With the rate at which workloads are deployed in the cloud and the number of people that can deploy at the same time, speed is key when it comes to cloud security posture management. Cloud security solutions offer a way for businesses to be more secure, efficient, and strategic in their use of cloud computing—regardless of the cloud providers or services they choose.
Most customers turn to their cloud service provider to see what security capabilities are available natively. Over the last few years, cloud providers have been increasing their capabilities, but even with how far they've come, they can’t meet every customer’s needs. The tools customers will find are like those found inside a toolbox—they're all good by themselves, but the user has to figure out how to make them all work together to get the job done. We dive deeper into this topic in our article: Are Public Cloud Providers' Native Security Tools Enough to Keep Your Environment Secure?
This is especially true for organizations that operate in more than one cloud environment, or are planning to in the future. The last thing you want is to have to use (or pay for) disparate tools for each environment. With a cloud security solution that supports multiple environments, you can avoid vendor lock-in and have the flexibility and benefit of choice.
Cloud security solution checklist
When looking for a cloud security solution to meet your needs, you should consider the following checklist of questions:
- Does the solution support multiple public clouds, such as AWS, Azure, and GCP?
- Can you manage multiple accounts across multiple cloud providers?
- Can you control who has access to different features and functionalities of the solution?
- Does the solution provide out-of-the-box support for security and compliance standards like CIS, NIST, PCI etc.? Can you create customizable policies and compliance controls?
- Can the tool detect security vulnerabilities in real-time? Can it also provide real-time alerts and notifications?
- How does the solution handle exceptions?
- How long does the tool store information and data?
- Can the solution identify relationships between cloud objects and services?
- Can you visualize and take action on security violations according to severity? Can this be customized?
- Does the solution have the ability to execute actions automatically without requiring write privileges? Can you set up approval and authorization workflows?
- Can you audit changes and track progress developers are making by resolving security violations across cloud accounts?
- Does the solution support third-party integrations?
- What functionality is available via API? Does the vendor provide API and supporting documentation?
- Is the tool easy to use? Does the vendor provide support, documentation, and or dedicated resources?
- How often are new updates or enhancements released? How are these communicated?
Additional considerations for cloud security posture management
Done properly, cloud security solutions enable businesses to establish a strong and unified cloud security posture without inhibiting the speed and productivity of the business. For would-be buyers, the decision hinges on how well the product ties into your broader cloud strategy and fits the needs of your business.
It’s also important to clarify that the ideal approach for cloud security posture management does not necessarily entail 100% reliance on one tool over another. In fact, many organizations use third-party platforms alongside their cloud service provider’s native tools as part of a holistic cloud security and compliance practice.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to the number of tools and the amount of manual work your teams will be responsible for in order to manage complex, heterogeneous cloud environments.
CloudHealth Secure State is an intelligent cloud security and compliance monitoring platform that helps organizations reduce risk and protect millions of cloud resources by remediating security violations and scaling best practices at cloud speed. To learn more about CloudHealth Secure State, see our technical report: Mitigating Security and Compliance Risks with CloudHealth Secure State
You can also get in touch with our team of security experts directly! We'd be more than happy to walk you through the platform and answer any questions you may have.