Upcoming Trends in Cloud Security Landscape

By Gurdeep Kaur, CISO, Public Service Enterprise Group

Gurdeep Kaur, CISO, Public Service Enterprise Group

The advantages of cloud computing are apparent to most of the enterprises. However, IT teams and security remains a definitive issue, often influencing organizations’ decisions around the cloud. One of the immediate fears is losing control over IT infrastructure and applications, once they're in a public cloud provider's hands.

Although the benefits of cloud computing are significantly evident, the challenges around cloud security have become major influential factors that directly impact a company’s decision-making. In such a case, a definite ‘YES’ for cloud implementation is still questionable in the view of every IT team member. However, there is no reason to panic, as the security technologies are developing, and the enterprises are getting access to security tools that can provide the control in the way they want.

Trends and Challenges in Cloud Security

Certainly, the cloud holds different significance for different entities. Despite a diverse range of applications, even today, for some individuals, the cloud can merely mean Gmail account or using online services to upload files and information over AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure or any other platforms. However, based on my understanding of Infrastructure as a Service, things that are existent on-premise with established tools and processes might have a chance of missing out information on the security perspective if the right actions are not taken into consideration while moving to the cloud.

"Cloud computing is mighty and extensive and will continue to deliver and develop in the coming years"

Since technology has leaped over the years, I believe that the security tools have also evolved to deliver the needs accordingly. From a CISO perspective, uninterrupted monitoring, compliance, and governance can make individuals aware of the nuances of infrastructure service and can put forward better results for the future.

Cloud Security Strategy

In addition to the context mentioned above, I believe that the security strategy should remain compatible with on-premise, as things move into the cloud, and with the help of different tools and processes, the confidentiality, integrity, and availability can be maintained. To analyze the changes taking place in the cloud, one must be aware of the proceeding on the particular server and stay updated with log details for the same.

Companies are focusing only on the security log, whereas application logs and system logs are equally crucial for maintaining a balanced cloud security service. Therefore, based on the company’s maturity aspect, the security strategy is encompassed. For example, if an organization’s maturity level is three out of five, then they are not looking into the system and application log. The additional component that comes under VPC in the AWS, for instance, is comparable and also helps to monitor the compliance with security requirements. It also reflects unauthorized changes, intrusion, or anything suspicious.

Recent Projects and Implementing the Security Strategy for Cloud

We are currently planning to shift from on-premise to AWS. However, there are a couple of things to focus before making a move.  Firstly, internet-facing connectivity while moving from on-premise to AWS. This will result in reducing the attack vector significantly as making it all internal will further make it more protected from the outsiders. Secondly, establishing the VPC by defining the dedicated areas like development and application to understand the source of traffic, will determine the initial process of making it more secured.

The AWS console has the super admin panel with a highly privileged account that can make changes in the AWS cloud environment. Therefore, switching on the multi-factor authentication can determine the assigned privileges, and it also reduces the attack factor significantly, if the account credentials get comprised by any means. Rather than concentrating on tools and process of AWS, companies should focus on reducing the attack vector after commencing the journey.

Future Trends and Technologies of Cloud Security

I am an admirer of cloud as the visibility is instant, and it is significantly hassle-free. In my opinion, the future of cloud looks exceptionally promising. As in the case of data centers, instant visibility is lacking as it is managed by multiple teams or their silos. On the other hand, the transparency delivered by the cloud is incomparable, and I am already into it. The future trends for cloud security will also change as machine learning becomes increasingly mainstream in modern businesses. As things progress for cloud, more solutions are needed along with civilized learning for continuous visibility and monitoring of it.   

Advice for Fellow CISOs about the Cloud Security Landscape

Businesses today are searching for contemporary ways to grow and reach their business goals. With the help of cloud computing, they have great potential in the future. Cloud computing is mighty and extensive and will continue to deliver and develop in the coming years.  

One piece of advice I would like to leave for fellow CISOs is to embrace the change and disruption caused by new technologies and their inflow happening around. Adapting to this change will only enable them to make their existing workflows easier. Once we start believing and blending with the transformation happening around, we’ll be able to cope up faster with the situation and times.

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