Organizations are rapidly adopting public cloud services like Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace Clouds etc., so as to extend business agility, scalability and cost efficiency. The advantages provided by the public cloud will no longer be ignored as competitive pressures accelerate mainstream business adoption. But, relinquishing control over sensitive data might place companies at risk of an inadequate data security compliance audit or the consequences of a data breach. These security concerns and increased risks are the leading obstacles to public cloud adoption.
All public cloud providers go along with the “shared responsibility model”, where cloud providers would provide a guarantee for the security of their own infrastructure, but can't assure guarantee for the security of client information. companies attempting to shift traditional data center security models to the public cloud would find it difficult and ineffective approach as cloud providers typically use proprietary infrastructure & transposition tools.
So if businesses need advantages of public cloud adoption, a straightforward and efficient means for enterprises to secure workloads and scale back risk is required and that is accomplished with the invent of Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP)
Gartner definition: “CWPP is defined by host-centric solutions that target the unique requirements of server workload protection in modern hybrid data center architectures”
Cloud Workload Protection Platforms
Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP) is a tool that automates security for public cloud workloads, enabling business agility, risk reduction, and cost efficiency for organizations whereas easing DevOps and administrative burdens. Automated security policy enforcement is enabled with the elastic protection of public cloud workloads, rapid discovery, and visibility, thus protecting applications from unknown exploits.
Key advantages of Cloud Workload Protection Platforms are:
- Visibility and control for Public Cloud Workloads
- Elastic Security for Dynamic Cloud Infrastructure
- Mitigate Risk related to Public Cloud Adoption
1. Visibility and control for Public Cloud Workloads
Illegitimate usage of public cloud resources may be a major risk for companies that need strict rules for data privacy and sensitive data leakage. Hence, companies would need a simple way to discover and control the risky behavior of the workloads, like employees sharing intellectual property via cloud applications or DevOps running unprotected workloads on public cloud infrastructure.
CWPP provides the subsequent visibility and control features:
- Discovery of non-compliant workloads or servers
- Accurate visualization of computing, software inventory, and networking topology across multiple public cloud service providers
- Security status and level of protection visibility for each public cloud workload
- Continuous visibility of threats and vulnerability scores for public cloud deployments
- Visual topology map of all workloads and servers including security status along with alerts for potential attacks
2. Elastic Security for Dynamic Workloads
Security responsibilities are essentially shifted from public cloud providers to public cloud customers with the shared responsibility model. However, CWPP provides a simple approach for organizations to induce benefits from the public cloud whereas maintaining security and retaining audit controls.
CWPP automatically applies security and monitoring policies to any or all new workloads as they're rolled up or rolled down, in response to auto-scale events, along with that Automatic workload protection is delivered by enabling DevOps/SecDevOps to produce security controls into application deployment work-flows with proper integration of API's
CWPP provides the subsequent security features:
- Cloud-native integration provides security that may be deployed and scaled automatically with workloads with the assistance of intelligent and customizable rule-sets
- Blocking of attack chain in all stages is provided by proper segmentation of workload resources.
- Access to file, process, and network activities are controlled by Application isolation to lock down applications, operating systems and configuration data
- Real-time file integrity and user activity monitoring are often designed to discover and actively stop unauthorized activities or potential data breach attempts
- Recommendation engine that unceasingly monitors for trigger points indicating recompilation of the protection services in place
3. Mitigate Risk related to Public Cloud Adoption
Enterprises are concerned that public cloud adoption would possibly increase their risk of doing business securely. Therefore, the increased risk remains the primary barrier to public cloud adoption. With the assistance of Cloud Workload Protection Platforms, the risk may be sufficiently mitigated by deploying robust security and monitoring controls on sensitive public cloud workloads.
CWPP provides these features that facilitate risk mitigation to mitigate risks related to the public cloud adoption:
- Proper recommendations for protection and detection of any changes that would violate a specified security policy is provided with the assistance of Context-aware workload monitoring
- It helps in instantly updating and applying security policies to prevent workload resources from both known and unknown exploits
- Real-time monitoring provides assurance of effective security controls to security and audit groups
Every major technology shift presents major challenges in implementation and security. Corporations, that solve these difficulties first, can stand out in the market to induce benefits from early mover advantages. Cloud service providers have majorly resolved implementation issues by providing cloud-Compute resources as readily expendable, pay-as-you-go services. However, the present barriers in solving the public cloud security challenges are the shortage of cloud-native solutions and shared responsibility model.
Cloud Workload Protection Platforms resolve this biggest problem, therefore preventing corporations from trusting the security of Public cloud workloads, by automating security for public cloud workloads. CWPP provides a straightforward and cost-effective approach for enterprises to secure mission-critical applications and workloads, unlocking all the advantages of public cloud adoption.
Authored By - Rajesh Rao
TCS Cyber Security Practice