Mastering Multi-Cloud Security: A Deep Dive into Challenges and Solutions

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Over the past few decades, cloud computing has significantly transformed how businesses operate. Cloud technology has made daily use of corporate computation & digital assets more agile and dynamic through their pay-as-you-go model and scalable resource utilization. In the modern organizational ecosystem, it is nearly unimaginable to consider a company that does not use cloud technology or service. 

As per Gartner’s report, 85 percent of organizations will be “cloud-first” companies by 2025. Many organizations have also shifted their interest towards multi-cloud strategies. Multi-cloud helps enterprises to optimize IT infrastructure while increasing efficiency and reducing costs. However, they should contemplate the security factors while leveraging multiple cloud providers to shift corporate workloads. Let’s have a complete walkthrough of the security challenges multi-cloud architecture faces & how to secure them. It will also highlight some best practices enterprises should follow to reduce cloud security breaches.

What is Multi-cloud Architecture?

Multi-cloud architecture is an approach to utilizing cloud technology wherein the organization leverages multiple cloud computing services offered by different service providers. Enterprises opt for various cloud services from numerous CSPs to meet their business and technical requirements. Because of the multi-cloud model, enterprises won’t have to rely on a single cloud provider. It also benefits by reaping the maximum & specialized service benefit of multiple cloud vendors. Multi-cloud also brings flexibility, reduces downtime, and mitigates vendor lock-in hazards by optimizing cloud infrastructure. 

What is multi-cloud security?

Enterprises opt for multi-cloud because of the individual strengths of each cloud service provider (CSP). That includes performance capabilities, security attributes, geographical reach, and price slabs. Since the multi-cloud service model utilizes various CSPs, securing such architecture is paramount. 

Multi-cloud security is an approach to provide comprehensive safeguard of various cloud services from multiple cloud vendors. It often requires a holistic approach where the security experts must consider the data, API integration, response planning, and authorization. Securing multi-cloud architecture is necessary yet critical for an organization to render day-to-day workloads.  

Enterprises should consider various factors like data governance, encryption, universal compliance support, and centralized accessibility. Enterprises have to plan and distribute critical workloads across various cloud architectures.

Various Challenges of a Multi-Cloud Security Architecture

Although multi-cloud delivers numerous benefits, it also invites myriad security challenges. Before safeguarding the multi-cloud architecture of an enterprise, security professionals must comprehend the various security mishaps possible because of the multi-cloud model. 

  1. Shadow IT and unsanctioned cloud services: Enterprises often make the mistake of adopting cloud services without prior knowledge of the approval & sanctioning process. That leads to shadow IT. Since enterprises use cloud services from multiple vendors, controlling and managing unsanctioned services becomes challenging.
  2. Misconfiguration: As enterprises migrate workloads to different cloud architectures and vendors, there remains a chance of misconfiguration. Security and privacy-related configurations & settings in the cloud are often confusing. Even the best network and cloud architects can make mistakes. Thus, misconfiguration in multi-cloud remains a bleeding concern.
  3. Issues with access control: In multi-cloud architecture, managing access control becomes a challenge. Usually, all cloud environments comes with built-in access control, managerial roles, user authorization, and access privilege mechanisms. But, mixing multiple cloud vendors and their access control techniques becomes a burning issue. That is because a security strategy requires the management of multiple user access systems. 
  4. Data governance: Since every company has become data-driven, the data flow has grown exponentially. Since different cloud vendors will have distinct policies with data, data governance also becomes a challenge in a multi-cloud architecture. For this, enterprises that use multi-cloud environments must use extensive data governance strategy to ensure the applications, processes, and users have the appropriate access to data, preserving security & integrity. 

Security Best Practices for Multi-Cloud Architecture

Securing a multi-cloud architecture needs comprehensive strategies & best practices that better address the diverse challenges. With proper security measures and practices, enterprises can enhance the safety & implementation mechanisms of multi-cloud systems. 

Without further ado, let us dive into the various best practices enterprises should opt to boost multi-cloud security.

Synchronize settings & policies

Enterprises often rely on multi-cloud architecture. That is where enterprises should ensure to provide the same security settings & policies across different cloud vendors used within the multi-cloud. Various automated tools are available to create universal security policies with generic definitions irrespective of the cloud architectures. This best practice reduces the chances of misconfiguration of settings and policies.

Centralized IAM

Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions are excellent security frameworks that enable businesses to manage digital & electronic identities & policies associated with them. Implementing a centralized IAM with a unified controlling mechanism for authorization, identity management, and access policies can be a good practice to leverage identity federation and a single sign-on (SSO) mechanism for uniform access management.

Universal data encryption mechanism

Enterprises opting for the multi-cloud environment must also implement encryption for data at rest, during processing, and in transit. Also, the encryption technique should remain universal across all cloud architecture. Again, utilizing native encryption mechanisms & managing encryption keys with high-end security can help keep multi-cloud data safe from cybercriminals.

Consolidate and constant monitoring

Another best practice to enhance the safety norms of a multi-cloud architecture is to enable consolidated logging, event monitoring, and setting alerts from all cloud providers. Enterprises can use various tools and monitoring strategies across all cloud architectures. Through Artificial Intelligence, automation, and remediation techniques, enterprises can create defense and response systems for multi-cloud architecture.

Cross-cloud compliance

Different cloud platforms and vendors offer diverse compliance certifications & features. Enterprises often find running different workloads with myriad compliance deficits for each cloud service. It often creates difficulties in maintaining distinct compliance from multiple vendors. That is where automating the compliance auditing with a cross-cloud compliance system becomes easy. Cross-cloud compliance systems generate summarized reports of compliance violations across multi-cloud systems.

Conclusion

Here was a crisp idea of what multi-cloud is and what challenges enterprises face while implementing multi-cloud architecture. It also highlighted the various best practices and security mechanisms enterprises can take to elevate usability and reap the benefits of multi-cloud workload systems. By enforcing these best practices, enterprises can also adhere to emerging security standards and compliance. 

In navigating the complexities of multi-cloud environments, VE3 emerges as a valuable ally. With our innovative solutions and expertise, we empower enterprises to streamline their multi-cloud strategies, offering tailored solutions to address specific challenges. As organizations embark on their multi-cloud journey, we stand as a reliable partner, facilitating a smooth and secure transition while ensuring adherence to the highest industry standards. To know more, explore our innovative digital solutions or contact us directly.

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