The Future of Cloud Security: 3 Key Trends You Need to Know About

Frank Kim, Guest Author and CISO-in-Residence at YL Ventures
Frank Kim, Guest Author and CISO-in-Residence at YL Ventures

As organizations continue to move workloads to the cloud, security remains a priority in the C-suite even during strange economic times. Indeed, because cybercrime levels tend to rise as markets go down, many CISOs are managing to successfully defend their budgets, avoiding cuts that have plagued many other departments. However, this can  simply mean that their budgets have been frozen, and they must make the most of the tools they already have.

This doesn’t mean that innovation can wait. The complexity of multi-cloud environments continues to necessitate rapid innovation and has demonstrated repeatedly that traditional security approaches aren’t effective enough to keep enterprise clouds secure. 

Let’s explore three key trends that are shaping the future of cloud security needs and how security leaders can continue to meet them. Let's explore how multi-cloud, automation, and threat-driven defense are impacting how teams keep today’s enterprise clouds safe and what they can do to streamline the process. 

Trend 1: Multi-cloud

Every organization today is multi-cloud, either by choice or by chance. By choice, they may choose different cloud providers (such as Azure, AWS, or GCP) for different departments or workloads, based on business needs or financial considerations. By chance, they may inherit different CSPs through M&A, or simply because different teams have made different choices over time.

The rise of SaaS applications has also contributed to the multi-cloud trend, as companies use different clouds to store and manage data. And with data’s impact to the business becoming increasingly important, dedicated cloud offerings (such as Snowflake) have emerged to meet the growing demand in the form of specialized cloud warehouses and data stores.

So what is the importance of multi-cloud for security? Critically, multi-cloud creates a fragmented security environment that is difficult to manage and monitor, meaning that organizations lack visibility and control across all their clouds and the data stored in these environments. The more cloud, the more complicated this becomes,  as each has its own specific set of requirements and operational needs. For security leaders to overcome the chaos, confusion, and lack of knowledge that often ends up paralyzing their teams, they need a unified view of their organization's cloud data security posture, regardless of which cloud provider they use.

Trend 2: Automation

Managing security in multi-cloud is a daunting task, which brings us to the growing importance of automation in simplifying and streamlining the process. It may sound too good to be true, but automation can free up a lot of hands while helping companies manage and monitor their cloud data usage and access more effectively, and to respond to security threats more efficiently.

Most security teams experience the same type of “journey” when turning to automation for help. They typically start with infrastructure automation–specifically IaC tools, such as AWS CloudFormation, Azure Resource Manager, and Hashicorp Terraform. These tools enable organizations to automate the creation and deployment of their cloud infrastructure, eliminating the need for manual processes (such as rack and stack), and making it easier to recreate infrastructure multiple times. Such a capability can save security teams significant time and effort.

They might next dip their toes in security scanning automation. Though infrastructure code can be manually reviewed for security issues , this is not a scalable process. Instead, it’s far more efficient to inject security checks and scans into CI/CD pipelines, where they can be automated and repeated on a regular basis.

The next step in the automation journey–and one that CISOs must carefully consider –is remediation. With so much data and so many security findings generated by security scanning, manually fixing every issue can become impossibly overwhelming. With automated remediation, security teams can develop a policy and process to assess the security posture of their cloud data and ensure rapid remediation of vulnerabilities – both for security of the data and for compliance mandates covering various types of sensitive data - minimizing the need for manual intervention. 

Naturally, automation can significantly streamline security operations, especially if CISOs encourage automating workflows, finding data anomalies in their cloud environments, and remediating security issues.

Trend 3: Threat-Driven Defense

The final trend for effective cloud security is to focus more on a threat-driven approach.

Threat-driven defense is based on the idea that security teams should prioritize activities based on the most significant threats their companies face using a framework like MITRE ATT&CK for cloud. This requires an understanding of the organization's risk profile, which is determined by three factors: impact, vulnerability, and threat. Here, impact refers to the potential harm that a security breach could cause to the organization, vulnerability refers to the weakness or gap in the organization's defenses that could be exploited by an attacker, and threat encompasses the specific tactics and procedures that attackers are using to target the company.

In the name of streamlining and efficiency, prioritization based on these three criteria is key. By understanding the most significant risks to their data, businesses  can prioritize their security activities more effectively, focusing on what matters most. 

So now that we understand the challenges, what’s the fix? 

By embracing these trends, companies  can improve their data security posture and stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape. After all, multi-cloud is a reality for most organizations, and automation is necessary to manage the complexity of these cloud environments. Meanwhile, threat-driven defense is crucial for prioritizing security activities and minimizing risks. 

Responding to Frank’s Predictions

Thank you for your expertise, Frank! 

Eureka’s co-founders have the pleasure of regularly meeting with Frank for his perspective as a CISO, along with gaining his insights on the most up-to-date needs of his fellow security leaders. His forecast perfectly describes why the industry needs DSPM, and we’ve worked hard to prioritize these 3 major trends in our platform’s roadmap.

By its very nature, Eureka Security addresses the challenges associated with managing security across multiple clouds. After all, Eureka's DSPM platform provides comprehensive coverage of all the major cloud providers, including Azure, AWS, GCP, and Snowflake, which security leaders are now charged with protecting all at once. By allowing companies  to understand their data posture across clouds, Eureka is finally providing the visibility required to create a real cloud security strategy and stay on top of organizational risk.

Eureka's solution offers automation to help security teams manage and secure their cloud environments more efficiently. Eureka covers all of the major points of enterprise data security automation journeys, including automating data inventory, automating data flows and movements, automating security scanning, and automating remediation. By automating these processes, businesses  can reduce the time and effort required to manage their cloud (and bypass the need for security personnel to specialize in the specific requirements of each data store. This is another massive “win” in the streamlining process. 

Finally, Eureka is built on the very principle of threat-driven defense, helping security teams prioritize their security efforts based on the highest level of risk. We are able to gather deep insight into an organization's data stores, offering unique insight into their most important assets and what attackers are likely to be most interested in. In this way, Eureka helps companies  focus their security efforts where they will be most effective. 

If we consider how budgets are frozen, even while cloud and innovation requirements continue to grow, we developed Eureka keeping in mind exactly what CISOs need: a solution that actually makes the most of what they already have, while streamlining bloated stacks to stay continuously secure and make the most sense of their cloud data security posture

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