Cloud Security Automation: Best Practices, Strategy, and Benefits
Businesses across all industry verticals have been leveraging the efficiency, elasticity, and innovation of the cloud. Yet, a recent survey revealed that only 35% of organizations have fully achieved their expected outcomes from the cloud and 65% identified ‘security and compliance risks’ as a significant barrier.
Though cloud offers new opportunities to transform, modernize, and innovate, security risk remains the most significant hurdle to cloud adoption. Moreover, the complexity of hybrid and multi-cloud environments further complicate the journey to the cloud.
While security is often seen as the biggest hindrance to cloud adoption – in reality – it can be its greatest accelerator – when automated.
Automating the cloud security process enables organizations to gather the information they need to secure their cloud environments and redirect their efforts to innovation and growth.
Automating the security processes that are conventionally created and deployed manually brings a new evolution to the cloud. However, many enterprises struggle during the implementation of cloud security automation.
Here are five best practices for the successful implementation of cloud security automation:
5 Steps for Successful Cloud Security Automation
1) Automate Infrastructure Buildout
By automating infrastructure buildout, engineers are relieved from the task of manually configuring security groups, networks, user access, firewalls, DNS names, and log shipping, among others. This significantly reduces the scope for engineers to make security mistakes.
Moreover, the security team need not worry about the best practices every time they spin up a new instance, as they only have to touch the scripts, not the instances, to make the changes.
2) Automate Script
In traditional IT, a zero-day vulnerability or any other major security issue requires an organization’s system engineers to work rigorously to patch every server manually. But automating scripts requires only a single line change in the manifests to ensure the newly released version was running instead.
These automation script resources are declarative management tools that automatically configure instances, virtualized servers, or even bare metal servers.
Whenever a new instance is launched, these scripts get the instance ready for production, including the security configuration tasks like ensuring central authentication, installing intrusion detection agents, and enabling multi-factor authentication.
3) Automate Deployments
Though automating deployments is one of the best practices in DevOps implementation, it can also improve an organization’s security posture. In the event of a zero-day vulnerability, deployment automation ensures that changes made to the DevOps tool script get deployed across every instance or server automatically. This makes it possible for a single system engineer to respond to threats quickly.
4) Automate Security Monitoring
In the present growing trend of hybrid and multi-cloud environments that support individual applications, it is imperative to monitor the entire infrastructure in a single interface. During an event of a security attack and downtime, it can be resource-draining and time-consuming to identify and fix the problem.
Automated security monitoring aids engineers with the right intelligence to address the attack and protect critical assets.
5) Get Ready for the Future of Automation
Within the next few years, data balloons and hybrid environments will become mainstream, making the manual security approach incompetent. Hence, now is the best time to develop an internal automation team or outsource it. Although achieving end-to-end process automation across hybrid environments may take months or even years, it will prove infinitely more valuable than training employees to reduce human error.
5 Stages of Cloud Security Automation Framework
Automation of cloud security involves a 5-step strategy as follows:
Your cloud capacity will always scale to meet all the operational needs. So, it’s imperative to monitor the workflow of all the tasks in your cloud. This enables you to gain an understanding of how each workflow is carried out.
In the process of automating cloud security, knowing and prioritizing the tasks to automate is the first critical step. Closely monitoring the workflows helps to evaluate tasks that should be automated, like the repeated tasks, deployments, resource provisioning, and creating security rules.
Do an in-depth analysis of the collected information based on severity as low, medium, or high risk. Then automate low-risk processes first, followed by medium and high. The in-depth analysis also helps you do controlled automation and study the impact on infrastructure.
4) Automate and Report
The resulting analysis can now be pushed to integrated systems to automate the workflows. Then configure the automation processes to generate the reports that give the overview of the changes before or after.
By now, you will get a clear picture of cloud automation, irrespective of whether you started automating simple workflows or complex ones. This enables you to implement remediation and enhance the overall security posture.
How Businesses Benefit from Cloud Security Automation?
A continuous, automated security protects your enterprise’s critical cloud assets from evolving threats, as well as helps your business reap the following benefits:
- Minimized time spend on security operations
- Consistency in security operations
- Reduced manual errors
- Enhanced compliance
- Advanced security measures
- Robust security posture
- Rapidly identify and address security gaps
Automation of cloud security offers a host of business benefits. However, it can be expensive and complex than non-automated security. The technology requirements are costly and require a significant amount of time to implement. Moreover, security automation escalates the need for some highly skilled security expertise to set it up effectively and maintain it.
Hence, if you’re moving to the cloud or already in the cloud, partnering with a Cloud solutions provider like Veritis is the most effective option to secure your cloud-based systems with state-of-the-art security.
As a US-based cloud consulting services provider, Veritis delivers highly effective and reliable cloud computing services that enable organizations to be agile and responsive to the evolving market landscape.
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