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Cloud security uncertainty: Do you know where your data is?


How well are security leaders sleeping at night? According to a recent Gigamon report, it appears that many cyber professionals are restless and worried.

In the report, 50% of IT and security leaders surveyed lack confidence in knowing where their most sensitive data is stored and how it’s secured. Meanwhile, another 56% of respondents say undiscovered blind spots being exploited is the leading concern making them restless.

The report reveals the ongoing need for improved cloud and hybrid cloud security. Solutions to reveal blind spot vulnerabilities are urgently necessary as well.

Strong cloud and hybrid cloud security strategy needed

The worries exposed in the Gigamon report aren’t due to an active imagination on the part of cyber pros. Attacks are bombarding the security front lines. The report cites that 90% of those surveyed have suffered a data breach in the last 18 months.

As per the report, many IT and security teams lack critical visibility across data in motion from on-premises to the cloud. And they may not acknowledge these blind spots precisely because they can’t see them.

To manage a cohesive hybrid, multi-cloud security program, teams clearly need to establish visibility and control. This means integrating the appropriate controls, orchestrating workload deployment and establishing effective threat management.

Some solutions involve both cloud-native security controls and secure-by-design methodology. Furthermore, security orchestration and automation should be established to beef up protection further.

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Where’s your data?

The continued struggle with data location has also been impacted by regulatory action. For example, the GDPR requires that users’ personal data and privacy be adequately protected by organizations that gather, process and store that data.

All this has given rise to concerns about data residency (data must be stored where it’s collected), data localization (data must remain in a specific place) and data sovereignty (rights and control over data based on jurisdiction).

However, cloud data residency is complicated by how cloud resources are deployed and used. For example, with dynamic cloud provisioning, resources are allocated upon demand, which can increase the attack surface. Furthermore, transient microservices in the cloud can result in data access and movement that is hard to detect and monitor.

Given these concerns, how can a security pro get any rest at all?

Know your data’s whereabouts

Ensuring data residency relies on two critical capabilities: localization and compliance monitoring. Localization technology detects the whereabouts of data, its copies and any movement within the cloud. Compliance monitoring technology centralizes, analyzes and reports on the adherence of cloud environments to regulatory requirements.

A Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) platform offers these capabilities by enhancing visibility into user activities and behavioral risks, aiding organizations in regulatory compliance. DSPM identifies the location of data and its copies stored in the cloud. DSPM also tracks data flows to and from cloud resources that may pose security risks.

Exposing data blind spots

What about those blind spots keeping security teams up at night? Attack Surface Management (ASM) can help by continuously monitoring IT infrastructure to detect blind spots and remediate potential points of attack.

This may involve deploying network monitoring tools capable of inspecting encrypted traffic, implementing cloud-native security controls and integrating cloud SIEM systems to correlate security events across on-premises and cloud environments.

Additionally, organizations should regularly assess their attack surface and adjust security measures accordingly to adapt to evolving threats and infrastructure changes.

The four core processes in attack surface management include:

  1. Asset discovery: Automatically scans for entry points. Assets include computers, IoT devices, databases, shadow IT and third-party SaaS apps.
  2. Classification and prioritization: Assigns a risk score based on the probability of attackers targeting each asset. Teams can categorize the risks and establish a plan of action to fix issues.
  3. Remediation: Involves fixing issues with operating system patches, debugging or enhancing data encryption.
  4. Monitoring: Continuous scanning for new vulnerabilities and remediating attack vectors in real time.

Security teams want peace of mind. Solutions such as cloud security strategy services and attack surface management just might help them rest a bit easier.

The post Cloud security uncertainty: Do you know where your data is? appeared first on Security Intelligence.

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