3 min. read

What is Cloud Security Monitoring?

Cloud use is becoming ubiquitous with cloud-native applications, cloud-based APIs, and multi- and hybrid-cloud environments. Tapping into these modern technologies provides flexibility, cost control, and a competitive edge to organizations, but with additional security risks. Cloud architectures can make monitoring more challenging. In this scenario, cloud security monitoring is crucial to ensure that all virtual and physical environments are continuously supervised and analyzed for security threats and vulnerabilities.

Cloud Security Monitoring Observes Across Virtual and Physical Environments

Cloud security monitoring entails scanning and analyzing cloud-related data, applications, resources, and infrastructure for security weaknesses, misconfigurations, and errors. These vulnerabilities could lead to unauthorized access, breaches, and stolen data.

DevOps and DevSecOps teams use cloud security monitoring as part of their more extensive security and risk management strategy. Doing so ensures an uninterrupted view of all cloud resources, policies, and configurations. With a security-centric view of monitoring, teams can detect threats quickly and reliably and ensure workload processing and uptime. In addition to that, they can maintain compliance and accountability internally, as well as with their cloud service providers. This type of cloud monitoring can compare service-level agreement (SLA) performance targets against real-world metrics, assessing any issues a cyber adversary could leverage.

What Value Does Cloud Security Monitoring Provide?

A component of observability, cloud security monitoring provides needed visibility into the cloud environment with the ability to monitor logs, conduct audits, find and address risks quickly or bring them to a service provider’s attention. In addition to critical security oversight, monitoring supports compliance with regulatory requirements. Lastly, it contributes significantly to overall organizational resiliency and security maturity.

Maintaining an environment-wide view ensures that anomalies or malicious attempts to access applications, servers, API gateways, or breach firewalls are uncovered. That way, mitigation occurs with little-to-no operational downtime. In this way, cloud security monitoring is foundational to business operations.

Critical Cloud Security Monitoring Capabilities

Whether monitoring is provided through a cloud vendor or a third-party solution or service, cloud security monitoring still requires client involvement and oversight. Being involved in cloud monitoring ensures that any option provides the transparency, reporting, and responsiveness needed for business operations.

Here are 10 capabilities that should be table stakes with any cloud service provider or solution.

  • Real-time view of your resources, policies, and inventory changes
  • Consolidated security findings across misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and threats
  • Prioritization of security findings with ranked risk
  • Compliance-related view of misconfigurations and vulnerabilities mapped to industry standards
  • Ability to compare and track an environment compares against SLA or industry-recommended performance metrics
  • Automated measurement and assessment of data, applications, and infrastructure behaviors and workloads
  • Send automated alerts, allowing instant incident response
  • Easy integration with any cloud service provider
  • Create a cloud infrastructure inventory
  • Perform regular audits

Cloud Security Monitoring is Foundational to a Modern, Distributed Technology Environment

Whether an architecture uses one cloud service provider or accesses hundreds via APIs, cloud security monitoring is critical to today’s cloud-enabled businesses and operations. Through a cloud service provider or a third-party service or solution, maintaining an ongoing view of cloud workloads and behaviors will empower DevOps and DevSecOps teams to keep software secure and meet technology performance objectives.

Modern Cloud-Native Security Starts with Panoptica

Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation (ET&I) team is paving the way with “DevOps-friendly” cloud-native security solutions that fundamentally simplify conventional offerings. Built from the ground up to meet the needs of mission-critical modern applications, our Panoptica solution simplifies cloud-native application security, making it easy to embed into the software development lifecycle. Panoptica protects the full application stack from code to runtime by scanning for security vulnerabilities in the cloud infrastructure, microservices (Containers or Serverless), the software bill of materials, and the interconnecting APIs. And best of all, it integrates with the tools that your application development and SecOps teams are already using. Try it for free!