Cloud adoption has become widespread as organizations increasingly embrace cloud technology as part of their digital transformation.
This shift towards cloud-native software is driven by the need to provide a seamless and responsive user experience at scale and with access to data processing, high availability, zero-downtime updates, machine learning, and AI-powered insights.
To ensure compliance with applicable regulations such as SOC 2, PCI 4.0, or CMMC, compliant organizations must codify controls and regulations into their cloud infrastructure to allow for automated compliance enforcement.
The cloud has emerged as a key tool for digital transformation in businesses of all sizes. An expansive cloud marketplace full of easy-to-use cloud services, combined with deep cloud discounts for enterprises and efficiencies that improve scalability, have driven the rapid adoption of cloud computing by companies across the globe.
According to Forbes' 2020 research report, cloud usage is growing exponentially; 62% percent of surveyed enterprises already run more than half of their workloads on the cloud, while nearly 94% of establishments use cloud services as of November 2022. This remarkable and continuing trend means organizations must consider maintaining appropriate security policies to capitalize on these disruptive technologies and maximize their potential benefits.
As cloud usage increases, so does the need for an effective cloud security strategy, including improving detection and analysis capabilities, establishing secure access controls and processes, and implementing proactive policies around data breach response. As organizations become ever more reliant on cloud services, it becomes critical for them to invest in scalable security controls that can protect their data and the company's reputation from any form of malicious attack or software vulnerability.
The Advantages of Moving to a Cloud-Native Operating Model
As organizations move away from traditional static infrastructure models and towards cloud-native operating models, they open up new pathways to streamlining operations, improving security, and enhancing scalability.
Automation simplifies processes throughout the development cycle, allowing faster deployments and improved team collaboration.
Identity-based authentication allows administrators to securely manage user access levels while maintaining compliance standards and helps ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information.
Additionally, the elasticity of cloud services enables organizations to adjust resources quickly based on changing needs or demands. This ensures that they can scale their solutions up or down depending on their current usage patterns, with minimal disruption or downtime.
By adopting cloud-native technologies, organizations can take advantage of these benefits while minimizing costs and improving overall efficiency.
Provisioning Cloud-Native Pipelines
With cloud computing now ubiquitous, organizations need a cloud-native pipeline to manage automation and security challenges associated with supporting multiple cloud environments or services.
Cloud-native pipeline shifts away from dedicated servers provisioned through homogenous infrastructure sets towards automation-based operations that let organizations "shift left" and provide capacity on demand.
This shift left operations has many advantages, such as running cloud workloads in multiple environments and automatically scaling up or down resources as needed in response to changing needs.
As cloud technology evolves, cloud-native pipelines will become even more crucial for managing cloud resources quickly and easily.
Shifting IT Operations Left
Traditional approaches to preventing IT infractions are based on the idea that IT is the gatekeeper to infrastructure, as compliance with policies and standards for security purposes becomes important for cloud-native environments.
A policy may not always be codified and relies on tribal knowledge within an IT team.
Organizations often take a least common denominator approach to cloud security enforcement, assuming that cloud infrastructure only faces certain risks. Because of this assumption, these risks are checked against during scanning, leaving unique open vectors for cloud infrastructure customization.
To effectively secure cloud networks and data, organizations must go beyond the least common denominator and automate decision-making throughout the cloud's life cycle while maintaining stakeholder visibility into policy and security outcomes. This approach allows organizations to make informed decisions regarding cloud security that protect their users' data while taking full advantage of cloud-native features, ensuring organizational cloud security remains robust across the board. Ultimately, when cloud security is automated with visibility into policy and outcomes at all times, organizations can be confident that their cloud data is safe and secure.
PaC addresses cloud compliance and management with an automation platform that enforces policies within the provisioning workflow to reduce risk through proactive policy enforcement, manage costs, and increase productivity through automation.
PaC is an automation approach that helps policy owners to define policies using code.
Using automation, policy owners can optimize their policies to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Each policy is tested against the PaC plan before full implementation, resulting in a production workload that complies with necessary regulations. This automation also allows for the creation of reliable controls and security measures.
Additionally, PaC offers preventative control, ensuring that potential issues are addressed proactively before they become costly problems. In short, PaC provides policy owners with an automated solution for confidently instilling best practices and attaining compliance across all necessary regulations.
Development teams that use PaC benefit from integrated workflow integrations with their existing DevOps tools. With PaC, teams can version and iterate on their infrastructure configurations using best practices from software engineering while automatically applying changes after approval through a code repository stored security by GitHub or Bitbucket.
PaC allows developers to track their infrastructure changes over time in a more secure and organized environment and prevents vendor lock-in by abstracting vendor-specific such as Terraform and ARM and instead defining business needs in a format owned by the organization.
PaC makes it easier for development teams to keep up with ever-changing requirements and adapt quickly to new environments without compromising security or performance.
Furthermore, since all the configuration and business rules are defined in vendor-agnostic YAML files, developers can create custom templates for their projects that take advantage of the existing library of inner-sourced configuration snippets to construct complex deployments quickly.
Developers gain greater control over their changes while eliminating any potential risks associated with manual changes or failing to apply them correctly.
Cloud-native pipelines represent an essential shift towards cloud-automation-based operations. By leveraging cloud-native pipeline technologies, organizations can reduce up-front investments by provisioning cloud resources on demand. Automation also helps ensure compliance with cloud encryption standards and deployment of secure cloud-based software.
Development teams must adjust accordingly to build an organization-wide cloud-native pipeline for delivering cloud-based apps with automation and security at the forefront. Doing so requires deep knowledge of cloud technology, agile processes for rapid delivery times, and robust security measures to protect software supply chains and business data in the cloud environment.
The advantages of moving to a cloud-native operating model include automation simplifying processes throughout the development cycle, identity-based authentication allowing administrators to securely manage user access levels while maintaining compliance standards, and elasticity of cloud services enabling organizations to adjust resources quickly based on changing needs or demands.
Pipeline-as-Code provides a valuable automation layer across the cloud-native pipeline that further simplifies management operations while optimizing product and program initiatives.