Is cloud security ready for the needs of the enterprise?

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The future of IT is here and its name is Cloud. It's no secret that nearly all enterprises have adopted private, public and hybrid cloud technologies. There are countless benefits to cloud migration, most importantly, the flexibility of the platform and the agility with which DevOps teams can build applications. While more and more enterprises have begun to embrace the cloud and view it as an enabler, as with any new technology, it also brings challenges. Enterprises in particular are struggling with a unique set of obstacles as they move to the cloud. One of the most prevalent concerns is cloud security.

A recent survey of information security professionals shows that 62 percent of respondents are concerned that unauthorized outsiders could access data stored on public cloud services, compared to just 40 percent last year. Looking at recent data breach headlines, can you really blame them for being concerned? Not only are cloud environments at risk to suffer from common vulnerabilities, but misconfiguration and poor management can also leave cloud-hosted systems exposed.

Another layer of complexity is that while some organizations are born-in-the-cloud and are hosted on a single cloud platform, it's more common that enterprises will migrate their on-premises systems over time or choose a dual-vendor approach for cloud, which creates an even more complicated environment. In order for these platforms to be synchronized and avoid any disruption of business operations, they must be deployed and managed in a central way, a need that requires enterprises to implement automation across the board. This creates a secondary need: a unified security policy. When enterprises can quickly and accurately apply a policy – regardless of the environment – they gain control and business agility. Without this, they are putting themselves at risk to experience impaired business operations or worse, create security loopholes in the network.

Exposed networks are exactly what a cybercriminal is looking for in order to gain access to an organization's most sensitive – and valuable – data. It's not surprising, then, that so many IT professionals have concerns with cloud security. In a cloud environment, one major security threat is user error. An IT manager's ability to manage the complexities that come along with adopting and maintaining cloud and hybrid environments can impact the success – or breakdown – of cloud migration. This is yet another reason why the simplified management of security policies is so important to ensuring cloud security.

When adopting cloud systems, it is imperative that businesses follow proper processes and policies. Enterprises require security policy orchestration – which includes threat intelligence, detection and mitigation – that spans across the diverse technologies from multiple vendors. The result is increased agility combined with control and compliance – not to mention peace of mind.

While cloud is here to stay, it doesn't have to be a daunting task for an enterprise to adopt and manage. There is still work to be done when it comes to cloud security, but with the right tools, policies and controls in place, it can have a huge benefit to your organization.