The past couple years have highlighted the need for organizations to put in place processes that enable employees to work in a hybrid work-office environment.
While there are very real benefits to enabling remote work, one of the major challenges is ensuring security.
Even in the best of times, protecting the security of your infrastructure and web applications requires diligence. In this new reality, having the right infrastructure, policies, and security measures in place needs to be at the forefront of everything an organization does.
Areas of focus
Every organization is different, with varying needs when it comes to security, but in general, every enterprise needs to address these challenges:
Supporting hybrid work
Increasing the diversity of endpoints accessing a network
Implementing threat detection and response across multiple platforms
Navigating the complexities of rolling out new security controls
Mitigating the risk of bad actors exploiting vulnerabilities
Optimizing network to prevent lateral movements
For organization’s that are strictly on premises, these challenges require a constant and dedicated team (or trusted third party) to handle them.
In the cloud, however, the major providers each have an array of sophisticated tools that both ease the burden on organizations in managing security and reduce overall costs.
Concerns about the cloud
When an organization is considering the move to the cloud, there are some common concerns we often hear.
Concerns like losing control over who can access sensitive information, losing visibility into attacks, managing a patchwork of security products effectively, and so on.
While these are certainly justifiable concerns, the major cloud providers have invested billions to alleviate them. Microsoft Azure, for example, has a suite of robust tools available to users that are designed to streamline overall security without overwhelming them on the technical front.
Among those tools are:
- Azure Active Directory, which makes it easy for organizations to build a Zero Trust foundation
- Microsoft Defender for modernizing security and defending against threats
- Azure Network Security for security in hybrid or multi-cloud environments
- Azure Purview to manage governance of sensitive data
Not only do these tools help create a solid backbone for enterprise security, their integration within Azure is often much more cost-effective compared to implementing and managing similar measures internally.
Securing the office
A good way to think of your organization’s security is to think of your own offices.
The doors, key cards your employees may use, and windows for daylight are your infrastructure. The entrance to your offices is your web applications—access to the outside world.
Just as you wouldn’t leave your doors and windows open, your infrastructure needs to be locked and only accessible to those approved for entry. And much like your entrance has strict rules, such as hours of operation, your web applications need to only be available for their intended use.
In this analogy, security tools like the ones from Microsoft Azure mentioned earlier, are the locks, alarms, cameras, and on duty guards in your offices. Your organization’s data and applications in the cloud are locked down so that only those with the right credentials can access them.
Playing offense and defense
Beyond the best-in-class security tools available from cloud providers, there are measures your organization can take to greatly limit risk.
One is to conduct (or work with a third party like Redapt to conduct) penetration testing on your infrastructure and applications. This process involves replicating certain actions that cyberattackers would likely take to bypass security.
The other is regular vulnerability assessments (sometimes called vulnerability scans) to discover potential weaknesses in internal systems and external perimeter devices, such as laptops and smartphones—particularly important with the rise of remote work.
The benefits of these additional security measures far outweigh the cost of conducting them, especially when paired with the integrated tools from cloud providers like Microsoft Azure.
Of course, no amount of security planning and implementation will be 100% foolproof. Just like some enterprising burglar may find a way into your offices despite all the locks and cameras and guards, bad actors are constantly finding new ways to access infrastructure and applications illegally.
But by taking a proactive approach to how you secure and monitor the infrastructure and applications that drive your business, you can greatly reduce your organization’s risk and, if an attack does occur, ensure your ability to quickly recover.
To learn more about how Redapt can help you ensure your infrastructure and applications are safe and secure, reach out to one of our experts today.
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