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How an Integrated Cloud-Cyber Approach Can Build Business and Technology Resilience

A growing and distributed workforce are encouraging more and more organizations to migrate their applications to the cloud infrastructure. At the same time, data migration is being driven by the move from a ‘traditional’ legacy system to a cost-efficient and scalable cloud platform.

While cloud computing has established itself as a force to reckon with for improving business operations and data security (or cybersecurity), it is also emerging as a top concern among data-driven organizations.

Most business enterprises do not think much about cybersecurity when planning their cloud strategy and roadmap. A 2019 survey on the Future of Cyber by Deloitte found that 90% of organizations spend less than 10% of their cybersecurity budget on safe cloud migration.

As cybercrimes are estimated to cost businesses $6 trillion every year by the end of 2021, how can an integrated cloud-cyber approach help in building business and technology resilience? Let us explore this possibility.

The ‘Security By Design’ approach

To build their business and technology resilience, organizations can embrace the ‘security by design’ approach towards cloud migration. This requires bringing together both cloud and cyber professionals into one team to work on their shared goals.

The integrated team can work on a shared operating model that facilitates better coordination, collaboration, and implementation across all controls.

It requires them to:

  • Understand organizational assets and protect them through a complete cyber-focused strategy.

  • Understand new cloud security technologies and operating models that include aspects such as DevSecOps and microservices.

  • Integrate cybersecurity requirements into the application development process, rather than as an afterthought.

How does the ‘Security by Design’ approach benefits businesses?

  1. Enables an intelligent and innovative approach to cybersecurity.

  2. Provides support to product developers and engineers while leveraging the benefits of the DevSecOps framework.

  3. Develops a shared responsibility model where organizations are responsible for securing their data and applications on the cloud platform instead of completely relying on third-party cloud vendors.

  4. Identifies and reduces security risks related to technology and supply chains.

  5. Identifies and acts upon possible cyber incidents and data breaches during the migration process itself.

Next, let us look at 5 ways by which an integrated cloud-cyber model can build business resilience.

5 ways the cloud-cyber approach is building business resilience

1. Zero-touch cloud security The 2021 Tech Trends report by Deloitte shows industries moving towards a zero-touch cloud security architecture. This form of network architecture enables segmentation at varying levels for identity and application access. For cloud-driven applications, the zero-touch approach is important for accessing applications and databases that are distributed across cloud infrastructures. An integrated cloud-cyber approach adds the necessary cloud security controls into the cloud infrastructure itself. Or, by having restrictive processes for authorized users to review, it controls access before deploying them to production.

2. Application security

With data migration to the cloud, business organizations also need to consider cloud security frameworks for all their applications and workloads. Here are some application security controls that can be considered:

  • The base or minimum configuration to protect deployed workloads.

  • A secure landing environment that includes all account-related rules, security protocols, and additional functional services.

  • Attack-surface controls that can monitor application vulnerabilities and enhance attack-surface programs that are designed to identify and access cloud assets across all architectural layers.

  • Designing and testing disaster management or recovery within applications while being migrated to the cloud.

3. Legacy technology risks

An integrated cloud-cyber team can mitigate technology risks and create a more secure and agile program. Legacy technologies have been found to have thousands of in-built vulnerabilities that pose high-risk security threats at the application, database, or code levels. By moving to the cloud infrastructure without understanding these vulnerabilities, cloud providers invariably shift these technology risks to the cloud. For cloud-cyber teams to manage technology risks, they require an understanding of both existing and future technologies and effectively mitigate vulnerabilities with a strong security approach.

4. DevSecOps implementation As enterprises look further to modernize their legacy applications, they are moving from a develop-deploy framework (followed by ‘secure’) to the DevSecOps operating model that includes security right from the beginning. Further, the DevSecOps model helps the cloud engineering team to:

  • Build a secure cloud infrastructure that safeguards migration.

  • Develop a secure landing zone.

  • Automate security-related tasks.

  • Detect and prevent cyber threats that could be escalated on the cloud.

Using models such as DevSecOps and microservices, organizations can effectively boost business and technology resilience by breaking down roles in the shared responsibility model.

5. Regulatory risk management Regulatory compliance requirements are expected to impact workflows and systems. These include industry-specific frameworks, technology standards, and regulations about data governance. Organizations that bring together the cloud and cyber teams can effectively consider regulatory requirements when migrating applications and workloads to the cloud. Collaborative reviews performed by the cloud-cyber team members can enhance their understanding of the existing regulatory framework in the organization, the associated risks, and improve the selection of the right cloud vendor.

Summing Up

By integrating the expertise of cloud and cyber professionals, organizations are in a better position to address cloud security risks. Finally, an integrated cloud migration approach can build more business and technology resilience as well as elevate overall security and customer trust.

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