How to protect documents in a cloudy infrastructure

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Back in 2018, a study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value found that 85% of companies were using multiple cloud providers at the same time, and 98% planned to implement this model by 2021. With that said, it’s important to note that the survey was based on the US market however… 2020 has significantly accelerated innovation around the world – and perhaps faster in Poland than in other developing countries. Companies today manage a distributed workforce, facilities and the need to create value for customers – achieving this without a combination of applications from multiple cloud providers is very difficult. So is securing such infrastructure.

Multicloud environments offer your business many benefits, including the flexibility to mix and match software to optimize workflows. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform – allow you to host your applications for efficiency, scalability and cost savings. At the same time, you can choose to use SaaS applications for tasks such as email, CRM, marketing, ERP and product management.

Unfortunately – many cloud providers also mean many aspects of configuration, more passwords for different accounts and vulnerabilities – that need to be mastered. Typical challenges companies face include:
  • Security settings, options and tools are different for each cloud provider, preventing full visibility into security analytics.
  • Cloud providers have their own security standards and limitations.
  • IT staff do not understand many cloud environments and often make mistakes in security configurations.
  • Data encryption and backups are not centralized.

Data protection in a multi-cloud environment is dynamic and complex. It’s not as simple as flipping a switch and eliminating security threats. You must evaluate internal and external components, identify and assess various risks, and then implement measures to prevent data breaches. Since cloud providers will continue to release updates and introduce new services, it’s also important to regularly audit and adjust security measures. Automation is critical to a successful multi-cloud security plan.

By eliminating human error in implementation and management, you can significantly reduce your company’s risk. The following points are worth keeping in mind:

  1. Connect Policies. Define and enforce a unified security policy configuration that connects all cloud providers your company uses. Create intelligent and dynamic policies that can detect risk and apply predefined rules based on different threat types.
  2. Centralize tools. Deploy consolidated security tools for your entire environment, spanning multiple cloud providers and local servers. Centralize data encryption, transfer, and resting with the same data backup policies across multi-cloud providers. Consolidate identity and access management for IT staff and implement controls that can monitor and alert all cloud providers of security breaches.
  3. Automate processes. Set up fully automated security audits, checks, patches and configuration management when deploying applications across multiple cloud providers. Every phase of DevOps and product management should be fully integrated with automation.
  4. Deploy with independent native cloud-based solutions. Use flexible open source platforms, such as Kubernetes, for deployment instead of cloud-specific servers. Independent solutions allow you to centralize all security configurations and minimize management of numerous security options across platforms.
  5. Work with SaaS products. Instead of building and deploying solutions in the cloud, use SaaS products to consolidate security policy, reporting, deployment and other functions. The versatility of these products can help you eliminate cloud vendor limitations, improve IT staff understanding, and effectively manage data privacy and backup.

Working in a multicloud environment offers your business new opportunities for growth, flexibility and innovation, but it also exposes you to new and unexpected security risks. Stay vigilant and implement dynamic, centralized and automated policies and processes to protect your data. Remember – the responsibility for access to your cloud rests solely with you, your organization and your users.

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