Cloud security has become paramount amid the rapid adoption of cloud infrastructure and the push for more cloud-based services. However, the challenges of maintaining top-notch security at all times are taking a huge toll on enterprises. According to PwC’s 2023 Global Digital Trust Insights, 75% percent of security leaders find their cybersecurity systems and tech stacks too complex and costly to operate. This is spurring businesses to partner with cloud security optimization services, particularly to successfully implement and elevate zero trust models.  

At least 36% of CISOs, who spoke to PwC, said they have begun to implement components of zero trust, while 25% said they would start their zero trust project in the next two years. Leaders believe that adopting a zero trust model as part of their partnership with cloud optimization service experts is the best approach to simplifying security. Leading analysts predict that global spending on zero trust security software and solutions will grow from $27.4 billion in 2022 to $60.7 billion by 2027, attaining a CAGR of 17.3%.  

The zero trust approach to cloud security optimization services, explained 

In 2008, John Kindervag, an analyst at Forrester Research, began exploring approaches to fortify security on the network perimeter. He noticed that the predominant security model believed that everything external to the perimeter was classified as untrustworthy, while the other side of the firewall was “trusted”. This inherent “always trust” approach let too many unchecked or malicious internal actors into accounts, which led to data breaches. Two years later, he published his groundbreaking report, ‘No More Chewy Centers: The Zero trust Model of Information Security’, which popularized the ‘never trust, always verify’ approach in cloud security optimization services.  

Adopting the earlier model would mean giving users easy access through standard validation. This put immense faith in endpoint security. With the ‘never trust, always verify’ approach, every user is considered a threat and requires ongoing validation. A perimeter breach can easily be identified, located and dealt with when an authentication request fails. This approach is also supported by research, which shows that zero trust reduces the cost of a data breach by about $1 million. 

Kindervag stresses on incremental and simple security, saying enterprises don’t need to protect all surfaces simultaneously, rather, he advises an iterative approach. This is built into the core principles of the zero trust model, which are: 

  • Re-evaluate default access controls 
  • Use multiple measures for protection 
  • Implement real-time and continuous monitoring 
  • Align to approach to broader security strategies 

Crafting a cloud optimization strategy with zero trust principles 

Continuous monitoring is a critical component when implementing zero trust architecture. It refers to monitoring, controlling, auditing and managing user activity across IT systems, networks and devices in real time. Continuous helps identify a baseline of user behavior, so deviations from this pattern can help the system trigger security alerts warning against potential threats, malicious attacks or noncompliance. Businesses can further use this data and zero trust solutions to build automated alerts and AI-suggested remediations. This forms the foundation of cloud security optimization services.  

A major chemical manufacturer was struggling with implementing continuous monitoring of its Azure cloud, particularly its Azure Kubernetes Service. The manufacturer complained of several issues including unavailability of a critical application for 30 minutes during AKS update. The company was looking to fix an AKS vulnerability and reduce turnaround time. It was also looking to achieve cloud resource optimization as part of its cloud optimization strategy.  

Aspire’s cloud experts fixed the AKS vulnerability, reducing downtime. The team also provided cloud server support, implemented function app for SP expire notification, troubleshooted technical issues reported by development, handling their AAD, AD and all Azure services, monitoring the AKS and updating the node image. They also created alerts for when pod restarts, updated Prism defender to improve image scanning and modified client’s webapp access. The team also removed unused storage accounts and app service plans. Benefits imparted include: 

  • Reduced application unavailability during AKS update from 30 mins to 10 mins 
  • Remediated AKS vulnerability  
  • Modified webapp access  
  • Increased customer base and satisfaction 
  • Automatic alerts for the product team and CPT 
  • Improved image scanning with upgraded prism defender 

Also Read about: The cost of a cloud security breach: What you stand to lose & how a detailed cloud strategy can fill these gaps

Cloud optimization services for enhanced security 

Businesses must nurture a culture of cloud security optimization since users play a critical role in fortifying security. It is essential that users are educated about best practices, potential threats and how to recognize phishing attempts. This also helps ensure device trustworthiness as users are more vigilant when it comes to updating security patches, running antivirus software and ensuring the device complies with security policies. Aspire Systems has vast experience with devising and implementing a security-first cloud optimization strategy. All our offerings from cloud transformation services to cloud optimization services and cloud managed services are driven by DevOps and automation for improved efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction and increased reliability. A trusted technology partner for several Fortune 500 companies, Aspire can empower your business to thrive in a secure and optimized cloud environment.