Five Critical Ways to Improve Security Across Clouds
Author:Bankim Tejani, CSC, Principal Security Architect
Survey after survey continues to find that security is chief among the challenges with cloud computing. In fact, fewer than half of security and compliance officers feel that they have the technology they need to secure their cloud deployments!
Cloud management platforms can play a pivotal role in cloud security by centralizing the orchestration, governance and deployment of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure across hybrid clouds. However, the Agility Platform stands alone in its ability to offer a policy-based governance and security model to effectively manage cloud workload security. Here’s how:
- Policy-based application and data governance is achieved through Agility Platform policies that can dictate which application workload may be placed in which cloud. These governance policies can extend to include user access controls and provisioning constraints.
- Agility Platform can automate installation and configuration of security technologies including industry standards such as host intrusion-detection systems (HIDS), anti-virus, firewalls, vulnerability assessment and patch management.
- In addition, Agility Platform integrates with configuration management solutions such as Puppet and Chef to ensure configuration compliance to policy.
- Cloud-based VMs running firewall policies can easily be configured and enforced with Agility Platform – both in private and public cloud environments.
- Agility Platform policies can trigger security and vulnerability scans of VMs to ensure continuous security across cloud workloads.
Tools to Build Confidence in Cloud Platform Security
Agility Platform offers companies what they need to have confidence in cloud platforms: safety systems that are configurable, policy-driven, can be automated and are governable. These capabilities help accelerate business users’ self-service access to enterprise cloud applications, platforms and services while operating in environments held to business policy and regulatory compliance standards.
With Agility Platform, IT management, security and compliance teams have the flexibility of a policy engine that can generate and apply a wide variety of security policies covering lifecycle, deployment and role-based access. Security hardening for cloud workloads can be automated and baked-in using Agility Platform’s multi-layered approach that leverages industry standard security technologies and/or your own chosen solutions. These may include network segregation, proxies and firewalls, anti-virus, HIDS, encrypted storage, IPSEC, and many more. Any desired technology can be deployed. And, more importantly, any security technology can be configured, automated, governed through policies and monitored.
The Trustworthy Standard Operating Environment
Information technology, security, compliance and risk management teams have invested significant time and effort in building trustworthy standard operating environments (SOEs). SOEs have long served as a safety system for enterprises, insulating them from operating system defects, patching incompatibilities, and software interoperability conflicts. With Agility Platform, SOEs maintain their protective benefits to the enterprise while becoming a vehicle for cloud-based business acceleration. SOEs become the core of cloud-enabled self-service by being the default starting point for any self-service project. With Agility Platform, SOEs become easier than ever to update, maintain, and enforce without slowing business velocity. Updates and improvements to the SOE can be asynchronously shared, and selectively applied by business units. Moreover, SOEs can also be enforced and governed by policy when necessary.
Audit Trails for Greater Visibility
Agility Platform creates an audit trail of all user actions, workload events, and policy events to ensure visibility of managed systems and applications. Further visibility can be achieved by collecting system and application logs. Auditors, compliance teams, and operations gain complete visibility into these trails and events through standards-based logging and interoperability with security information and event management (SIEM) systems or other analytics platforms. This level of auditability and visibility is a key safety system needed for cloud acceleration.
By orchestrating and automating security and governance tools across hybrid clouds, Agility Platform provides enterprises with a sustainable vehicle to address many of their cloud security and governance challenges. Agility Platform accelerates the business by enabling IT to deliver self-service, on-demand cloud-based service portfolios while maintaining and enhancing existing safety systems and offering the opportunity to invest in new ones.