Cloud security is incomplete without hybrid and multicloud coverage

Cloud security is incomplete without hybrid and multicloud coverage

Digital transformation is sweeping across the public and private sectors. This has pushed organizations to increasingly turn to hybrid and multicloud environments as a way to manage a sprawling digital infrastructure and growing mountains of data. But while cloud technology promises to increase collaboration among distributed workforces and quickly scale digital workloads, it also creates an expanded attack surface that can leave companies vulnerable.

Eighty-six percent of businesses plan to increase investment in hybrid or multicloud environments, and 95% say those technologies have already been critical to their success. However, 73% say it’s challenging to manage multicloud environments. This creates an imperative for security companies to better protect and defend these nuanced environments.

Cloud native application protection platforms (CNAPPs) are one potential solution that has arisen in the market. Originally coined by Gartner, CNAPPs are simply a new way of securing and protecting cloud-native applications while they are in development and production. CNAPPs work by integrating previously siloed security and compliance capabilities into a single, easy-to-reference platform.

Keep reading to learn what capabilities you should prioritize when creating a secure, integrated multicloud or hybrid environment.

Visibility and control across cloud providers are key

Cloud technology offers many advantages to rapidly growing organizations. Not only does it remove the need for businesses to manage their own physical devices or IT infrastructure, but it also offers greater scalability and agility in a rapidly growing data economy.

However, the same speed cloud computing offers also makes it difficult for organizations to keep track of their various workloads, data streams, and applications across a mix of multiple cloud platforms and on-premises locations. If organizations want to secure their hybrid or multicloud environment, they need to ensure they have visibility and cross-platform control in a single-pane-of-glass view. This end-to-end insight is critical for visualizing the security posture of multiple workloads at once, regardless of location.

And while visibility allows you to see the full picture, organizations also need control over their many different platforms. This control often looks like tailoring the security posture involvement for each individual cloud provider or creating custom security assessments to align with niche industry regulations.

As part of this cloud posture management, security teams also need a reliable way to evaluate incoming security recommendations and determine which to address first based on their potential threat to the organization. After all, if your team is receiving hundreds, or even thousands, of cloud security recommendations every day, how do you determine which ones are the most important? One survey found that 55% of IT professionals say their team missed critical alerts in the past due to ineffective recommendation prioritization—often on a weekly and even daily basis.

Another key tenet of cloud computing is the way that it creates interconnected, collaborative environments. And while this is great for increasing productivity, it can also lead to issues of shadow cloud. Regardless of who or what is connected to your environment, security teams still need to ensure they can protect the entire hybrid or multicloud infrastructure.

Take DevOps teams, for example. Increasingly, we’re seeing a trend of development and operations teams merging together to build, test, and implement custom code or products under the umbrella of DevOps. And while this is great for improving the time to market and producing higher-quality deliverables, it can also lead to security teams not having the necessary purview over coding. This can have costly implications for the security of the overall organization.

Instead, imagine if code security could be monitored and recommendations could be made within the same pane-of-glass view where you manage your cloud security posture. This provides greater collaboration and integration between development and security administrator teams while also reducing the possibility of code issues being carried over to the cloud.

One of the key strengths of a CNAPP is that it helps with code to cloud contextualization. By intaking all Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Scanning signals and combining them with data sensitivity, identity, and runtime intelligence, the CNAPP can make recommendations and prioritize the most important risks within the context of the entire hybrid or multicloud network.

Of course, security hygiene isn’t the only concern. It’s also about threat detection and response. Growing digital workloads mean security teams are inundated with a flood of daily alerts to address and gaps to close. On average, 20% of public cloud security alerts are false positives. This can be detrimental to a security team’s efficiency and efficacy because it causes them to overlook truly relevant alerts in the process of trying to sort through outdated or inaccurate ones.

That’s why we recommend looking for a cloud security provider with deep cybersecurity intelligence and insight into the ever-evolving threat landscape. Your cloud security provider should provide in-depth insights that go beyond surface-level recommendations so you can better understand the connections between applications, data stores, and workstreams. This enables you to examine how threat actors could conceivably move through your environment to compromise operations.

When protecting these workloads, it’s critical that developers, security administrators, and security operations center (SOC) analysts are all on the same page. It’s important that you take a cohesive, collaborative approach to cloud security by ensuring that all of the key players are working together to build security integrations that cover the full scope of your threat landscape. This can look like embedding antimalware scanning tools into DevOps to ensure your code is protected against malware or preventing attackers from entering your network by hardening container security.

Want to learn more about how you can secure your hybrid or multicloud environment? Explore Microsoft’s Security Insider, and check out our recent webinar on protecting hybrid and multicloud environments from code to cloud.

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