The last few months have been extremely challenging for Australian businesses of all sizes. Many have had to frantically pull together the tools and technology needed to support remote working and provide a positive employee experience.
As a consequence, uptake of public cloud has skyrocketed. Recent ADAPT research with Australian CIOs reveals that half have increased their workloads by over 50% to meet the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.1
Adoption of multi-cloud infrastructure is increasing too. In fact, 90% of businesses in the Asia Pacific region say they already use, or are planning to use, a multi-cloud environment.2
However, this rapid increase in cloud consumption also comes with elements of increased risk – particularly around security and governance. While these risks have always existed, the pace of execution required in recent months means many have been exacerbated. The number of challenges and their complexity often grows in line with the number of cloud platforms that are being used.
For many businesses, it’s now time to take a step back and put the right safeguards in place. These four steps can help:
1. Get the full picture
The first step in protecting your business is working out exactly how, and where, you are exposed when it comes to security and governance.
While individual public cloud providers all have security management tools in place to protect your resources, this alone isn’t enough. To genuinely safeguard your business, you need a comprehensive and overarching view of your multi-cloud environment – so you can see at a glance if you are exposed, and where inefficiencies are occurring.
To be truly effective, any tools that you use to highlight your cloud security risk and governance should be fully customised to your specific workloads and environment – and well as your overall business goals. Ideally, you should be able to mesh historical data with industry best practice, common pitfall data and automation techniques, to create a continuous improvement pipeline.
Identifying security and governance risks in context will enable you to improve your overall security posture, as well as optimise costs and enable more effective, long-term transformation.
2. Put the right security levels in place
One of the great benefits of a multi-cloud environment is that you can allocate certain workloads to certain clouds depending on their required level of security and protection. This means your overall infrastructure will be easier for IT to manage, and you can be more effective at controlling and monitoring costs and risk.
However, it’s extremely important to ensure that you’ve allocated the right workloads to the right cloud environment – and that you continually review this suitability over time. As well as helping ensure you have the right security in place, this can also help you keep a lid on your costs.
Careful thought also needs to be put into which workloads and which data go where – and which critical applications need to be prioritised from a security point of view. You can read more about mitigating your security risk in this blog here.
3. Take an active role
There’s often a belief that public cloud providers will look after the security of your cloud workloads. This is actually a myth. While individual providers’ data centres are physically secured to government standards, online access to your own systems and data is entirely your responsibility. Don’t assume that your cloud provider will automatically keep you protected from ever-changing and expanding security risks.
It’s important that businesses of all sizes take a proactive approach to cloud security, and regularly review any processes and precautions they have in place.
Also, there are several industry-specific regulations that may apply to your business. Remember that public cloud data centres in Australia may well be compliant with these regulations – but securing what’s in them is entirely up to your business.
4. Monitor data sovereignty
Here in Australia, legislation requires that some or all data may only be stored onshore. It may be required that your workloads are provisioned in an Australian data centre – but you also need to ensure your instance backups are not stored at the public cloud provider’s facilities in Asia, America or elsewhere. Doing so could pose significant data sovereignty issues for your business – for which you have ultimate responsibility.
How can Interactive help?
Interactive has the experience and expertise in multi-cloud to help you review your governance and security, and ensure you have the right controls in place. We have managed Australia’s largest private cloud for over a decade, and have in-depth experience in both Azure and AWS environments. Whether you need help developing a business case for multi-cloud, or assistance in managing your multi-cloud environment on an ongoing basis, we can help.