In the digital age that we live in, the cloud permeates just about everything we do. 91 percent of organizations are using cloud computing in some form and, already, many companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of leveraging multiple cloud platforms.

A multicloud environment offers the advantages of high resiliency combined with the agility to adapt quickly to changing digital business requirements. For the foreseeable future, a multicloud strategy is essential for any company wanting not just to survive, but to thrive.

Don't pick one

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According to Gartner, a multicloud strategy will be the common approach taken by 70 percent of enterprises by the end of this year. With this being said, the adoption and execution of a multicloud initiative can be a daunting prospect, and the process itself can be fairly complex. It involves numerous focus areas - automation and orchestration, cloud connectivity, DevOps enablement and, of course, cloud security – all requiring intensive and specified technology, processes and cultural innovation.

When integrating multicloud, companies significantly expand their attack surface, so security posture must be placed firmly at the forefront of their minds. Applying a holistic approach will ensure the agility afforded by adopting multicloud architecture can be safely utilized. As new technologies emerge, the multicloud needs to provide the flexibility to quickly and securely switch from one service to another, regardless of the service’s geography and topology

There are several things to bear in mind when integrating a multicloud architecture. As you’ll be leveraging multiple cloud platforms, it is essential that these cloud platforms are carefully selected, and you have a thorough understanding of the cloud vendors you’ll be working with. Organizations will still be responsible for upholding the company’s part of the shared security model that requires that you understand the accounts and deployment zones where you need visibility to monitor for vulnerabilities.

In a multicloud architecture, it can be easy to lose sight of data and where it resides. Often it’s the case that IT staff may have visibility into individual clouds through cloud-specific tools but are unable to identify or correlate threats to data across multiple cloud platforms. The best way to increase data visibility and secure the multicloud environment is to ensure security capabilities can be managed and orchestrated from within the enterprise through a single point of control. Any security tools that are put in place to secure a business’ IT infrastructure need to seamlessly share security control information, as well as work harmoniously addressing cyber dangers wherever they occur.

Security functionality and enforcement need to work in a uniform manner within any of the cloud environments they have been deployed in. In order to achieve this, the ability to identify information must comply with each of the various cloud infrastructures being used, while security functionality must be similarly delivered over each cloud infrastructure. It's worth remembering that when integrating a multicloud architecture, it’s often the case that third-party, cloud-agnostic security tools best support the relevant combination of clouds being used.

The solutions must not only be able to apply consistent enforcement and controls across the various cloud platforms but do so with the same proven features and functions used to protect the traditional network. By adopting a strategic ‘idea to outcome’ approach, using virtual testing Lab-as–a-Service companies are now able to collaboratively design, build and test these types of innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions prior to deployment.

When it comes to securing the multicloud, it is not a one-off task but an ongoing process that needs ‘mapping out’ and assessing on a regular ‘real-time’ basis. As the infrastructure and software change over time as will the cyber attacks. As technology continues to innovate and evolve and more and more companies are harnessing the benefits of leveraging multicloud platforms, the required integrated security framework needs to allow all security functions to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate between themselves wherever they have been deployed, as well as offering a framework that supports the automation of each and every security operation.

With the right support and a well thought out strategy, a well-designed, secure multicloud architecture can drive digital strategy, accelerate security transformation and move infrastructure modernization forward. It’s important that security challenges are factored into the multicloud strategy from the start and efforts are continuously being made into increasing data visibility and ensuring that the integrated security solutions work together across all cloud platforms. Once this becomes the norm, multicloud architectures can be a great way to aid in the building of cost-efficient, agile infrastructure.