Firms are prioritizing cloud security in hybrid and multi-cloud IT environments as the most immediate challenge to be addressed with the aid of automation technologies.

Organizations of all sizes across industries take advantage of the improved scalability, agility, and cost savings offered by cloud technology. A recent survey conducted by Cloud Security Alliance showed that 59% of organizations are currently running up to 60% of workloads in the cloud, with 40% of in public clouds, with which is twice the number that was two years back. The survey also revealed that 81% of firms have significant concerns about managing and enforcing security in the cloud. These initiatives centered on the risks of attacks causing data breaches, security threats, focused on maintaining regulatory compliance across their cloud and on-premises environments.

Poor cloud visibility leads to fragmented management. Respondents cited misconfigurations as the biggest challenge of managing cloud security, together with a lack of clarity into the entire cloud estate. Regular audits and compliance testing, holistic management of cloud environments along with multiple cloud management, were also prominent concerns. The key reason behind all these problems is that organizations are using a variety of different controls to manage their cloud security.

According to the responses, 33% prefer using configuration and orchestration management tools, and 30% use the cloud provider’s guidance, while nearly 22% are not sure about tools they are using. If security and IT teams have to use multiple controls, it limits their visibility and transparency into cloud environments. This further adds on to the complexity and management overhead of these security processes. Such fragmented processes lead to confusions and mistakes that are the root cause of cloud problems. Out of all the respondents, 11.4% reported significant cloud security incidents last year, and 42.5% experienced an application or network outage. The two leading causes of these incidents were human or operational errors in managing devices and device configuration changes.

The fundamental issue is because public cloud deployments are easy to spin up; it is easy to overlook how complex it can be to manage and secure them. It is of paramount importance for firms to gain visibility across their networks. Organizations need to get holistic visibility across all different cloud accounts. They should focus on implementing the security control measures on the cloud environments to effectively manage traffic. This enables security, and IT teams to promptly identify any potential security threat or risks that could lead to outages.

It is a massive challenge for organizations to manage policies consistently. While using a mix of cloud security controls, it is recommended to manage changes from a single console sticking to a unique set of syntax and commands. This ensures lower chances of duplication of effort and the error-prone manual processes that might lead to misconfigurations and outage.

It is better to automate all security and compliance processes. Automation brings accuracy and speed to security changes management across cloud environments. It also speeds the process of audit preparation and ensures continuous compliance. Automation supports processes that help overcome staffing limitations and skill gaps. Experts also highlight the fear of attacks and breaches having more effects on businesses if they are ill-prepared to combat them. It is always better to link cyber-attacks to business processes for faster mitigation of risks. Security management solutions should integrate with SIEM or SOAR tools to address these concerns with accelerated incident response. These solutions mitigate the threat’s risk by automatically isolating any affected devices or servers from the network, preventing lateral movement.

With network security automation tools handling the critical safety measures, organizations can get holistic, single-console security management across multiple public cloud accounts, along with their private cloud and on-premises deployments. This helps them to resolve the cloud complexity challenge to ensure faster, safer, and more compliant cloud management system.