Five Multi-Cloud Security Threats For Which You Must Be Prepared

Moving all your data onto the cloud is the best way of ensuring you’re meeting your digital transformation needs. But at the same time, you will want to be sure that your data is safe and secure. While the on-premises private cloud offers you security within your premises, using public clouds is a bit different.

Most organisations will go for a multi-cloud approach to ensure their data is safe. They’ll probably use different cloud service providers for different workloads and needs. But managing the security of the multi-cloud can be a concern for organisations. This is because it will be harder for you to have security visibility over all the cloud services you use. Of course, each cloud provider will provide you with security as part of the deal. Otherwise, no one will want to use their services.

But there are still security threats in the multi-cloud that organisations should be aware of. It is important to note that in most cases, your public cloud provider will only be responsible for the services and data you use on their cloud. In fact, multi-cloud security has been a challenge for organisations, especially with a lack of skills required to manage your multi-cloud deployments as well. So, when you have data and workloads in multiple public clouds, what’s the best way to have visibility over your data and ensure they're secured?

Here are five multi-cloud security threats you must be prepared for:

  • Authentication and Authorisation – Indeed, with more cloud services you use, you will need more usernames, passwords and also may end up having more employees accessing them. While it's important to ensure your workloads can be supported by the various cloud providers, you also need to ensure that how you design and deploy your workloads on the cloud are secure. Multiple employees accessing and moving applications across your clouds could lead to a security vulnerability.

  • Application Vulnerabilities – It is prerogative that you ensure your applications are hardened against attacks and are resilient to compromises. Whenever you patch or upgrade your applications, you are also potentially exposing them to threats, especially when working on them across multiple clouds. You need to know your exposed APIs and the control you have over them when applying mitigations.

  • Fragmented Consoles – Although you have access to tools on the various clouds, administrating them is important, especially if you’re using OpenShift for control over containers and VMs. Any weakness in the monitoring or routing of applications could end up being a prime attack vector for malicious actors.

  • Visibility – Visibility on the multi-cloud allows you to know where your data is and what you intend to do with it. Also, having visibility over your data on the multi-cloud allows you to address any concerns you have about your data and also be able to perform analysis on them, be it for insights or security. A lack of visibility on the multi-cloud may risk your data being exposed. Hence, consistent visibility on your data in the multi-cloud is important.

  • Keeping Current – Whether you are running bare-metal workloads, virtual machines, containers or serverless architecture, you need to ensure that your workloads are up to date with the right upgrades and patches in place. In a multi-cloud deployment, the vulnerabilities and mitigations available from each cloud provider vary from each other. This heterogeneous environment reduces the risks of an infrastructure-dependent attack but ensuring applications are protected against possible infrastructure vulnerability is important as well.

With that said, what type of protection would you need on the multi-cloud? Again, while each public cloud service provider will prioritise cybersecurity, you still need to ensure you have that added extra layer of security when using a multi-cloud deployment. IBM’s QRadar Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) allows organisations to accurately detect and prioritise threats by consolidating log events and network flow of data from devices, endpoints and applications on your network and respond quickly to these threats.

For a multi-cloud deployment, QRadar extends visibility by collecting, normalising and analysing events to help detect threats. QRadar can also detect misconfigurations which could unintentionally expose data.

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