How Security Can Fast-track Your Cloud Journey

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Prevailing wisdom is that security hampers innovation and modernization efforts , but this is a misconception. Security is more like the brakes on a car; rather than just slowing you down, ultimately it functions to help you drive faster, and more safely.

Thought of in this way, security can help your organization achieve accelerated results, allowing you to expedite your cloud journey efforts while doing so safely, and with the knowledge that such acceleration won’t put you at greater risk of a showstopping data breach.

Security is not always viewed so progressively. Developers can often feel as if security is standing in the way of application modernization efforts, and they are not alone; recent research shows that less than a quarter of business leaders see security as a positive enabler of digital transformation.

However, considering cybersecurity an obstacle opens organizations up to a variety of dangers. The distributed nature of running modern, cloud-native operations vastly increases the potential attack surface that must be secured and makes the job of security much more complex.

How security can be an enabler

Forward-looking CISOs are an important partner to the rest of the C-suite, focusing on how they can drive the business’ top priorities, and the cloud has become essential for accelerating innovation and business transformation. Security challenges could disrupt and slow the broader migration to the cloud, but a security team with the right processes and tools in place can actually be an enabler.

Security must be baked in by default, with security teams having visibility into what is happening across the tech stack, to maintain control across a distributed ecosystem. This approach allows security to give developers and other teams the flexibility to use the cloud services and tools they choose to solve business-critical problems. By “going slow to go fast” when it comes to security, and making sure end-to-end security visibility and control is in place right from the beginning of digital transformation initiatives, organizations are well set up to innovate, with less risk.

To achieve this vision, modern security teams must have complete visibility across multicloud, hybrid and on-premises environments to discover targeted attacks and malicious activity. They need the ability to take in any data, from any source – including point security tools – and rapidly investigate and take action. Taking this end-to-end data approach can enable the CISO to establish security as an enabler and as an accelerant for innovation across the entire organization.

Embracing ML/AI, automation and orchestration

There is a shortage of technology talent, especially in cybersecurity. According to a recent Marlin Hawk report, two-thirds of organizations said they are facing talent shortfalls because candidates don’t have the right technical knowledge or experience. Cybersecurity is leading the way in using ML/AI, automation and orchestration to help alleviate some of the skills shortage and the problem of retaining qualified talent. There is the added benefit that by embracing automation and AI to manage complex environments, security teams can help seed the kinds of tools, processes, technologies, and thinking that are required of a cloud-driven organization.

ML/AI can endlessly examine data collected from devices to discover anomalies and prioritize potential issues. This helps to reduce alert volumes so that security professionals can focus on the most important threats. Otherwise, understaffed teams are quickly overwhelmed by alerts and burned out by constant firefighting. They also struggle to identify the most critical issues, which is one reason the median dwell time for security threats globally is an eye-popping 56 days.

In addition, by using powerful automation and orchestration tools, any security professional can run playbooks to automate actions such as triaging alerts or blocking suspicious activity. These tools can simplify how cybersecurity operates, alert team members to imminent threats and help analysts respond quickly before issues become a bigger problem. With automation and orchestration, security teams can improve response time and further focus on what’s most important. It frees them to spend time analysing new attack techniques, and think about what countermeasures to put in place to make the overall organization more resilient.

More data, better insights, enhanced security

How can security leaders set themselves up for success in fast-tracking their organizations’ cloud journeys? It is clear that existing approaches won’t work. Security point solutions can provide helpful insights, but they have limited scope and often exacerbate data silos and alert fatigue. Meanwhile, cloud service providers create solutions for their own services but these are not primarily designed for end-to-end visibility in a multicloud hybrid world. CISOs need solutions that can pull data out of the silos that allow vulnerabilities and threats to go unnoticed.

Bringing together all data, analytics and operations across the entire stack, from front-end to back-end, enables organizations to have real-time, contextual visibility and control. With complete data insight, organizations can accelerate moves to the cloud while having an enhanced security posture.

No matter where your organization is on its cloud journey, it is essential to have a strong security foundation at every stage; it is the cornerstone of modern security operations that drives the organization forward safely.