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Raghvendra Singh

Today’s enterprises want to rapidly adopt multi-cloud to accelerate their digital transformation goals. However, moving to a multi-cloud alone cannot be a silver bullet unless you secure it with automation. Traditionally, enterprises rely on manual processes to secure their multi-cloud, which is prone to human errors. Lack of timely patching or misconfiguration of a firewall can inadvertently make your business vulnerable to data leaks, thefts, and malware attacks.

According to Gartner, by 2025, over 99% of cloud breaches may be traced back to preventable misconfigurations or mistakes by end-users.

Automation guardrails cloud exposure

Automation can be task-based, policy-driven, or cognitive. With task-based automation, you can eliminate the need for manual reporting, security assessments, or data classification—with fewer human errors and faster turnaround times.

By automating the definition, sharing, enforcement, and reporting of the entire security policy life cycle, you can speed up your decision-making process.

Lastly, you can bolster security orchestration and cloud security posture management with cognitive threat management. Leverage machine learning algorithms to flag anomalies, as well as detect and respond to threats automatically.

Achieve quick wins with automation

The best approach to effective cloud security automation is to list priorities, set up a cyber automation roadmap, and target the simplest use cases. Here are eight best practices to help you implement automation initiatives quickly and successfully.

1. Ensure proper planning and strategy

You can automate several manual processes such as application risk management, maturity assessment, and migration path mapping. This minimizes critical errors and delivers data-driven outcomes at scale.

2. Enable secure build and policy enforcement

Automating the entire policy development life cycle can transform several tenets of application development, such as version control, testing, and deployment. To realize such initiatives, start by codifying policy definitions to ensure consistent and continuous security policy enforcement across platforms with a single click.

3. Ensure secure migration

As modernization projects grow at scale, enterprises have started building migration factories for seamless, repeatable migration patterns. However, you must ensure that these factories and the underlying DevOps pipelines are designed for security with built-in measures that can be automated.

4. Leverage identity and access management

With increased cloud adoption, you can take Identity access management (IAM) to the next level by weaving in automated identity protection, cross-cloud entitlement management, and granular security controls built using a zero-trust approach.

5. Boost threat detection and response

Even though several solutions exist to suppress false positives in threat detection, enterprises can streamline them further with machine learning and user behavior analytics (UBA). You can automate threat feed, threat analysis, and SOAR (security orchestration automation and response) to accelerate defense.

6. Bolster the data security life cycle

Ensure data security measures govern the entire data security life cycle to automate threat identification, protection, data classification, and governance.

7. Define the baseline and monitor compliance

Develop a robust governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) program by automating the definition, assessment, analysis, monitoring modules to achieve regulatory compliance seamlessly.

8. Enhance remediation efforts

Leverage intelligent tools, technologies, and processes to proactively monitor your cloud environment for potential misconfigurations and remediate automatically before a breach occurs. Give equal importance to process, policy, and technology. Otherwise, you could run the risk of building an unmanageable technology stack. Maintain cyber hygiene by performing thorough cleanup before automating. Additionally, the cloud, infrastructure, and security teams should work in tandem to eliminate information silos and stay focused on a common goal.

A security misconfiguration incident can derail your digital transformation goals and expose your cloud to sophisticated risks, resulting in cost overruns. The principles discussed in this blog will help you build an actionable roadmap to mitigate cyber risks, reduce cloud waste, and go to market faster by harnessing the full power of cloud.

About the author

Raghvendra Singh
Raghvendra has more than 13 years of industry experience in cybersecurity consulting, solution architecture, technology, engineering, and delivery oversight. In his current role, he is helping enterprises across the globe securely transform their IT to the cloud. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication and is certified in CISSP, CCSK, ITIL, Google Professional Security Engineer, Azure Security Engineer, Microsoft Certified 365 Administrator, AWS Certified Solution Architect, and ethical hacking.