Cloud security challenges are growing. Here’s why traditional SOC tools are failing to address them

The cloud will become a cornerstone of enterprise operations as IDC estimates that by 2025, there will be over 750 million cloud-native applications globally. Additionally, over 90% of organizations anticipate employing a multi-cloud approach over the next few years. Considering the cloud offers unparalleled flexibility, scalability, and agility, these numbers should be unsurprising.

However, the swift adoption of cloud infrastructure has also introduced expanded enterprise attacks, the rate at which is often outpacing security precautions. According to the Unit 42 Incident Response Report, cloud-related incidents have surged from 6% in 2021 to 16.6% in 2023, a trend that is likely to continue. As organizations migrate to the cloud, it’s clear the gap between traditional SOC capabilities and cloud security requirements widens, leaving critical assets vulnerable to cyber threats and presenting a new set of security challenges that traditional Security Operations Center (SOC) tools are ill-equipped to handle. But why are they falling short? And what can we do to protect our operations from threats?

Legacy tools vs. modern threats

Legacy SOC tools were not designed for the modern world. They were designed for on-premises environments and often lacked the native capabilities to help analysts detect and respond to cloud-specific threats. For instance, most conventional tools provide limited visibility into cloud infrastructure, leading to unmanaged and exposed sensitive data. Our recent Cloud Threat Report revealed that 63% of publicly exposed storage buckets contained personally identifiable information (PII), things like financial records and intellectual property. Furthermore, attackers have become more efficient, with the median time from compromise to data exfiltration dropping to just two days in 2023, down from nine days in 2021. In nearly half of these cases, data exfiltration occurred within a day of compromise.

Securing cloud environments is complicated and can seem daunting. It requires constant coordination across multiple teams, including CloudOps, DevOps, and SecOps. Each team has distinct responsibilities and tools, leading to fragmented security efforts that can leave gaps. Our 2024 State of Cloud Native Security Report indicates that the average organization uses over 30 security tools, with 6 to 10 dedicated to cloud security alone. This siloed approach hampers the ability to respond to threats in real-time and manage security holistically. Moreover, companies know this siloed approach needs addressing, with 80% of respondents expressing a desire for a centralized security solution, further underscoring the need for integrated and comprehensive security strategies.

The imperative of a modern security platform

As cloud threats evolve, businesses must recognize the limitations of traditional SOC tools and the necessity for a modern security operations platform. To effectively address these challenges, organizations need solutions that provide comprehensive visibility, control, and real-time threat response capabilities.

A modern security platform should only be deemed modern if it is driven by principles addressing cloud threats’ dynamic and evolving nature. This involves real-time detection and response capabilities that can keep pace with the fast-moving threat landscape. Advanced AI and machine learning are more critical now than ever in providing a comprehensive and adaptive security posture.

Cloud security operations should also demand complete visibility and context. Without a clear view of the entire cloud environment, security teams cannot accurately detect or respond to threats. Real-time insights are essential for enabling proactive threat response, allowing security teams to anticipate and neutralize threats before they cause significant damage.

Utilizing traditional SOC tools can lead to breakdowns in security coverage and often complicates threat response efforts. A unified security platform integrates vulnerability management, compliance capabilities, runtime protection, and threat detection, simplifying deployment and operations across the entire security program – an absolute must in today’s cloud-centric world.

Addressing contemporary cloud threats

To address the challenges of cloud threats, Palo Alto Networks has introduced XSIAM for Cloud, which combines enterprise security and cloud detection in a single, intuitive, AI-powered platform. XSIAM enables real-time security outcomes, making it the industry’s first cloud-optimized SOC platform. This is achieved through real-time cloud workload protection, detection and response capabilities, and cloud-native analytics and automation.

Real-time cloud workload protection is essential for maintaining the security integrity of dynamic cloud environments. As organizations increasingly migrate their critical operations to the cloud, they become more susceptible to sophisticated cyber threats. Real-time protection ensures that any anomalies or malicious activities are detected and mitigated immediately, preventing potential breaches, and minimizing downtime.

The introduction of Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) as part of XSIAM’s Cloud Command Center enables SOC teams to identify and respond to threats swiftly and accurately. With advanced detection mechanisms, organizations can pinpoint unusual behavior patterns and potential threats as they emerge, allowing for rapid intervention before they escalate into significant security incidents.

Lastly, cloud-native analytics and automation play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of SOC operations. XSIAM leverages advanced analytics so organizations can gain deeper insights into their security posture, and more easily predict potential threats. In addition to this, automation streamlines routine tasks and response actions, enabling SOC teams to focus on more complex threat analysis and strategic decision-making. This combination of analytics and automation not only enhances the speed and accuracy of threat detection and response but also makes security operations more resilient to an increasing volume of threats.

Matching the mismatches

The mismatch between legacy security tools and modern cloud threats highlights the need for advanced solutions like XSIAM for Cloud. By offering comprehensive visibility, real-time insights, and unified security measures, we aim to ensure modern platforms stay ahead of evolving cyber threats while effectively securing cloud environments.

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