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According to the 2020 Cloud Security Report by BitGlass, 33% of cloud computing users admitted to being highly concerned about their public cloud infrastructure security. 94% of organizations are now using cloud infrastructure, which has increased the scope of data breaches and threats leading to insurmountable reputational and financial losses. We understand why a cloud data breach might be a terrifying thought.
But knowing a few helpful tips about cloud infrastructure security goes a long way. It ensures a secure and stress-free work environment. But first, let's begin with the basics.
Cloud infrastructure combines physical and virtual resources to enable cloud computing deployment. They store, manage, and deliver data and applications over the internet. It is a service-based system that provides customers access to computing resources. It could be servers, storage, networking, applications, or services.
There are three cloud deployment types:
Cloud security protects applications, cloud-based systems, and data from multiple unauthorized access and cyber threats. This involves the following security controls:
These work to ensure compliance with security policies. Measures like data backup and disaster recovery plans are also parts of cloud infrastructure security.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security system. It requires more than one authentication factor to access a system. The most common multi-factor authentication methods are:
Depending on your organization's specific needs, you can implement MFA differently. It could be a PIN, knowledge-based passwords, personal details (employee ID number, date of joining the organization, etc.), physical ID swipe, fingerprints, facial structure, speech patterns, retinal shape, or handwriting.
Make sure that your MFA solution is enabled and enforced across all of your cloud infrastructure. This means ensuring that all employees, vendors, and contractors with access to the company's cloud infrastructure must use MFA to authenticate their identity and level of security clearance before accessing any resources. Regularly monitor and review MFA usage to ensure that it is being used correctly and providing the level of security you require.
All users must know the importance of MFA and how to use it correctly. Educating your employees about MFA will help ensure that it is used correctly and provides the required level of security.
Establish a secure access policy. Outline the roles and responsibilities of all users when accessing your cloud infrastructure. The policy must include rules on the following basis:
Who can do what on which resources?
Here, ‘who’ is the User, Role e.t.c. ‘what’ is the kind of access such as admin access or S3 full access, and ‘which’ is limited to any service or any specific resource that the User/Role can have access to.
Monitor user activity thoroughly for potential security threats. Make it a point to track user logins and logouts and all changes made to resources or data. Leverage role-based access control (RBAC) to limit user access to exclusively what is necessary for their role. This way, users will not be able to modify or view information irrelevant to their specific job.
Create accounts with the least amount of privileges necessary for users to do their jobs. This brings down the risk that someone might unintentionally wreak havoc on your cloud infrastructure. Consider leveraging automation to detect unauthorized or suspicious activities quickly. Automation can flag suspicious activity and alert IT administrators so they can take immediate action.
You must also delete any redundant accounts of ex-employees. These are loose ends which are often exploited by threat actors.
Before choosing a data backup plan, it is crucial to understand your organization's data backup requirements. Consider the following:
Research the different cloud backup options available and consider the pros and cons of each. Chalk out the features of the different solutions. Be thorough with how well they integrate with your existing cloud infrastructure. Calculate their cost as well.
The CMO of Perspecsys, a cloud security company, Gerry Grealish, states:
“Develop a security platform that allows the business to implement consistent data protection policies across multiple cloud services- preferably one that does not involve complex key management or policy administration.”
Deliberate on the level of security you need for your data backups and the best way to protect them. Consider encryption, access control, and other security measures that need to be in place. Don't forget to review the cloud backup provider's service level agreement (SLA). This will ensure that the service and data protection level meets your organization's requirements.
Settling on a cloud governance strategy is the first step. As an organization, you must consider the scope, target outcomes, and the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders when formulating the strategy.
Varying organizations have different security requirements. It is crucial to define the security requirements for different cloud infrastructures.
Implementing best practices is non-negotiable to ensure that the cloud infrastructure is secure. Encrypting data in transit and at rest, using strong passwords, and leveraging secure protocols to interact with the cloud platform are essential. Some other steps that can be embraced are installing and updating anti-virus software regularly. Utilizing cloud-based intrusion detection and prevention systems. Monitoring and restricting access to the system based on user roles and privileges. Regularly backing up system data in case of data loss or corruption.
Informing users about the best practices of cloud security is an integral part of a cloud governance policy. They must understand the importance of data encryption, secure passwords, and security best practices.
Auditing and monitoring the system at periodic intervals is important. This entails checking for malicious activities or suspicious behavior and performing a thorough check and cleansing process. After all, you want to ensure that all security policies and procedures are being followed and that there is no scope for data leaks.
Periodic audits are important to cloud security because they provide a comprehensive review of the security controls, processes, and procedures in place to ensure the security of the cloud environment. It helps organizations identify any weaknesses in their cloud security ecosystem and provide guidance on how to address them. They help organizations stay compliant with any relevant regulations or industry standards. Regular audits also allow organizations to track and monitor changes over time and identify any security vulnerabilities.
Tips on securing cloud infrastructure are important to follow because they help protect customer data, and organizational and operational data, ensure regulatory compliance, prevent data breaches, and reduce the risk of attacks and unauthorized access. Following security tips can help prevent costly downtime, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data.
Because of its diverse nature, ever-evolving configurations, and a limited understanding of the actual scope of cloud security by professionals, implementing cloud security can become challenging.
Organizations with compliance failure must pay an average of $1.22 million extra in data breaches. This reiterates the need to bolster your cloud infrastructure security.
If you are an organization that has deployed cloud platforms but is struggling to meet its security needs, then don't worry. We45 is a leading cloud security services provider. We help build continuous, sustainable, and scalable solutions through cloud security assessments, automation, monitoring, API security, and Kubernetes security deployment. Contact We45 today!