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Six best practices for managing security in the hybrid cloud

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Omer Ganot, Cloud Security Product Manager at AlgoSec, outlines six key things that businesses should be doing to ensure their security in a hybrid cloud environment 

Over the course of the past decade, we’ve seen cloud computing vastly transitioning from on-prem to the public cloud. Businesses know the value of the cloud all too well, and most of them are migrating their operations to the cloud as quickly as possible, particularly considering the pandemic and the push to remote working. However, there are major challenges associated with transitioning to the cloud, including the diversity and breadth of network and security controls and a dependency on legacy systems that can be difficult to shake.  

Public cloud allows organizations for better business continuity, easier scalability and paves the way for DevOps to provision resources and deploy projects quickly. But, what’s the security cost when looking at the full Gpicture of the entire hybrid network? Here I outline the six best practices for managing security in the hybrid cloud: 

 1. Use next-generation firewalls 

Did you know that almost half (49%) of businesses report running virtual editions of traditional firewalls in the cloud? It’s becoming increasingly clear that cloud providers’ native security controls are not enough, and that next-gen firewall solutions are needed. While a traditional stateful firewall is designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, a next-generation firewall (NGFW) includes features such as application awareness and control, integrated breach prevention and active threat intelligence. In other words, while a traditional firewall will allow for layer 1-2 protection, NGFWs allow for protection from levels 3 through 7.  

2. Use dynamic objects 

On-premise security tends to be easier because subnets and IP addresses are typically static. In the cloud, however, workloads are dynamically provisioned and decommissioned, IP addresses change, so traditional firewalls simply cannot keep up. NGFW dynamic objects allow businesses to match a group of workloads using cloud-native categories, and then use these objects in policies to properly enforce traffic and avoid the need to frequently update the policies.  

 3. Gain 360-degree visibility 

As with any form of security, visibility is critical. Without that, even the best preventative or remedial strategies will fall flat. Security should be evaluated both in your cloud services and in the path from the internet and data center clients. Having one single view over the entire network estate is invaluable when it comes to hybrid cloud security. 

AlgoSec’s powerful AutoDiscovery capabilities help you understand the network flows in your organization. You can automatically connect the recognized traffic flows to the business applications that use them and seamlessly manage the network security policy across your entire hybrid estate.  

4. Evaluate risk in its entirety 

Too many businesses are guilty of only focusing on cloud services when it comes to managing security. This leaves them inherently vulnerable on other network paths, such as the ones that run from the internet and data centers towards the services in the cloud. As well as gaining 360-degree visibility over the entire network estate, businesses also need to be sure to actively monitor those areas for risk with equal weighting in terms of priority.  

5. Clean up cloud policies regularly 

The cloud security landscape changes at a faster rate than most businesses can realistically keep up with. For that reason, cloud security groups tend to change with the wind, constantly being adjusted to account for new applications. If a business doesn’t keep on top of its cloud policy ‘housekeeping’, they’ll soon become bloated, difficult to maintain and risky. Keep cloud security groups clean and tidy so they’re accurate, efficient and don’t expose risk.  

6. Embrace DevSecOps 

The cloud might be perfect for DevOps in terms of easy and agile resource and security provisioning using Infrastructure-as-code tools, but the methodology is seldom used for risk analysis and remediation recommendations. Businesses that want to take control of their cloud security should pay close attention to this. Before a new risk is introduced, you should obtain an automatic what-if risk check as part of the code’s pull request, before pushing to production.  

From visibility and network management right through to risk evaluation and clean-up, staying secure in a hybrid cloud environment might sound like hard work, but by embracing these fundamental practices your organization can start putting together the pieces of its own security puzzle. The AlgoSec Security Management Suite (ASMS) makes it easy to support your cloud migration journey, ensuring that it does not block critical business services and meet compliance requirements.  

To learn more or ask for your personalized demo, click here. 

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