Why multi-cloud key management is the future of enterprise security

To keep the entire enterprise secure against evolving cyber attacks, multi-cloud key management is essential

Security is more important than ever these days, as the rising number of data breaches proves. Cloud computing and containerisation have compounded issues, since company assets are now fragmented across different pieces of infrastructure, challenging security teams’ ability to implement a consistent solution.

Despite these challenges, recent developments have given security teams hope. The rise of multi-cloud key management is a good example of a solution simplifying security implementation in complex environments.

This practice involves using a centralised key management tool to handle encryption keys across every enterprise environment. Organisations retain control of their keys despite the infrastructure sprawl, ensuring consistency and security.

Why businesses should embrace multi-cloudHere’s how your organisation can drive value from multi-cloud infrastructure.

Here are three reasons why multi-cloud key management is essential for modern enterprises.

Consistency in security strategies

The average DevOps team works across multiple environments, constantly pulling data from one and deploying it in another. While this workflow assists fast code shipment, it leaves security in a tough spot. Despite the rise of DevSecOps, implementing security has been challenging in enterprises, since infrastructure sprawl causes security teams to validate security on an ad hoc basis.

For instance, lines of code might pull data from different combinations of sources, making standardisation impossible. The result is time spent reviewing code for security using a mish-mash of manual and automated tools. Multi-cloud key management solves this problem by centralising all keys in one place, giving security teams an overview of any security leaks and risks.

Implementing policies such as key management, rotation frequency, length, and access control, is simple. Tools like Infisical and Doppler are good examples of centralised key management tools that simplify the DevOps workflow.

If a developer has to pull data from two cloud instances, the manual method would need them to update environment variables constantly. However, these tools automate that process, making it easy for developers and security teams to ship code and validate access controls respectively.

Demonstrate compliance

Cybersecurity is highly regulated, given the risks data breaches pose to companies and consumers. As a result, demonstrating compliance and adherence to security standards is critical for companies. Failure to do so might lead to hefty fines.

Infrastructure sprawl adds to an organisation’s security risk. Typically, encryption is one of the most effective ways of reducing this risk. However, enforcing standardised encryption is challenging across cloud environments. For instance, a CSP might enforce different standards from a company’s on-prem policy, leading to different levels of security and compliance.

Such inconsistencies also create the potential for data breaches. A multi-cloud key management tool solves this issue by typing various assets together via an API. For example, Akeyless connects cloud containers and on-prem infrastructure via API and adds additional cryptographic security measures to ensure consistency.

Tools like these plug critical security gaps in CSP security. Typically, a CSP owns security keys, making companies vulnerable in case of a breach. However, multi-cloud key management tools layer an additional level of security protecting company assets at all times.

In the case of Akeyless, the platform uses proprietary Distributed Fragments Cryptography (DFC) technology that fragments encryption keys, guarding them from all entities except authorized ones. As a result, companies retain full control of their secrets in compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.

Solutions like these are valid for enterprises that run DevOps at scale and are shifting security left, without disrupting their release frequencies.

How fast you move data will be key to complianceWhere data resides and how fast you can move it between jurisdictions is going to be crucial if you want to adhere to compliance, says David Trossell.

Deliver secure applications

Security is a product feature as much as anything else currently. Consumers are highly attuned to how their data is processed within an app and will shun anything that does not offer transparency.

Multi-cloud key management assists companies in delivering secure apps by aiding several steps in the CI/CD pipeline. For starters, a centralised key management platform helps DevOps teams and developers save time when encrypting their application data. This process is often troublesome because so many developers lack security training.

As a result, security teams manually assist in the process, delaying shipping times. With a centralised key management platform, developers can rely on validated frameworks to ensure their code is secure and adheres to best practices. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they can quickly upgrade to market best practices, leveraging the vendor’s knowledge.

Another critical area centralised key management assists with is ensuring configuration consistency. When deploying across different environments and pulling data from even more, configuration errors creep into code, giving malicious actors a way into sensitive networks.

Centralised key management gives developers and security teams an overview of their secrets and assets, helping them spot potential problems quickly. These tools work automatically, enabling automated security processes that save time.

SDKs and APIs from key management vendors like AWS Secrets Manager and Azure Key Vault help developers customise processes to suit their needs and tailor app design to suit performance needs.

Multi-cloud key management is critical

Multi-cloud key management might sound like yet another intimidating cybersecurity solution. However, it is critical to enterprise success moving forward since dev environments are set to become more fragmented than ever.

More on multi-cloud security:

How to ensure cloud securityHere’s how you can ensure environment-wide security that can mitigate evolving cyber threats.

Sadie Williamson

Sadie Williamson is the founder of Williamson Fintech Consulting. With over a decade in the fintech arena under her belt, she helps fintech firms to develop custom solutions targeting a variety of verticals. Her...