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How application visibility multiplies security in the cloud

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New AlgoSec and Cloud Security Alliance survey shows over 75% of enterprises lack cloud visibility, which leads directly to security problems

As cloud adoption and usage continues to accelerate, enterprises are reaping the benefits of agility and scalability – but they’re also encountering increasing security problems. These are highlighted in our new Cloud Security Complexity survey, which we recently released in partnership with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).  The results showed that a majority of enterprises encounter significant challenges with cloud visibility, security and management processes.

81% of survey respondents said security was the major concern over cloud deployments, closely followed by concerns over risks of data losses and leakage (cited by 62%), regulatory compliance concerns (57%), and integration with the rest of the organizations’ IT environment (49%).

At the root of these concerns is a lack of visibility in the public cloud. According to the survey, more than three-quarters of IT and security teams stated that a lack of visibility was challenging their ability to manage their security in the cloud. This led to delays in discovering and resolving problems such as configuration errors, and increased the risk of outages and security breaches.

Put simply, enterprise IT teams can’t manage or protect what they cannot see.  Having comprehensive visibility across all network environments (both on-premise and in the cloud) is fundamental to establishing and maintaining a robust security and compliance posture. Let’s explore four key reasons why visibility is so critical:

1. It shows what’s powering business applications in the cloud

It’s difficult to see the connectivity flows that power business applications in the cloud – making it easy to inadvertently open up vulnerabilities or cause outages that could disrupt business-critical operations when any changes are being made to cloud security controls or configurations. 

A solution like AlgoSec’s quickly builds a dynamic map that gives up-to-date visibility of all cloud applications and their connectivity flows. This enables stakeholders to monitor application connectivity throughout their lifecycle, from development to test and production, and to quickly identify and fix problems before they cause business disruption.

2. It cuts misconfiguration risks

A lack of visibility can quickly lead to configuration mistakes, and these can spiral into bigger problems. In our new Cloud Computing Complexity survey, 11.4% of respondents reported a cloud security incident in the past year, and 42.5% had a network or application outage.  The two leading causes of these were operational / human errors in management of devices and device configuration changes.

In-depth cloud visibility shows which business applications and underlying connectivity flows will be impacted by security rule changes, or planned server and device downtime.  This is critical to understanding the impact on key applications when migrating or decommissioning servers or troubleshooting problems, helping avoid unplanned downtime.

3. It simplifies change management

Migration and decommissioning projects can be complex. Large-scale projects may involve tens or even hundreds of virtual servers, making it very difficult to predict which applications and connectivity flows may be affected when the servers move or disappear. That means that it is extremely difficult to make changes manually to the underlying network traffic flows without risking security or connectivity issues.

With the visibility and automation enabled by AlgoSec Cloud solutions, security and cloud teams can automatically identify all the applications that are affected by planned projects, and generate the necessary change requests to the underlying network traffic flows, while ensuring that the integrity of security policies and network access is maintained seamlessly.

4. It minimizes business risk

Without the most up-to-date, accurate and relevant information on exactly what vulnerabilities and issues may be impacting critical business applications, effective risk management cannot be truly achieved. AlgoSec Cloud solutions enable organizations to prioritise business risks by linking vulnerabilities to the applications and processes they could potentially impact. This ensures organizations have the most up-to-date and accurate information to prioritise patching and risk remediation.

With holistic visibility of security across both cloud and on-premise networks, in a single pane of glass, IT and security teams can easily link vulnerabilities and cyber incidents to specific business applications – and prioritize their decisions and actions based on strategic, business-driven needs.

Find out how AlgoSec’s central management gives instant visibility, risk assessment, security management and compliance analysis across cloud environments here

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