Cloud adoption is enabling enterprises across all sectors to collaborate more efficiently especially in today’s highly remote business environment. More specifically, government agencies are implementing multi-cloud infrastructure with their workloads spread across multiple public, private, and edge cloud platforms. According to Gartner, the government cloud spending is expected to grow on an average of 17.1 percent through 2021.

Why adopt multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud services enable government organizations to choose the best solution for their workloads and the most cost-effective service provider. It helps them to reduce investment in on-premise data centers, implement centralized citizen services, and mitigate risk of service disruption by a single cloud service provider. However, the multi-cloud scenario has also led to an increase in data management complexities, creating data silos.

Challenges of a multi-cloud environment

A report by  IDC states that the lack of consistency between cloud platforms introduces its own set of challenges for organizations – duplication of management tools and processes for each platform, additional training and skill set requirements, and difficulty porting data and applications between different cloud platforms to name a few. Another report by MeriTalk, Juggling the Clouds: What Are Agencies Learning, states that nearly half of federal IT executives agree their agency is not yet taking the right steps to prepare for their multi-cloud future.

Government IT teams are constantly limited in their abilities because of budget constraints and increased IT regulations. On one hand, mandates like the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) require them to increase the use of cloud services and virtualization with automated monitoring and reporting capabilities across their IT environment, their journey often starts from having to transition from legacy physical data centers to cloud infrastructure which is laden with its unique challenges.

Lack of focus on cloud security is intensifying this pain. The public cloud spend will be nearly $500 billion by 2023 while the cloud security spend across all industries is forecasted to reach $12.6 billion within that time frame.

Multi-cloud environments have users and applications spread across several clouds without the means to centrally view, secure, or manage these environments effectively. Matters become more complicated when there are multiple contracts and service providers. While the provider is responsible for securing the cloud, organizations are responsible for securing everything they put in the cloud.

All of this raises questions about what government organizations can do to secure their multi-cloud environments. Sophos can help to secure resources; achieve visibility, control, and compliance; and ensure that users get secure access to cloud apps and resources from any device, anytime, and from anywhere in a multi-cloud environment.

Securing multi-cloud environments with Sophos

Securing resources in the cloud

Sophos Intercept X for Server secures hybrid workload environments. It protects Windows and Linux virtual machines and virtual desktops by stopping advanced threats including ransomware, exploit-based attacks, and malware; and locking down the server workloads to control what can and can’t run in the environment.
Intercept X EDR – Endpoint Detection and Response – gives you the tools to hunt down suspicious activities and performs critical IT operations across your server environment. It automatically detects cloud workloads and makes it easy to keep an eye on critical cloud services, including S3 buckets, databases, and serverless functions. Intercept X EDR automatically detects insecure deployments thanks to constant AI monitoring of your cloud environments and notification of any irregularities.

 Achieving visibility, control and compliance in the cloud

Sophos Cloud Optix is Sophos’ Cloud Security Posture Management solution. It provides multi-cloud visibility that offers detailed cloud resource inventory, including servers, containers, storage, network and IAM for AWS, Azure, and GCP. It continuously monitors compliance with out-of-the-box templates, custom policies, and collaboration tools; and analyzes configurations for security risks and over-privileged IAM access. It allows cloud cost optimization by managing AWS and Azure spending on a single screen.

Ensuring secure access to cloud resources from any device, anywhere

Sophos Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) constantly verifies the user — typically with multi-factor authentication and an identity provider — and validates health and compliance of the device for users to securely connect to corporate resources from any location. It elevates protection and minimizes the risk of lateral movement within the network by continually assessing identity and device health before allowing access.

Simplifying management

Sophos Central offers a single, web-based platform to conduct cross-product investigations with ease, correlating data from multiple services easily. It enables Sophos products to share real-time threat, health, and security information and work together to automatically respond to threats – also known as Sophos Synchronized Security.

Conclusion

With a multi-cloud model, government agencies and public sector organizations have the opportunity to rethink and innovate the delivery of public services. These organizations require easy-to-use cloud security platforms to achieve visibility, security and compliance monitoring while rolling out their digital transformation plan over a multi-cloud set up. Sophos can help to secure the anywhere organization with powerful, trusted solutions. Contact your Sophos representative to discuss your requirements, or activate a no-obligation free trial to take any of our products for a test drive.

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