The cloud has revolutionized the way we operate. It’s convenient, flexible, and scalable — and our organizations are increasingly relying on the cloud to run critical systems and store critical data.
But cloud security hasn’t kept up. The number of incidents in the cloud increases each year. Without modern cloud security, organizations are facing inevitable cyberattacks with the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
It’s time to wake up to the realities of the cloud.
To help you identify where to focus your organization’s efforts in overcoming today’s cloud security challenges, Illumio has partnered with technology research specialist Vanson Bourne to interview 1,600 cybersecurity decision makers from public and private organizations across multiple countries to build the Cloud Security Index 2023.
In this blog post, get a summary of what you need to know from the report, including the shortcomings in current cloud security, why traditional cloud security methods are failing, and why Zero Trust Segmentation stood out as the key to redefining cloud security.
Organizations are rapidly moving to the cloud — but leaving cloud security behind
100 percent of organizations surveyed are using cloud-based services. For most organizations, it’s an essential tool to scale at speed and offers many benefits to employees, customers, and the bottom line.
Cloud adoption is growing fast, and attacks on the cloud are growing at an alarming rate. In fact, research revealed that 47 percent of breaches in the last year at surveyed organizations originated in the cloud.
Vanson Bourne identified three cloud weaknesses attackers are exploiting most often:
Complexity of applications and workloads, and the immense overlap of cloud and on-premises environments.
Diversity and the expansive number of services that cloud providers offer such as IaaS, PaaS, containers, and serverless computing.
Poor visibility over all the above, including the inability to identify weak points and proactively ensure protection rather than just reactively locking down compromised systems.
The security tools we’re using in the cloud don’t provide the visibility, confidence, efficiency, or resilience organizations need. This leads to cloud environments that are especially vulnerable to today's ever-evolving cyber threats.
Traditional cloud security tools aren’t working
Decision makers are increasingly aware of the security gap in the cloud: 63 percent say their organization’s cloud security isn’t prepared for cyberattacks.
According to Vanson Bourne’s findings, this lack of confidence can be tracked to cloud security misalignment in these key areas:
95 percent need better visibility into connectivity from third-party software.
95 percent need better reaction times to cloud breaches.
95 percent seek to reduce workloads and increase the efficiency of their security operations (SecOps) team.
Over 9 in 10 are concerned that connectivity between their cloud services and on-premises environments increases the likelihood of a breach.
46 percent don’t have full visibility into the connectivity of their organization’s cloud services, increasing the likelihood of unauthorized connections.
These statistics show a significant disconnect between organizations’ commitment to the cloud and the way they’re thinking about cloud security. As they migrate from on-premises data centers to the cloud, they’re finding that the ways they’ve secured traditional, static networks aren’t working in the cloud.
This is primarily a result of the fundamental differences between on-premises data centers and the cloud:
Traditional security practices rely on a network perimeter. In on-premises environments, this is often a well-defined boundary protected by firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures.
Cloud infrastructure is designed to be highly elastic, allowing resources to scale up and down as needed. As a result, the traditional fixed network perimeter becomes much more fluid and complex. This makes it nearly impossible for perimeter-based security to protect perimeter-less cloud infrastructure.
Zero Trust Segmentation is critical to modernizing cloud security
If your organization is in the cloud, it needs to be resilient against the next inevitable cyberattack — and it’s likely that your existing cloud security isn’t enough. The best way to achieve cyber resilience is through adopting a Zero Trust security strategy based on a “never trust, always verify” mindset.
Unlike traditional prevention and detection technologies, ZTS provides a consistent approach to microsegmentation across the hybrid attack surface. This allows your organization to visualize workload connectivity, set granular security policy, and contain attacks across the cloud, endpoints, and on-premises data centers.
Research shows that security leaders are turning to ZTS to solve their cloud security challenges:
93 percent of IT and security decision makers believe that segmentation of critical assets is a necessary step to secure cloud-based projects.
100 percent of organizations would stand to benefit from proper ZTS implementation.
Illumio CloudSecure: Extend Zero Trust Segmentation to the public cloud
Illumio CloudSecure supports the unique challenges organizations face in the public cloud, where visibility and control of the connections between dynamic applications and workloads are critical.
With CloudSecure, security teams can visualize cloud workload connectivity, apply proactive segmentation controls, and proactively contain attacks on applications and workloads in their public cloud environments, across servers, virtual machines, containers, and serverless computing.
By extending ZTS to the cloud, security teams can be confident that inevitable cloud attacks will be stopped and contained at their source.
See Illumio CloudSecure in action:
Visualize cloud workload connectivity
See traffic flows using context-based labels and metadata (labels and tags) to visualize cloud, endpoints, and on-premises data center workload and application traffic flows in one view. Use these insights to build Zero Trust policies across public cloud environments, including physical and virtual servers, containers, and serverless clouds.
Illumio CloudSecure uses existing native tools to collect object meta-data and real-time app, data, and workload traffic telemetry in AWS and Microsoft Azure to build a map of application behavior. Use this information to implement the right policies to secure your applications.
Proactively apply segmentation controls
Implement segmentation policies at scale with native cloud controls like AWS Security Groups (AWS SGs) and Azure Network Security Groups (NSGs).
Analyze real-time communication patterns to automatically adapt policies as interactions change based on context such as tags, traffic, and logs.
Contain cloud attacks
Using insights from Illumio's map, quickly diagnose issues to manage and maintain controls, preserving consistent security across diverse cloud services.
Support shift-left efforts to guarantee application security at the earliest stages in the development lifecycle.
Large organizations often have data centers located in different geographic regions. Distributed data centers allow these organizations to locate their applications close to their customers and employees, comply with data residency requirements, and provide disaster recovery for their critical business applications.