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Zero Trust Segmentation

100% Cloud? You Still Need Zero Trust Segmentation

The migration to the cloud has become a defining characteristic of modern businesses, offering unmatched agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Some organizations can proudly claim to be 100% cloud and believe that they have eliminated the risk of lateral movement, ransomware, and breaches.  

While the cloud certainly brings numerous benefits, the misconception that it is immune to cyber threats can be costly.  

This blog post will shed light on why being 100% cloud does not negate the need for breach containment with Zero Trust Segmentation and how Illumio can help.  

The myth of invulnerability in 100% cloud environments

One of the allures of the cloud lies in its promise of easy, enhanced cybersecurity provided by cloud vendors with robust security measures already in place. As a result, some organizations may mistakenly believe that being 100% in the cloud means security teams don’t need to add additional cybersecurity measures and can rely on cloud vendors’ security settings.  

However, this sense of invulnerability in the cloud is, in fact, a myth that can expose organizations to severe risks.

Challenges to cloud security

Here are four of the most significant cybersecurity risks posed by cloud environments:

  • Shared responsibility model: One of the most common misunderstandings among cloud users is the shared responsibility model. Cloud service providers are responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure, ensuring physical security, and maintaining the reliability of their platform. However, it is the customer's responsibility to secure their data, applications, and user access. Neglecting this aspect can lead to vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit to launch lateral movement attacks.
  • Misconfigurations: Cloud environments are highly customizable which means they require careful configuration to ensure optimal security. Misconfigurations, such as overly permissive security groups or improperly configured access controls, can create opportunities for lateral movement threats to exploit and propagate.
  • Insider threats: Although the cloud offers the advantage of centralized management and streamlined collaboration, it also increases the potential for insider threats. Malicious actors or compromised credentials within a 100% cloud environment can be just as dangerous as those in traditional on-premises networks.
  • Third-party risks: Integrating with third-party services and applications is common in cloud environments. However, doing so without proper microsegmentation and security measures may expose your cloud infrastructure to external threats.
  • Security silos: Each cloud vendor’s security tools are local to their platform. For example, an AWS security tool is unlikely to integrate with an Azure security tool. This creates security silos which open vulnerabilities and slow down restoration after a breach.

Get insight into why traditional security approaches don’t work in the cloud.

Why Zero Trust Segmentation is essential in 100% cloud environments

At its core, Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS), also called microsegmentation, operates on the principle of segmentation – dividing a network into smaller, granular segments, akin to building a series of secure zones. Unlike traditional perimeter-based security models that rely on broad, one-size-fits-all defenses, microsegmentation is far more precise and adaptive, offering a unique security posture for each network segment. Each segment can be tailored with specific access controls, effectively containing lateral movement and limiting potential damage in the event of a breach.  

While cloud service providers offer some security settings in their products, cloud environments present distinct security challenges, especially for organizations operating entirely in the cloud. ZTS aligns with the needs of cloud security. Starting from the Zero Trust mindset of “assume breach,” ZTS puts a priority on gaining consistent, context-based visibility everywhere, all the time. Using that foundation of visibility, it provides an iterative process to constantly improve cloud security.

ZTS addresses cloud security challenges head-on by reducing the risk of network exposure and maintaining least-privilege access across the cloud.

Learn more about how ZTS secures the cloud.

Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation: Protecting your 100% cloud environment

The Illumio ZTS Platform empowers organizations to address the security challenges – and blind spots – unique to cloud infrastructures. Illumio goes beyond built-in cloud services security settings to ensure your cloud environment stops the lateral movement ransomware and breaches use to spread.  

The Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation Platform

Illumio ZTS offers:

  • Real-time visibility: Illumination, Illumio’s application dependency map, provides real-time visibility into traffic flows across all workloads, including those within your cloud environment. This comprehensive insight allows you to identify and understand potential threats, anomalous behaviors, and vulnerabilities, ensuring proactive security measures are implemented promptly.
  • Flexible security policies: Illumio automatically adapts security policies in response to changes within your cloud environment. As your cloud infrastructure scales and evolves, Illumio ensures that your security measures remain effective, alleviating the burden of manual policy updates and reducing human error in the cloud.
  • Microsegmentation for the cloud: Illumio's ZTS capabilities enable you to create granular security zones within your cloud infrastructure. This powerful approach stops lateral movement within the network, contains ransomware and breaches when they happen, and minimizes the impact of breaches to ensure business continuity.
  • Consistent security across clouds: As workloads move across different cloud vendors (e.g., from Azure to AWS), the security from one vendor rarely translates to the next. This creates cloud vulnerabilities and adds more work for your team. Illumio enables a consistent solution for workload segmentation across clouds, avoiding workloads being dependent on standalone, vendor-specific security solutions.
  • Easy third-party app integration: Illumio offers a robust third-party partnership ecosystem to seamlessly integrate with various cloud-native services, such as AWS Security Groups and Azure Network Security Groups. This compatibility streamlines the implementation process and allows for consistent security policies across multiple cloud environments.  

Contact us today for more information about implementing Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation in your cloud environment.  

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Assume Breach.
Minimize Impact.
Increase Resilience.

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