Using a zero trust approach for cloud cost optimization

Cost Optimization

January 7, 2024 • 3 min read

When businesses opt for a zero trust approach, they are usually aware of the answers behind why is zero trust important from a cloud security perspective, but what about cloud cost optimization and budget control? To prevent spiraling cloud bills and to ensure you are getting the most value from your cloud budget, a zero trust approach to all aspects of your cloud management is imperative. This article will outline the cost saving benefits that a zero trust model provides.  

What is a zero trust approach? 

A zero trust approach is an architecture where the core principle is not to inherently trust any user or anything. This mindset helps you prevent unauthorized access and reduces the risk of cyber attacks. This approach prevents the risk of costly mistakes from users accessing parts of your workload that don’t relate to their job role. 

You don’t rely on security hardware or parameters such as VPNs or firewalls with a zero trust model. Instead, you view all users and devices as potential threats; those already in the network. You don’t just allow someone access just because they are already in the network or if they’ve been in there before. Each granting of access requires an extensive analysis of the authenticity of the credentials. All data transmissions need to undergo authentication, authorization, and encryption procedures, without exceptions. User sessions come with restrictions and may even necessitate more advanced identity verification techniques, like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Zero trust also increases your protection from insider threats; security risks posed by individuals within an organization, such as employees or contractors, who misuse their access to systems, data, or networks for malicious purposes or accidentally compromise security. A zero trust approach safeguards businesses from insider threats by continuously verifying and monitoring all users, devices, and activities, eliminating the assumption of trust even for those within the organization. It ensures that access is granted based on specific permissions, reducing the risk of unauthorized actions or data breaches by insiders.

How does a zero trust approach achieve cloud cost optimization? 

The average cost of a security breach in 2023 is $4.4 million, and this is on the rise year by year. This has the power to shut a business down for good. Investing in your cloud security through resources and the time committed to training is always worthwhile. Here’s how an investment in a zero trust approach generates cost savings: 

Granular access control

Zero trust enforces the principle of “least privilege access,” where users and applications are granted the minimum level of access required for their specific tasks. This minimizes the risk of resource overuse and ensures that only authorized entities utilize cloud services, thus reducing costs associated with unnecessary usage.

Real-time monitoring

Zero trust relies on continuous monitoring of network traffic, user behavior, and application usage. By identifying and flagging any unusual or unauthorized activities promptly, organizations can mitigate security threats and address cost spikes associated with potentially malicious or inefficient cloud resource consumption.

Resource scaling

With zero trust in place, organizations can dynamically adjust their cloud resources based on real-time demand. Scaling resources up or down in response to traffic fluctuations can optimize costs by avoiding overprovisioning or underutilization of cloud assets.

Effective Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Implementing zero trust reinforces robust IAM practices. This includes user authentication, role-based access control, and multi-factor authentication. By ensuring the right users have the right access to cloud resources, organizations reduce the risk of costly security breaches while maintaining operational efficiency.

Data encryption

Zero trust emphasizes data encryption during transit and at rest. While this enhances security, it also helps in compliance with data protection regulations. Compliance with such regulations avoids penalties and costly legal consequences.

Security automation

Automating security tasks, such as identifying vulnerabilities or responding to threats, is central to zero trust. Automation reduces the risk of security incidents that could result in both financial losses and reputational damage.

Audit and compliance

Regular audits and compliance checks are integral to the zero trust approach. By maintaining a high level of compliance and visibility, organizations are better prepared to avoid fines and regulatory consequences that can result from data breaches and security violations.

How StackZone helps with cost optimization 

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, achieving cost optimization while ensuring robust security is a paramount concern for organizations of all sizes. That’s why the cloud management platform StackZone achieves zero trust with deployment; it is embedded into the console. Examples of how the platform does this include: 

  • You can assign a strong password policy and receive notifications when someone’s password doesn’t meet requirements
  • Your workloads are segregated by implementing a cloud landing zone. They are standardized and identity and access management is automated 
  • Multi-Factor authentication is simple to enable and monitor
  • Identity and Access management policies are automated across your accounts  
  • There is 24/7 monitoring and you can access your logs all in one place 

StackZone correctly configures your AWS environment with a zero trust approach to ensure you don’t overspend on resources that aren’t being fully used. Your cloud infrastructure is continually monitored to optimize costs.

With the continuous monitoring and auditing that comes with StackZone’s implementation of zero trust, you have visibility over user activity and access patterns so you can respond quickly to abnormal cloud resource usage before it causes major damage to your cloud bill.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, achieving cost optimization while ensuring robust security is a paramount concern for organizations of all sizes. A zero trust approach promotes proactive security measures, ensuring that the right users and applications access cloud resources while continuously monitoring for potential threats. This security focus, in turn, translates into cloud cost optimization by reducing the likelihood of security incidents, enhancing resource efficiency, and aiding in compliance with industry regulations. Take your cloud budget further with the cloud management platform that is transforming cloud management by keeping you secure, compliant and cost effective around the clock. Book a demo of StackZone today and see for yourself! 

This article was written by Eduardo Van Cauteren, Cloud Platform Engineer

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