Managing Cloud Data Security: Why a Unified Cloud Security Platform is Best

Cloud, Cloud Data Security, Cloud Security

Written by Lara White

In today’s speed-of-light information economy, flexibility, agility, and speed of innovation have become key to business competitiveness and business success.shutterstock_235467481 Few technologies enable flexibility, agility, and speed of innovation like the cloud does. Enterprises no longer have to invest months or years of time and labor, or massive amounts of capital, into developing applications and building out infrastructure for every new technology initiative: in the cloud, servers and services can be spun up on a dime, empowering organizations to respond rapidly to changing needs and market conditions. But as cloud adoption increases, so do the challenges of managing cloud data security and compliance.

Compliance and data protection concerns are in fact the top barriers for cloud adoption, as you’ll learn in CipherCloud’s recently released Global Cloud Data Security Report for Q1 of 2015. Infrastructure security is losing relevance in the cloud era, since an enterprise’s on-premise security infrastructure cannot protect data beyond the perimeter. And the more an organization makes use of the cloud, the more its data ends up in the cloud. When that data is sensitive in nature or legally protected, it must be secured from end to end in order to mitigate the risks of disastrous data breaches like those that have hit Target, Home Depot, and Sony in the past two years.

End-to-end cloud data security is often easier said than done in organizations with multiple public cloud investments. Each application must be actively monitored and periodically audited and all sensitive data not only protected through encryption or other technologies, but also controlled with policy-based tools and mechanisms like DLP, often requiring extensive backend configuration. In a multi-cloud environment, these protection, monitoring, auditing, and control demands can quickly add up, becoming too unwieldy to manage.

It’s in that state of “too unwieldy to manage” that mistakes happen and vulnerabilities or compliance violations slip through the cracks.

Solving the cloud data security problem in a multi-cloud environment demands a single platform to unify the protections, controls, and visibility and monitoring activities that must be applied to each cloud service or application. Using a cloud security platform to manage multiple cloud applications enables administrators to monitor, audit, and control users’ cloud activities from a single point of contact, significantly reducing the risk that suspicious activities or policy or compliance violations go unnoticed.

Using a cloud security platform to manage all of the enterprise’s cloud data security needs will also provide the benefit of consistent policy enforcement across all enterprise cloud deployments. Requiring administrators to manually configure and deploy data privacy and security policies for each individual cloud application is not only time-consuming but increases the potential for human error, and inconsistently applied rules and policies open the door to breaches, leaks, and compliance violations. A single platform that pushes policies out across all the business’s clouds ensures that data is equally protected across all clouds. Additionally, having a single point of contact streamlines the process of applying application-specific controls, such as additional data protection and restrictions or DLP measures on clouds hosted in higher-risk regions. Finally, using a cloud security platform to secure data in multiple clouds allows enterprises to maintain centralized control over the encryption keys associated with their clouds.

The more distributed and diverse an organization’s cloud adoption becomes, the more the organization needs a single platform to manage its cloud data security. Even simple mistakes can lead to major disasters, and few businesses have the resources to cope with those disasters when they happen.

Want to learn more about the cloud data security challenges facing the enterprise in 2015? Download our new report today.