overall market size for Multi Cloud Management technology is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.8%, from USD 2250.1 million in 2020 to USD 19278.2 Million by 2028. This is because it enables businesses to use a single interface to manage and monitor applications and workloads across the different public clouds they are hosted on. Businesses especially need to manage workloads that commonly migrate between clouds and use tools and processes for the purpose.

However, often these tools may make the cloud vulnerable to security breaches. The compromise can and does, prove costly, according to a CISCO Annual Cyber-Security Report, which states that 33% of the breached organizations experienced more than 20% loss in revenue and 20% loss of customers. The other aspect of compliance can also be very time-consuming, costly and a drain on resources, while the cost of non-compliance can mean much more–loss of reputation, customers, and even penalties and litigation.

Challenges to Security and Compliance

According to a Gartner report, businesses find themselves unable to find the right balance between growth and security and compliance. Their confusion is further compounded by the fact that different vendors provide different multi-cloud key management as a service (KMaaS) offerings for each cloud service provider (CSP). These may be independent or can be integrated using ‘bring your own key’ (BYOK) and ‘hold your own key’ (HYOK) methods. The choice of KMaaS will depend on factors such as data residency, privacy and the protection needed as also the organizations’ ability to manage KM policies, administrator access, and misconfigurations.

Given this dilemma, businesses often make the following assumptions that can compromise security and create hurdles in becoming compliant. These include:

Using a CheckBox Approach: Businesses need a holistic Information Security Management System (ISMS) approach to ensure security and compliance. Relying on the regulatory framework, which is merely a guideline, is not enough. It needs to be adapted to the individual businesses, their needs, and processes.

Compliance vs Security: As compliance involves a regulatory body, auditing, penalties and whatnot, businesses tend to put compliance ahead of security. In the long run, though, security issues will threaten the very survival of the business. Therefore, it is not compliance vs security but compliance and security with a security strategy that supports compliance.

Providing Bare Minimum Cloud Security: In the modern world of fast-evolving technologies, the threats too are changing fast and therefore security needs constant monitoring and upgrading. Regulations, on the other hand, take longer to change and may not capture all the security concerns effectively. Therefore, the security strategy should include a roadmap to keep pace with the changes and continuously protect your data and services from data breaches.

Data Encryption: Encryption of data on-premises is one of the ways in which businesses try to prevent data exposure and trust issues related to cloud service providers. The trade-off could be application performance and functionality.

Making Multi-Cloud Secure

The goal of Security and Compliance is to effectively manage risks. Gartner recommends that security and risk managers should ensure the security of the data, applications, and privacy by:

  • Identifying and prioritizing datasets based on access and data residency restrictions with a specific focus on encryption and KMaaS across different CSPs
  • Enforcing data residency and compliance restrictions using confidential computing (CC), BYOK, HYOK, and hardware security module (HSM)
  • Ensuring that consistent KM life cycle policies are enforced by the KMaaS across the different clouds for separation of duties and providing transparency, logging, auditing, and alerting.

To make the infrastructure and workloads on the multi-cloud architecture secure, some of the best practices businesses can adopt include:

  1. Synchronize Security Across Clouds: The synchronization of security settings across the multiple clouds will ensure availability, Automated tools can enable synchronizing policies and settings across CSPs by applying generic definitions.
  2. Customize Security Policies to Services: Tailor security policies for each workload or application running on the multi-cloud depending on what it is used for, its criticality to the business, the sensitivity of the data, and regulatory requirements.
  3. Automate Security: Provide security for every process on the multi-cloud, automate each of the security processes, and scan every new VM or container for security.
  4. Consolidate Monitoring: Create a unified security monitoring strategy for all the clouds by consolidating all the logs, events, and alerts. Automate the process and minimize human intervention even to implement appropriate remediation measures.
  5. Compliance: Understand the compliance requirements of the different cloud platforms being used as well as that of each of the workloads. Periodically audit compliance and automate the process. Implement remediations based on the reports on violations.

The security and compliance strategy should encompass some key measures, including:

  • Authentication and authorization to allow role-based access independent of the CSP
  • Automate software upgrades and patches relevant to the workloads
  • Ensure all ports, APIs, and web interfaces are secure
  • Remove software that is not in use
  • Classify data and store sensitive data in the most secure storage system
  • Distribute data based on compliance obligations
  • Create data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to identify and prevent data loss

Digitech as Implementation Partner for Multi-Cloud Security

Digitech Labs, which provides customized software solutions, leverages CoreStack, an AI-powered solution, for enabling cloud governance and compliance at scale. We can help to automate highly available and lean tasks such as monitoring, activity tracking, alerts and remediation, patch-management, back-up, and restore with our state-of-the-art solution accelerator to streamline multi-cloud operations and ensure autonomous cloud governance. Eliminate redundancies and standardize multi-cloud operations with Digitech’s customized solutions that best fit your organizational needs.

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