From the time of the initiation of the cloud computing era, security has always been the main concern among organizations including the public cloud. For several enterprises, if they don’t manage the idea of storing data or running applications on infrastructure seems insecure.
According to the cloud security report of cloudPassage’s 2021 AWS found that the top cloud security threats facing cybersecurity professionals are 71% misconfiguration of cloud platforms, 59% exfiltration of sensitive data, and 54% insecure APIs. Moreover, 95% of respondents confirmed that they are extremely moderately concerned about public cloud security.
So, let’s discuss this in detail.
What is cloud security?
Cloud security comprises all the processes and technologies that ensure an organization’s cloud infrastructure. It is protected against internal and external cybersecurity threats. As companies are looking forward to the cloud as their business future, cloud security is an absolute necessity to maintain continuity. Cloud security ensures that businesses can focus on driving progress.
Steps of the best practices for cloud security
Cloud security is persistently emerging, but a handful of best practices have remained constant for ensuring the security of cloud environments. Enterprises that have existing cloud solutions in place or are looking to implement them should consider these tips and tools to ensure that sensitive applications and data don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Steps to follow for cloud security best practices:
1. Understand Your Shared Accountability Model
The enterprise is completely responsible for all security issues in a private data center. But if we are talking about public clouds, things are much more arduous. The cloud service provider assumes the responsibility for some aspects of IT security. In terms of cloud and security professionals language this is called a shared responsibility model.
Companies that are choosing a specific cloud vendor for their services should review its policies about shared security responsibilities. They understand who is handling the distinct aspects of cloud security. It will help them to prevent misperception and misunderstanding. Essentially, though, clarity about responsibilities can prevent security incidents that occur as a result of a particular security need falling through the cracks.
2. Clear Your Every Little Query With Your Cloud Provider
Along with clarifying about shared responsibilities, enterprises should ask their public cloud vendors several detailed questions about the security measures and processes they have in place. We can assume that leading vendors can handle the security very well but the method of security is distinct from one vendor to the next.
To understand the different security aspects of cloud service provider, enterprises should ask a wide range of questions, including:
- Where do the provider’s servers reside geographically?
- What is the protocol of a provider for suspected security incidents?
- What is the provider’s disaster recovery plan (DRP)?
- What dimensions does the provider have in place to protect different access components?
- What is the level of technical support provided by the provider?
- What are the results of the most recent penetration tests of provider?
- Does the provider encrypt in transit and at rest data?
- Which roles from the provider have access to the data stored in the cloud?
- What authentication methods does the provider support?
- What compliance requirements does the provider support?
3. Identity Deployment And Access Management Solution
Another biggest threat to public cloud security identified in CloudPassage’s report is unauthorized access. With each new attack hackers gaining access to sensitive data. A premium quality identity and access management (IAM) solution can help mitigate these threats.
Experts recommend that enterprises look for an IAM solution that allows them to define and enforce access policies based on least privilege. That rely on role-based permission capabilities. In addition, multi-factor authentication (MFA) can further decrease the malicious risk actors gaining access to sensitive information, even if they manage to steal usernames and passwords.
Companies may also need to look for an IAM solution that includes private data centers as well as cloud deployments that work in hybrid environments. This can make the authentication easier for end users and for security staff to ensure that they are enforcing consistent policies across all IT environments.
4. Train Your Staff
To prevent your data from getting into the hands by accessing credentials for cloud computing tools, organizations should educate all their workers on how to spot cybersecurity threats and how to respond to them.
This type of cloud security training should help employees understand the inherent risk of shadow IT. Enterprises also need to invest in specialized training for their security staff. Perpetually, the threat landscape shifts, and IT security experts can only keep up if they are continuously learning about the latest threats and potential countermeasures.
5. Establish And Enforce Cloud Security Policies
Almost all enterprises who use cloud services should have written guidelines that include how they can use them and which data can be stored in the cloud. They also need to figure out the particular security technologies that employees must use to protect data and applications in the cloud.
To ensure that everyone is following these policies, security staff should have automated solutions. In some cases, the cloud vendor may have a policy enforcement feature that is enough to meet the business requirements. Apart from that, the organization may need to purchase a third party solution like CASB that offers policy enforcement capabilities.
There is one such technology called Zero trust that offers a refined control over policy enforcement. The purpose of this category tool with other systems is to determine how much access each user requires, what they can do with that access, and what it means for the broader organization.
6. Protect Your Endpoints
Using a cloud service doesn’t mean that you eliminate the security of the endpoints—it intensifies it. Advanced cloud computing projects offer an opportunity to revisit existing strategies and ensure the protections in place are adequate to address evolving threats.
A defense-in-depth strategy that includes anti-malware, firewalls, intrusion detection, and access control has long been the standard for endpoint security. However, the list of endpoint security concerns has become so complicated that automation tools are required to keep up. The tool or platform that can help in this area is EDR – Endpoint detection and response and EPP – Endpoint protection platforms.
With perpetual monitoring and automated response, EDR and EPP solutions combine traditional endpoint security capabilities. Specifically, these tools address a number of security requirements, including endpoint encryption, patch management, VPNs, and insider threat prevention among others.
7. Data Encryption In Motion And At Rest
The key part of any cloud security strategy is encryption. Not only enterprises encrypt data in a public cloud storage service, but they should also ensure that data is encrypted during transit—when it may be most vulnerable to attacks.
Some providers of cloud computing offer encryption and key management services. Some cloud service providers and traditional software companies offer encryption options as well. According to experts, finding an encryption product that works smoothly with existing work processes, eliminating the requirement for end users to take any extra actions to comply with company encryption policies.
8. Use Intrusion Detection And Prevention Technology
One of the most effective cloud security tools is intrusion prevention and detection systems (IDPS). They monitor, examine, and acknowledge to network traffic across both on-premises and public cloud environments. When they encounter protocol-based, signature-based, or anomaly-based threats. IDPS solutions add them to a log, alert administrators to strange activity, and block the threats so admins get enough time to take action.
These tools are crucial for 24/7 montoring and real-time alerts. Without IDPS, it’s quite complicated to analyze network traffic for the telltale signs of a sophisticated attack.
9. Double-Check Your Compliance Needs
Organizations that collect personally identifiable information (PII) like those in healthcare, retail, and financial services face strict regulations when it comes to customer privacy and data security.
Some businesses in certain geographic locations or the one that stores data in specific regions may have special compliance requirements from local or state governments as well.
Organizations should review their particular compliance requirements before establishing a new cloud computing service, and ensure that their service provider will meet their data security needs.
10. Consider A Cloud Security Solution
There are several companies that offer cloud security solutions or services that are specifically designed. If an organization’s internal team doesn’t have any cloud expertise for security or if the existing security solutions don’t support cloud environments, it may be time to bring in outside help.
Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) are purpose-built tools that are used to enforce cloud security policies. They have become progressively popular as more organizations have started using cloud services. According to experts, a CASB solution is perfect for organizations that use multiple cloud computing services from distinct vendors. These solutions can also manage unauthorized apps and access too.
11. Conduct Audits And Penetration Testing
Experts say that all enterprises should run penetration testing. To determine whether present cloud security efforts are adequate to protect data and applications. No matter whether an organization chooses to partner with an outside security firm or keep in-house security teams.
In addition, organizations should organize continuous security audits that evaluate the capabilities of all security vendors. This should finalize that they are meeting the agreed upon security terms. To ensure only appropriate and authorized personnel access logs should also be audited and also accessing sensitive data and applications in the cloud.
12. Enable Security Logs
Additionally, to conduct audits, enterprises should enable logging features for their cloud solutions. This feature helps system administrators to keep track of which users are making changes to the environment—something that would be quite tough to do manually. If an attacker or hacker gains access and makes changes, the logs will uplift all their activities so they can be remediated.
One of the most crucial challenges of cloud security is misconfigurations. An effective logging capability will help connect the changes that led to a particular vulnerability. So they can be done right and avoided in the future. It also helps identify individual users who may have more access than they actually need to do their jobs, so administrators can adjust those permissions to the bare minimum.
Thus, experts say that several times security concerns should not prevent organizations from using public cloud services India. Often, organizations actually have less security issues with cloud-based workloads in contrast with those that run in traditional data centers.
We believe after reading this post you’ll understand that by following cloud security best practices and implementing the appropriate security tools, businesses can minimize risks and take full advantage of the benefits cloud computing offers.