Cloud Security Orchestration is the management and integration of various necessary business and security processes, with the aim of identifying and remediating security risks in the enterprise cloud environment. This integration encompasses all of the tools and techniques required to map and monitor the entire organizational cloud environment and produce comprehensive visibility, identify, analyze and prioritize security issues, and allocate resources and tasks to relevant stakeholders. Leveraging automation, Cloud Security Orchestration ensures a streamlined process with actionable metrics for measuring the organization’s cloud security posture over time.
Cloud Security Orchestration entails ensuring that all relevant engineering, business and security teams are aligned on the tasks required of them, with the appropriate resources, context and guidelines to assist them. Security issues in the cloud may hold varying degrees of engineering and business complexity and will demand differing levels of resources and expertise for their remediation. Remediating with manual processes such as emails and excel spreadsheets has proven to be partially successful at best, and will surely waste valuable time and resources. These inefficient cross-organizational processes can also be frustrating causes of friction, which will only be exacerbated by the slow and cumbersome deployment of manual methodologies.
To ensure complete remediation without gaps, latency or resource mismanagement, Cloud Security Orchestration platforms are innovative technologies that replace manual, siloed tasks with automated, collaborative processes.
Beyond aggregating security issues from various cloud security and vulnerability sources across the organization (and finally providing full visibility to security professionals), these platforms analyze and prioritize these issues and ensure that the right team gets the right issues to fix at the right time. This automated prioritization is based on urgency, business impact, context and risk to maximize efficiency while de-duplicating events from various sources to avoid alert fatigue. While AppSec and CloudSec tools generate a continuous stream of findings, Cloud Security Orchestration platforms drastically reduce the number of issues by identifying common root causes after integrating with these detection tools. As the company grows and as risk may scale, Cloud Security Orchestration platforms continue to manage the full remediation lifecycle across the entire organization and adapt to its evolving needs.
Effective Cloud Security Orchestration can dramatically decrease the time from identifying security issues to remediating them. Instead of wasting hours searching for the right teams to address specific security issues, Cloud Security Orchestration leverages innovative technology to automatically target the appropriate technical owners and provide them with what they need - resources, analysis and prioritization - to fix what they need to. Today, security personnel, developers and engineering teams are bombarded with alerts and issues that they are asked to fix, but it is challenging to understand which alert is important and which is negligible. Developers have limited time and scope to devote to security fixes, and they are often bombarded with alerts that are duplicates or irrelevant due to inefficient prioritization - wasting time and increasing friction and frustration. An automated approach to these critical processes can resolve security and operational issues at once while reducing strain by optimizing collaboration.
Developers don’t need a new set of tools to work with, they are overburdened as it is. With the growing number of alerts stemming from the various posture management and vulnerability tools available, remediation processes that provide a personalized, prioritized and deduplicated list of alerts to fix and allow developers to use their own tools to fix security issues are a real game changer. With actionable remediation guidance, playbooks and practical code suggestions, Cloud Security Orchestration easily adapts to specific organizational structures and elevates developers from the role of patchers and fixers to valuable collaborators.
The use of a growing number of security tools that provide alerts and security indications generates noise and large volumes of data that need to be sorted through, analyzed and understood for the remediation process to be effective. A centralized view of the entire organizational risk surface, with aggregated alerts, is imperative as the first and crucial step in cloud security remediation. To achieve this, security teams must integrate existing tools and consolidate the data they provide in order to obtain a clear understanding of each alert and its underlying security issue. Security teams must get to the root cause of each alert - what are the risks associated with it? What systems are/will be affected by it? What is the infrastructure-as-code that created the issue and where should it be fixed? Duplicate issues from multiple security tools must also be addressed, either many issues on the same resource, the same issue with the same root cause deployed on many resources, and other variations.
Following a root-cause analysis and a clear and comprehensive understanding of the risks, security teams must then move on to prioritizing alerts based on several characteristics. Prioritization is key for Cloud Security Orchestration to be a cross-organizational effort, as engineering teams must receive clear, coherent and prioritized data in order to ensure their time and efforts are used correctly. Prioritization requires the assessment of each issue to understand how severe it is. If it is very likely to be exploited by malicious actors, it would be considered a ‘high severity issue’. System criticality is also crucial to define, whether business or infrastructure-critical and if it is internet-facing, accessible to many people, or entirely isolated. The final element of prioritization includes assessing the complexity of the fix - an easy-to-fix, high-severity issue would be a top priority for remediation.
Security today involves and affects countless teams within every organization. It is no longer the responsibility of the security team alone, and therefore Cloud Security Orchestration must be a collaborative process in which the relevant stakeholders take an active role in remediation. Productive communication and allocation of responsibility and resources to various employees within large enterprises is a huge challenge, and identifying the specific and most relevant person to address a specific alert can take days. Cloud Security Orchestration tools are helpful as they can leverage automation to identify who interacted with the system and who is most relevant to assist with remediation.
Once issues are identified, analyzed, prioritized and delegated to the appropriate stakeholders, a comprehensive remediation plan should be developed. The SLA should be defined according to the overall risk rating for the issue, and the stakeholders and required resources for the task should be identified. When remediation begins, the process should be continuously tracked in order to identify roadblocks ahead or anticipate problems in the process that should be immediately addressed. Remediation should be validated across both engineering and cloud security tools for the comprehensive process to be completed. There may be issues that cannot be fully remediated for a variety of reasons (the fix might break compatibility, resources aren’t available, the underlying problem cannot be fixed, etc.). In these cases, a mitigation strategy may be more appropriate, using a security tool such as WAF or a firewall to protect the system.
Mitigation management is crucial in such cases, and security teams should ensure tracking of the following elements:
Remediation cannot be a standalone activity, and security leaders should be able to track and measure progress across time and environments in order to generate reports and metrics on success for decision-makers. Security teams that choose to aggregate, analyze and display this data using manual collection methods and spreadsheets should consider the significant time and resources required and the potential for human error and data misrepresentation in the process. Leveraging automation for this purpose can provide an entirely new level of data to inform business decisions, including, for example, vulnerabilities fixed per team or business unit, specifically tailored trends and reports on individual systems or services.
The final element in the remediation process should be placing effective guardrails to prevent the specific issue from reappearing, or using automation when possible to resolve it automatically and quickly. To enable continuous monitoring and learning abilities, each remediation solution should be documented and an organizational knowledge base should be created to address similar issues in the future.
Opus Security’s platform implements Cloud Security Orchestration for organizational remediation processes from start to fix. Consolidating all security issues across posture and vulnerability tools, Opus automatically aggregates, deduplicates and prioritizes the most crucial data for streamlined, effective Cloud Security Orchestration. Dramatically reduce the time from identification to remediation with Opus’ effective ability to tag the right technical owner, leverage automation and eliminate manual tasks, while tracking and measuring the process across the entire organization.