The Key Components of a Multi-Cloud Security Architecture
A multi-cloud deployment distributes workloads, data, and applications across multiple public cloud providers. It may include SaaS (software as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), and traditional cloud hosting services. Ideally, centralized orchestration efficiently manages workloads and creates a seamless, unified environment for developers and end-users.
A multi-cloud security architecture consists of all the tools and practices that protect a multi-cloud deployment. This article breaks down the key components that contribute to a more secure multi-cloud environment.
Key Components of a Multi-Cloud Security Architecture
A comprehensive multi-cloud security architecture includes:
Zero Trust Security
Zero trust security is a combination of policies, processes, and tools that are based on the foundational principle of “never trust, always verify.” Zero trust protects multi-cloud architectures with highly specific security policies and controls, custom-tailored to each cloud environment. Access privileges are limited through role-based access control (RBAC). Trust is continuously assessed using monitoring tools like user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to detect suspicious behavior that might indicate an account is compromised.
Many multi-cloud security breaches are caused by configuration mistakes during deployments and updates – in other words, human error. You can reduce the risk of human error using automated configuration management tools, allowing you to define a cloud environment's desired (secure) state. The solution then continuously monitors the cloud environment and automatically corrects the configuration if it drifts away from that state.
In a multi-cloud security architecture, automation is also used for security monitoring, threat modeling, and incident remediation. Some advanced security solutions use AI and machine learning to deliver smarter and more efficient automation capabilities with fewer false-positives.
Another way to reduce the risk of human error is through training. The exact kind of training will depend on the individual’s role in using, maintaining, or otherwise interacting with the multi-cloud security architecture. Some examples include:
- How to securely configure, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot each cloud environment.
- The correct way to manage cloud passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) devices.
- How to spot phishing attempts and other social engineering attacks.
- What to do if they suspect their account is compromised or they’ve noticed other suspicious activity.
When your environment includes multiple cloud platforms, each of which provides different monitoring tools and capabilities, it can be challenging to maintain adequate visibility into each cloud. Getting a big-picture overview of the entire multi-cloud architecture is even more difficult. A comprehensive multi-cloud security architecture should include centralized monitoring that collects logs and data from all your clouds and stores them in one place. With the right dashboards, analytics, and visualization tools, you get a holistic view of your entire multi-cloud environment, improving your security posture.
Software security flaws are a leading cause of cloud breaches, so finding and fixing vulnerabilities before release day is critical to multi-cloud security. The DevSecOps methodology embeds security testing into the DevOps pipeline, helping software teams detect and remediate vulnerabilities early in development. The result is a more streamlined development cycle, faster releases, and more secure multi-cloud software.
Multi-cloud deployments provide numerous benefits for DevOps teams, including cost-efficiency, redundancy and reliability, and greater vendor choice. Building a multi-cloud security architecture with the right tools, policies, and practices will help you take advantage of these benefits without increasing risk.