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Why Cloud Security Starts With Complete Visibility

The cloud has transformed the way businesses operate, enabling them to scale rapidly, reduce infrastructure costs, and enhance overall agility.  

But as organizations continue to migrate their workloads to the cloud, the need for robust security measures has become paramount. Unlike traditional on-premises environments, the dynamic and distributed nature of cloud infrastructure makes it inherently complex especially in terms of visibility and control.  

Fully securing the cloud starts with complete, end-to-end cloud visibility. In this blog post, I’ll explain why cloud visibility matters now, why traditional visibility approaches are failing us, and how Zero Trust Segmentation with Illumio CloudSecure can help.

Security leaders are paying attention to cloud visibility

Breaches are inevitable — is your cloud security prepared?

Vanson Bourne research found one of security decision-makers' top cloud security concerns is visibility:  

  • 95 percent say better visibility into connectivity from third-party software is a necessary improvement to their organization’s cloud security.
  • 46 percent don’t have full visibility into the connectivity of their organization’s cloud services, increasing the likelihood of unauthorized connections.  
  • Over 30 percent say the lack of visibility both across multi-cloud deployments and within a single cloud provider are main threats to their organization’s cloud security.  
Cloud Security Index

The report named poor visibility as a top three weakness across organizations’ cloud security. Security teams are struggling to identify weak points in their cloud security and, more importantly, proactively ensure protection rather than just reactivity locking down compromised systems.

Why is cloud visibility essential?

Organizations must contend with an intricate web of applications and workloads in the cloud, running in virtual machines, containers, microservices, and diverse network architectures. Without a comprehensive understanding of the connections and interactions within this cloud ecosystem, security and compliance risks can escalate.  

Attackers can leverage this lack of visibility to quietly enter the network and hide in the blind spots before stealing data, halting operations, and demanding a ransom. That’s why achieving and maintaining visibility into cloud workloads is fundamental to ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of critical assets.

Cloud visibility is not merely a convenience; it is a strategic necessity. In an era where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated and regulatory scrutiny is heightened, organizations cannot afford blind spots in their cloud environments. It’s vital that organizations invest in security solutions that provide comprehensive visibility.

3 reasons why traditional visibility approaches leave cloud blind spots

The cloud is a new way of managing business operations, so why do we expect old security practices to be enough? Legacy visibility approaches confront limitations in the dynamic, fast-changing cloud environments, resulting in security vulnerabilities.  

1. A static view of network infrastructure

Traditional on-premises networks are static and change happens slowly. As a result, legacy visibility tools were only required to provide a snapshot of the infrastructure at a specific point in time. However, in rapidly changing cloud landscapes, this static approach doesn't offer the real-time dynamics of workload connectivity.  

2. Network-centric visibility misses application-level communication

Existing tools also focus only on network-centric views, overlooking the finer details of application-level interactions. Modern applications are composed of microservices and containers that communicate seamlessly across various layers. This means network-centric visibility alone cannot capture the intricate relationships and dependencies critical for effective security.

3. Lack of granularity and context

Another limitation of traditional cloud visibility tools lies in their lack of granularity and contextual understanding. These tools often generate overwhelming amounts of data without providing meaningful insights into the nature of connections between workloads. Without context, security teams may struggle to distinguish between legitimate traffic and potential threats, leading to either false positives or, more dangerously, false negatives.

Learn how to solve the top 5 cloud security problems.  

Modern cloud environments require Zero Trust Segmentation

Cloud visibility isn’t enough for full cloud security. Organizations need to be able to turn that visibility into security insights. With this information, security teams can proactively apply security controls to segment application and workload communications. This level of visibility and proactive segmentation controls contain inevitable attacks caused from vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and unauthorized access.

This is where Zero Trust Segmentation comes into play.  

Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS), also called microsegmentation, helps organizations see risk and stop inevitable breaches in the cloud.  

ZTS enables security teams to:

  • Achieve complete visibility: Eliminate security blind spots with a real-time view of your traffic flows across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
  • Understand all dependencies: Maintain a clear view of interactions and gain a full understanding of how applications are communicating.
  • Apply security consistently: Limit exposure and maintain least-privilege access across data centers and public clouds.

Achieve complete cloud visibility with Illumio CloudSecure

With Illumio CloudSecure, organizations get granular visibility and control over communication between applications and workloads. This ensures inevitable cloud breaches are quickly contained and don’t cause catastrophic damage.  

Illumio CloudSecure helps security teams visualize cloud workload connectivity:  

  • Gain visibility into the traffic flows of your cloud-native applications with real-time telemetry and data using agentless controls. Understand application communications, security policy, usage, access, and security exposure.
  • Gather insights with an interactive map of application deployments, resources, traffic flows, and metadata with traffic flow logs. Understand not only which workloads are communicating but why they are communicating.
  • Integrate with major cloud providers such as AWS and Azure using Illumio CloudSecure’s agentless approach. Extend visibility and control across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud setups — without the need for extensive customization or manual configuration.
  • Share visibility and security responsibilities between security and development teams. Define and manage security policies alongside application code to ensure security is integral the to development deployment lifecycle.  

Try Illumio CloudSecure free for 30 days — no software installation or credit card information required.  

Want to learn more? Contact us today for a free consultation and demo.  

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Ready to learn more about Zero Trust Segmentation?