Having a multi-cloud environment is standard practice.

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In 2023, 94% of enterprises, 79% of small businesses, and 84% of mid-sized companies said they adopted multi-cloud environments.

Regardless of the operation size, a single cloud provider doesn’t have all the capabilities the company needs for its workloads. It always needs to add more cloud components — sourced from other vendors.

As a result, companies kept introducing more versatile cloud components, making cybersecurity that needs to follow these changes even more complex.

The larger the enterprise, the more components are added and the more difficult it is to keep track of it as well as thoroughly protect it against hacking.

For example, errors in cloud configurations have been one of the common vulnerabilities. Different providers tend to have versatile configuration needs.

More cloud components also meant that data would be shared across versatile clouds — affecting its overall visibility.

Then, there is a growing number of cyberattacks that target cloud environments. Hackers are interested in cloud assets because they seek sensitive and personal user data.

Therefore, there is a lot to think about when setting up cybersecurity for multi-cloud environments.

Here, we break down key cloud application security layers for strong security. These are the six basic capabilities that your multi-cloud cybersecurity needs in 2024.

Web Application Firewall

Web Application Firewall (WAF) is the cornerstone of cloud application security. WAF’s main functionality is monitoring HTTP traffic exchanged between the app and the internet. With it, it blocks malicious activity and the latest cyber attacks right at the gate.

Then, it centralizes cybersecurity for once-disconnected cloud components. For companies, that means that they have more visibility as they configure cloud components and can apply uniform rules across the entire multi-cloud infrastructure.

That is, you can use the third-party cloud without worrying about undiscovered flaws and hacking threats.

Some exploits that WAF functionality prevents are:

  • Top 10 OWASP vulnerabilities (e.g. SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS))
  • Sensitive data exposure
  • Zero-day attacks and known vulnerabilities

Advanced Bot Protection

Sophisticated advanced bot protection prevents automated attacks that use bots to compromise the cloud. It uses good bots to fight bad bots — to block malicious software on time.

Automated bot attacks usually follow a script to attempt versatile unauthorized activities on vulnerable networks and applications.

Hackers might utilize bots to gain illicit access to the system, perform DDoS attacks, or get their hands on confidential data.

Advanced bot protection stops the hackers from using bad bots for:

  • Account takeover 
  • Online fraud
  • Competitive price scraping
  • Versatile automated bot threats depicted in OWASP

Client-Side Protection

Client-side security is focused on vulnerable code that might get sensitive data right into a hacker’s hands. It increases the visibility of the code for security teams and allows them more control over it.

For example, it can uncover vulnerable third-party JavaScript code and hacking exploits that try to compromise the supply chain from the client side.

Ultimately, it prevents data breaches for companies that rely on websites with third-party code.

It monitors services at all times to let the teams know if there are signs of risky JavaScript code.

Attacks that client-side security can prevent are:

  • Digital skimming
  • Formjacking
  • Data breaches
  • Phishing attempts

Runtime Protection

Runtime security, also known as runtime application self-protection (RASP), is focused on improving security for cloud-powered applications.

RASP aids companies in fixing vulnerabilities, detecting hacking that relies on both known zero-day exploits and continually strengthening security. This is done without affecting the performance of the app.

It guards an app in real-time to block the signs of known attacks or notify the teams of possible zero-day attacks before they turn into major hacking incidents.

Some hacks that runtime protection is designed to prevent are:

  • Software supply chain attacks
  • Zero-day exploits
  • Clickjacking
  • OWASP Top 10 weaknesses

DDoS Protection

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming more common because of their low price. Also, with the rise of complex cloud environments, hackers have more assets to target with DDoS exploits.

The main objective of DDoS attacks can be to make the service inaccessible or to make it frustrating to use.

DDoS protection specializes in the detection of traffic overload attempts on cloud-based apps. It monitors the entire application layer to stop malicious traffic in time.

As the name says, DDoS protection is primarily concerned with blocking Distributed Denial of Service attacks that can slow down cloud-based applications as well as websites or make them unusable.

API Cybersecurity

The number of APIs grows at a rapid pace within modern organizations. This increases the chance that API will be exploited by threat actors.

API security includes the discovery of all the APIs within the application — whether they are shadow, public, or private. Also, this component is used to find, classify, and protect sensitive data from exploits at all times.

It’s based on machine learning and automated to update all the changes because it’s no longer possible to track all the APIs manually.

The types of hacking API security can prevent include:

  • API injection attacks
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks
  • Security misconfiguration
  • Attempts at unauthorized access

Robust Cloud Application Security on One Platform

Multi-clouds face versatile hacking threats — including supply chain attacks, DDoS, and client-side exploits. 

To protect against common hacks, companies continue to add security points to cover every corner of the cloud. A large number of siloed security points can be challenging to manage.

To avoid more security complexities, companies choose multi-faceted cloud application security options that are condensed into one platform.

What should you look for when choosing comprehensive security for your cloud environment?

Ensure your chosen tool includes all of the capabilities above — WAF, sophisticated bot protection, client-side, runtime, DDoS, and API security.

That will increase visibility into your cloud and help your security team defend it against the latest cyber attacks typical to this environment.

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