Posted: 3 Min ReadProduct Insights

Seeing Through the Clouds: Confronting the Challenges to Cloud Security

Cloud monitoring services can close the gaps

You can’t defend against what you can’t see.

Unfortunately, that’s become a familiar scenario for security professionals as their companies migrate more and more of their business to the cloud.

As organizations move workloads to the cloud, the security tools and skills that worked for on-premises protection don’t always translate neatly to a cloud world in which businesses are delivering assets via IaaS and SaaS. It’s a digital transformation that’s taking place at breakneck speed and it’s left many IT departments struggling to employ cloud security practices for their modern enterprise.

On the one hand, companies must adjust to a new era that requires new tools and new methods to enforce a consistent security posture across multiple clouds. One of the by-products of this massive data migration is the increased challenge of how it is managed and secured.

At the same time, organizations are scrambling to find enough staff due to a growing shortage of trained personnel who have the necessary cloud security skills. In fact, a majority of security decision-makers state that the lack of skilled staff counts as one of their biggest challenges.

The Cloud Security Gap

The cloud security challenge is complicated by the fact that when you use public clouds, your visibility into cloud workloads and cloud-resident data is diminished. The task is made that much harder – and additional security gaps are likely to appear – when an organization uses multiple cloud infrastructures.  

Contrast that with the pre-cloud era, when there were manual processes and procedures – as well as some level of monitoring – that came with system management tools and network management tools. Those tools sent out alerts when it detected anyone trying to create something in the network environment.

Fast-forward to the present, where it's relatively easy for employees to spin up new cloud instances with little more than a login and a credit card. How do you control the use of a new cloud instance?  And how do you ensure the right security protocols are followed? 

IaaS and SaaS cloud infrastructures and apps bring greater scale and efficiency but also introduce new vulnerabilities and open the door to malicious activity. Since relatively few organizations have the capability to hunt threats in the cloud, they’re constantly on the defensive. The number of alerts generated by an organization’s different monitoring systems may already overwhelm even the most experienced security professionals before you add in the complications of monitoring and securing all things cloud.

How do you control the use of a new cloud instance?  And how do you ensure the right security protocols are followed?

Elsewhere in the company, DevOps teams are under pressure to get new product releases out the door at ever-increasing speeds to keep their business ahead of the competition. Agile development offers great benefits. But what happens if, in the pell-mell rush of development, security winds up as an afterthought in the process? It’s not a rhetorical question.

Your existing staff is not just being tasked to look at new technologies and new ways of doing things – but to work ever faster. And let’s be frank: The processes may result in improperly configured storage containers, which can not only expose data, but also allow the propagation of malware to go undetected.

Closing the Cloud Security Gap with MSS Managed Cloud Defense

So, let’s see. Your company faces an overburdened staff struggling to manage disparate security policies and tools. All the while, you need to monitor and analyze an increasingly massive amount of traffic while facing growing vulnerabilities and malicious attacks.

The upshot? If you can’t get a full picture of your expanding on premises and multi-cloud environment trouble’s guaranteed to come knocking.

Successful cloud adoption and the ability to overcome these challenges requires a broad, deep and consolidated view into all threats. The key elements include native support for cloud applications and services with round the clock monitoring capabilities, SOC analyst expertise, unparalleled security intelligence, advanced analytics and real time detection and response.  

Symantec’s Managed Security Services (MSS) mitigates the risk of the expanded attack surface across both on premises and multiple IaaS and SaaS environments. Through Symantec’s MSS Managed Cloud Defense, organizations receive a unified view into all threats through unparalleled 24x7 threat monitoring with dynamic machine learning, analytics and correlation. Powered by Symantec’s Global Intelligence network and cloud trained cyber warriors, MSS Managed Cloud Defense closes the security gap and empowers organizations to mitigate cloud-based threats.

Learn more about Managed Cloud Defense service here

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About the Author

Karen Buffo

Senior Director, Cyber Security Services Business Enablement

Karen Buffo leads Business Enablement for Symantec’s Cyber Security Services organization. Karen is responsible for driving product strategy, field enablement, customer experience, product marketing and communications globally

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