Throughout the last few years, organisations globally have grasped the amplified meaning of a dynamic business environment with various unprecedented disruptions. As that happened, it simultaneously facilitated an accelerated move towards digitization with enterprises intending to ensure stability, continuity, and agility of their critical functions. To echo this, Gartner predicts that total end-user spending on public cloud services worldwide is expected to hit nearly $600 billion. Amidst all this, as businesses become data intensive, highly sophisticated security threats have cropped up.
The impact spectrum may be wide but the aftermath of a successful attack, of any intensity, can lead to potentially catastrophic results for any business. In response to attackers becoming faster, innovative and on a constant move, the responsibility of a CIO or a CISO has evolved to become vastly varying from what we knew it to be many years ago. They have essentially become combatants fortifying the most mission critical data constantly. As the attack surface expands, the tech leaders are required to always have their guard up against a threat but without a pre-defined strategy such a mechanism can have the opposite effect and further open the organization to more threats.
Ensuring Data Security, Cost Effectiveness, Innovation
It is imperative for businesses to be open to rewind and realign their security strategy in the face of newer threats. They must understand that with ‘malicious innovations’, a dated security plan will not be efficient enough to support data protection goals. There is also an increased vulnerability given the fast-paced deployment of technologies and businesses must keep their threat mitigation plans implemented thoroughly.
As the pressure on organizations mounts up to ensure data security, they must do so without going into the shell of traditional IT setup which can take them back by decades! Given the current competitive landscape, businesses must understand that traditional on-premises workloads may not be able to entirely support the highly data driven approach that is important to be implemented. With risks abound, organisations must aim to strike a balance between security and innovation without compromising on cost effectiveness. In my various conversations with various tech leaders, I always emphasize on the importance of a robust security posture and innovation not being a ‘this or that’ question. Both are equally important, and this also adds to the importance of having a cloud provider that understands their responsibility and is also able to help businesses understand theirs to a certain extent. Ultimately, cloud security is always two-way street with equal involvement from both businesses and cloud provider. Additionally, while data protection is important, businesses must also learn to be cyber resilient with the right type of cloud provider to support them.
Starting Security Journey: Choosing the Right Cloud Provider
A business’ cloud security plan begins with understanding the importance of one and therefore choosing the right cloud provider. It is imperative for the cloud service provider to be able to protect your most valuable data and should always proceed with a security first approach across compute, network, and storage. Businesses must prioritize leveraging cloud with security first design principles that are focused on providing built in security controls along with a high focus on low costs. Another important aspect to consider is having automated security which ultimately reduces overall efforts by critical resources, adds to organizational efficiency and reduces costs with automated patching. A fine-grained access control and allowing monitoring for security violation and threats are critical aspects too which are generally provided by responsible cloud providers.
Another important aspect is autonomous services by cloud to save time along with AI/ML built in to improve on overall innovation. AI/ML, given their vast implementation, can also become foundational to ensuring cybersecurity if leveraged correctly. Additionally, a cloud provider must be ready to offer end-to-end guidance to prevent any future threats and constantly support the business as a strategic advisor too. I have also observed, and various research too support that multicloud and hybrid cloud are eventually becoming the next step of the cloud revolution. However, these are advanced cloud environments that can be daunting given the lack of understanding around these. This amplifies the importance of having the right type of cloud with the most well thought over offerings that ensure security across various cloud environments.
Ultimately, with various unknown factors, cloud security with low costs and constant innovation can be reality with the right approach by both, business, and cloud provider. A cloud security response model can multiply its value with a unified approach of threats, constant alerts, and overall accuracy. With a planned approach, right understanding and an efficient cloud provider having intelligent security measures in place, cloud security can be tactfully approached in the coming year and beyond.
The article has been written by Kapil Makhija, Vice President-Technology (Cloud), Oracle India