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Multi-Cloud Security: Better Strategies for Multi-Cloud Environment

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According to the 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report, 82% of IT leaders have adopted hybrid cloud architectures, and 58% of organizations use between two and three public IaaS clouds1.  

Security teams are working tirelessly to keep pace, protecting users, workloads, and infrastructure and mitigating unforeseen complexity brought by multi-cloud expansion.

What is Multi-Cloud Security?

Multi-cloud security comprises a range of tactics, safeguards, processes, and technologies that aim to safeguard data, applications, and the interconnected infrastructure within a multi-cloud ecosystem. 

Businesses leverage cloud services from different providers, which include cloud groups such as public, private, and hybrid solutions. The approach has proved to be robust to protect against rising threats.

BUT! Fresh security challenges can be observed with businesses keeping their data in the cloud and heavily relying on them. These vulnerabilities can have a greater surface area when on Multi-Clouds; thus, the importance of effective strategies to be secure arises.

The progression of multi-cloud security has been prompted by the escalating embrace of cloud services and the rising complexity of cyber threats. 

Initially, cloud security was limited to a single cloud, but now companies have adopted multi-cloud techniques as a proactive technique to fight back cyber intrusions and data safety.

Is Multi-Cloud Security Beneficial?

Yes, for sure. We can not deny the benefits of Multi-Cloud systems. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Streamline Security Across Cloud Environments 

  • Security management and consistent protection become easy.
  • A unified control center oversees security across all your cloud environments.
  • You will have uniform security policies and controls.

Boost Efficiency through Automation 

  • Enhance operational efficiency and reduce deployment intricacies.
  • Multi Cloud Defense supports infrastructure as code (IaC), enabling complete automation and integration of cloud network security as an integral part of your deployment process. 
  • Facilitates the transmission of network telemetry and alerts for further analysis and triggers incident response workflows as required. 
technical vs business values

  • These integrated automation and orchestration features simplify security deployment and management in intricate cloud environments, saving valuable time and resources for your organization.

Augment Visibility and Control 

  • Attain deeper insights into network behavior to minimize risks and safeguard against threats.
  • Provides continuous asset discovery, affording security teams a logical, topological view of their entire network to enhance comprehension of behavior and strategically position security measures.

Achieve Comprehensive Multi Directional Protection 

  • Secure your cloud data and workloads from all angles.
  • Delivers multidirectional protection encompassing ingress, egress, and east-west security. 
  • Employing a single, dynamic policy, the solution thwarts inbound attacks, mitigates lateral threat propagation and helps prevent data leakage across all environments.
  • Ensures your organization remains shielded from all potential threat vectors within your cloud environments.

Types of MultiCloud Security Threats

Every digital access is prone to threats, and multi-cloud security is no exception. There are some threats your organization can have while on multi-clouds.

Lack of Unified Management and Governance

Challenge: Every Cloud can have its interface and tools; managing them could be a big challenge. This might result in security gaps and consistency while maintaining the gap.

Solution: Implement centralized management and governance tools that provide a unified view of security policies, compliance, and monitoring across all cloud platforms.

Silos, Staffing Constraints, and Training Gaps

Challenge: Siloed security teams, inadequate staffing, or a lack of expertise can be challenging while keeping clouds in line. Each cloud has different security features that require more work for the organization to adopt.

security functions alignment

Solution: Consider managed security services to fill expertise gaps and work on training and communication between the cloud and the company’s security team.

Protecting Workloads Regardless of Location

Challenge: Ensuring the security of workloads, regardless of whether they are hosted in public, private, or hybrid clouds, is critical. However, each environment may require different security measures.

Solution: An efficient security strategy helps address the unique requirements of each cloud environment while maintaining a consistent baseline of security practices.

TeamTNT’s Cloud Credential Stealing

In June 2023, a threat actor was linked to a cyber campaign to steal cloud credentials, focusing on Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services. This marks an expansion beyond their previous Amazon Web Services (AWS) targeting. 

The investigation, conducted by SentinelOne and Permiso, indicates similarities with tools used by the notorious TeamTNT cryptojacking group. However, attribution remains challenging due to the use of script-based tools.

TeamTNT scanned for credentials across various cloud environments, including AWS, Azure, and GCP. These attacks target public-facing Docker instances to deploy a worm-like propagation module, continuing their intrusion set from December 2022.

Lack of Interoperability

Challenge: Communication gaps or compatibility issues can cause severe vulnerabilities. 

Solution: Prioritize cloud providers offering robust interoperability and implement secure communication protocols and API gateways to bridge service gaps.

Misconfigurations or Configuration Drifts

Challenge: Misconfigurations of cloud resources or drifts from security policies can expose vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.

Solution: Regularly audit configurations, automate compliance checks, and implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to ensure that configurations are consistent and align with security policies.

Lack of Visibility Across Environments:

Challenge: Gaining visibility into the security posture of all cloud environments, including public, private, and hybrid clouds, can be complex. This may leave you in blind spots, too.

Solution: Utilize cloud-native security tools, third-party security solutions, and centralized monitoring platforms to aggregate and analyze security data from multiple environments.

Maintaining Consistent Access Controls

Challenge: Ensuring consistent and secure access controls across various cloud providers and services is crucial to prevent unauthorized access.

Solution: Implement identity and access management (IAM) solutions that centralize access controls and enforce uniform policies across all cloud services.

Shadow IT

Challenge: Shadow IT refers to unauthorized cloud usage within an organization, which can lead to unmanaged security risks.

Solution: Educate employees about the risks of shadow IT, establish clear cloud usage policies, and provide approved alternatives that meet security and compliance requirements.

Flaws in CyberPower and DataProbe

Multiple security vulnerabilities have been discovered in CyberPower’s PowerPanel Enterprise Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) platform and Dataprobe’s iBoot Power Distribution Unit (PDU), posing a serious threat to data center environments. 

These nine vulnerabilities, ranging in severity from 6.7 to 9.8, could allow unauthorized access and even remote code execution. 

While no evidence of exploitation existed, these flaws could have led to data center shutdowns or large-scale cyber attacks despite cloud security. 

Developing and Operating Secure Apps

Challenge: Careful planning and execution, including secure coding practices and continuous monitoring, is essential in Multi-Clouds.

Solution: Implement secure development practices, conduct regular security assessments, and integrate security into the DevOps pipeline to identify and address vulnerabilities early in the application lifecycle.

Developing and Operating Secure Apps

So, what do we need to be secure in clouds? There’s no single approach. Making an effective strategy is always a life-saver. A combination of technical solutions, organizational alignment, and vigilance is the key.

Multi Cloud Security: Best Practices You Must Adopt!

Multi-cloud security best practices are essential for effectively safeguarding your organization’s cloud environments. Here are some recommendations to consider:

Embrace Automation: Ensure you have updated patch management to reduce the burden on your team. Ensure that your cloud environments have the latest security patches in place.

Leverage Comprehensive Security Solutions: Extended detection and response (XDR) to automate workload protection works efficiently. This integrated approach covers devices, identities, apps, email, data, and cloud workloads.

Extended detection and response (XDR)

Prioritize Consistency: Strive for uniformity in security decisions and settings across your multi-cloud infrastructure. Avoid ad-hoc security decisions that can lead to complexity and increase the risk of human error.

Know Your Enemy: Understanding common cybercriminal tactics can help you proactively select security solutions that provide robust protection against potential breaches.

Implement Least Privilege Access: Automate the enforcement of most minor privilege policies consistently across your entire multi-cloud infrastructure. This approach provides a comprehensive view of risk based on identities, permissions, and resources.

Reduce Network Redundancy: Minimize network redundancy to limit potential entry points for cybercriminals. Fewer duplicated resources mean fewer opportunities for breaches.

Integrate Security into DevOps: Incorporate security into your DevOps processes using tools like Microsoft Defender for DevOps. This integration allows you to address security risks earlier, automate vulnerability fixes, and enforce security policies as code.

project lifecycle

Adopt Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): Utilize a CSPM solution to assess and enhance the security configuration of your cloud resources. This helps identify and rectify potential security gaps.

Are You in the Safe Clouds?

Safeguarding your organization’s digital assets is a multifaceted challenge. 

Cloud Security will keep evolving with increasing security motives. The chances for continuous growth and innovations are always there. 

However, these opportunities come hand in hand with an increasingly sophisticated array of security threats.

We need a holistic approach to completely integrate our companies and environments with the Cloud solutions. 

This needs advanced technology and tools, a security awareness culture, and team collaboration. 

Employees must understand the process from development to deployment to be comfortable with it.

The question isn’t whether you can eliminate all security risks but how well-prepared you can detect, respond to, and recover from them.

author

Anas Hasan

date

September 28, 2023

time

9 months ago

Anas Hassan is a tech geek and cybersecurity enthusiast. He has a vast experience in the field of digital transformation industry. When Anas isn’t blogging, he watches the football games.

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