Automating cyber security in the cloud
Many organisations face challenges of maintaining and managing the security of their on-premises infrastructure.
That was the word from Jabu Sibanyoni, head of solutions architecture for Sub-Saharan Africa at Amazon Web Services (AWS), speaking at the ITWeb Security Summit 2023 this week.
During his presentation titled 'How to elevate your security in the cloud', Sibanyoni said that in an on-premises environment, it can be difficult for organisations to know what resources and data are out there at any given time, where it is moving, and who is utilising or accessing it.
“For example, it requires complex tooling to get an accurate, real-time asset inventory in an on-premises environment,” he said. “Most organisations just don’t have the level of visibility that they would like in an on-premises environment. And, without visibility, it is challenging for organisations to adequately secure their infrastructure and their data to meet their security and compliance requirements.”
The low degree of automation is also a problem in terms of maintaining and managing on-premises infrastructure, he said.
“Another typical challenge is trying to get rid of the manual processes employed to remediate issues. Think of copying and pasting information from one tool to another, or manually applying patches. It’s been difficult to automate key security tasks due to issues such as the interoperability of the third-party and home-grown tools.”
He pointed out that manual processes tend to lead to inconsistent execution, longer wait times to address all systems, and in most cases this disrupts the customer experience.
“So, the goal of automation is to programmatically handle tasks that would otherwise be done manually by IT staff. This is much easier in the cloud.”
Without visibility, it is challenging for organisations to adequately secure their infrastructure.Jabu Sibanyoni, AWS
He explained that the combination of limited visibility into their own environment and a low degree of automation compromises an organisation’s ability to move quickly and effectively secure their on-premises infrastructure.
Sibanyoni said traditionally organisations have been forced into a binary trade off – either move quickly or stay secure. Due to the overly manual security processes, information security is often forced to slow things down to 'human-speed'.
“Today, it is possible to automate many of the basic security tasks, like patching, and with the right tooling, to gain the visibility needed to accurately identify and monitor critical assets and data.
“With the cloud, all of this is made easier, so you can stay agile while maintaining and, in many cases, improving security. By providing highly integrated logging and monitoring as well as integrated tools to automate core security functions, organisations can use platforms such as AWS to innovate quickly and maintain their security posture.”