The importance of a centralized system for a multi-cloud strategy

Enterprise Security Magazine | Thursday, May 16, 2019

FREMONT, CA: Multi-cloud infrastructure is gaining widespread acceptance and is seen as the future of cloud strategies. To mitigate the risks associated with cloud security, most companies are looking towards a multi-cloud strategy. It also helps the organizations to make the best of the different facilities and services provided by various cloud services. But the multi-cloud strategy also needs to face the challenges that come with the fragmented access and controls.

The best solution or strategy for the companies opting for multi-cloud security strategies is centralization. Centralization refers to a comprehensive system of management of the various cloud services that are used by the companies at once. Multi-cloud leads to the division of controls and monitoring options and this increase the probability of risks. Being able to integrate the controls can help simplify the issue of managing mufti-cloud security systems.

Companies can either use multi-cloud brokers, or they can opt for a product or platform that integrates the multi-cloud regardless of the differences in cloud infrastructure to carry out centralization. Before choosing any centralization technology, a company must look at whether a few specifically essential tools are present or not. Many antimalware tools are available which can pervade various cloud systems. These are essential for every aspect. Configuration consistency across multiple cloud platforms is also a desirable property. Platforms like Puppet, and Chef, are platforms that provide automation in configuration management.

The vulnerability scanners of most enterprises have been included in the major clouds services, and a fragmented approach need not be taken up about it. The applicability of tools like clouRedLock, CloudCheckr, and DivvyCloud across multiple clouds should be checked. These days, it is also possible to create templates for defining infrastructure on clouds, and many controls can be defined in this way using tools like Terraform.

Although centralization is a key strategy when it comes to multi-cloud based security setups, not all controls can be centralized with ease. Automation is often environment specific. Encryption tools are also cloud-specific. Identity and access management is difficult to integrate as well.

A centralized system does have a few drawbacks as well. The cases where centralization does not prove beneficial should be carefully demarcated and dealt with using separate strategies. Apart from that, a centralized system creates a well-coordinated management system that scores well in efficiency.