There is no shortage of advice out there about how to secure modern, cloud-native workloads. By now, most developers and IT engineers who work with cloud-native deployments have heard all of the mantras about DevSecOps, shift-left security, multi-layer defenses and dynamic baselining (to name just some of the key concepts that are driving IT security conversations these days).
One thing is to talk about security best practices and another is to design a cloud strategy that makes it not only possible but also easy to implement them. Even more challenging is planning a strategy that facilitates security best practices over the long term.
Keep reading for tips on meeting these challenges and devising a long-term security strategy.
It’s easy to think of security as something you have to do in real time. After all, threats and attacks usually happen suddenly, and reacting to them quickly is key to preventing serious damage.
If your security strategy centers on finding and remediating threats as they appear, you end up stuck in what is essentially a break/fix mode. You’re constantly reacting, rather than being proactive.
A much more effective security strategy is one that minimizes the threats you face in the first place. That type of strategy requires long-term planning.
Sure, you will always need to be prepared to detect some threats that you didn’t anticipate, and react quickly in the event a breach occurs. No security plan is perfect, and the unexpected will sometimes still happen. But by focusing as much as possible on long-term security solutions that stop most threats from materializing, you end up with a much safer and more reliable security posture.
What does it actually take to implement a security strategy that protects you over the long term? It all boils down to four elements: data, infrastructure, processes and culture.
For many organizations, data stored in the cloud is the workload that poses the greatest risk. It’s the reason why there is a seemingly never-ending stream of headlines about major security breaches that involve the theft of sensitive data stored in the cloud.
Therefore, mitigating threats to data in the cloud is a critical requirement for long-term security. Some best practices in this regard include:
These days, we tend to treat infrastructure–meaning the cloud-based and/or on-premise data centers that host workloads–as a relatively generic and interchangeable part of the solution stack. But while it is true that, generally speaking, no one cloud or data center is inherently more secure than another, the way you design your infrastructure plays a key role in your ability to secure modern workloads over the long term.
Best practices on the infrastructure front, for long-term security include:
Processes are the second key ingredient in creating a long-term security plan for cloud-native workloads. Obviously, the processes you use will reflect, in part, your particular workloads and tools. But no matter your situation, your processes should be designed with the following security goals in mind:
Culture is something that can be difficult to formalize; indeed, if you try to stuff cultural values down your employees’ throats, you risk compromising the whole point of having an organic culture in place. Instead, you want to encourage your team members to naturally embrace values that promote a culture of security. Strategies that can help achieve that include:
By designing infrastructure, processes and cultural practices that promote security, you put your organization in a position to optimize security over the long term. Planning ahead for security is the only way to escape the break/fix cycle of responding to vulnerabilities as they are discovered, which leaves you always treading water and never pushing the needle. You won’t be able to prevent all security issues, but you can greatly reduce the number that crop up by baking security into your infrastructure, processes and culture.
This sponsored article was written on behalf of Eplexity.
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