9 Cloud Security Best Practices and How to Implement Them
More than ever, organisations are using cloud platforms for their mission-critical work. This is because the cloud is more flexible and efficient than standard data centres.
When an organisation moves to the cloud as part of its digital transformation, security is one of its main worries. This is because cloud security is different from traditional security solutions and methods. Also, security holes and malware attacks are becoming more common in the cloud because the ways that people can get in are changing every day. Because of this, it’s important to understand how security works in the cloud, use the right tools and best practises to protect your cloud-hosted tasks, and make your security practises more mature as your organisation moves along its cloud-adoption journey. This article seeks to focus on those practices that consolidate cloud security. So, if you want to understand how you can implement these practices, please keep reading.
1.Know that everyone has a part to play
When it comes to cloud data security best practices, AWS, Azure, and GCP all follow a plan called “shared responsibility”. Some things, like the security of the hardware underneath, are handled by the service provider, but customers are expected to set up security at the infrastructure and application layers.
For infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployments, this means protecting the operating system (OS) of any virtual machines by, among other things, applying patches regularly, setting up the firewall, and turning on virus and malware protection. In platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications, it is up to the cloud provider to protect the VM (Virtual Machine) level. But the customer still must take care of programme and data security. With software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments, the cloud provider handles most of the security controls up until the application, while the customer oversees usage and access rules.
It is important for your cloud service provider to look at the below “shared responsibility matrix” and allow the right controls for your app using native or third-party tools and services for security.
2.Ensure that the outdoor space is secure
Software-defined networking (SDN), which is the foundation upon which cloud networks are constructed, makes it simple to configure several layers of security. You need to begin by isolating jobs on their own individual virtual networks and allowing them to communicate with one another only when it is necessary. Additionally, you can restrict the data that is allowed to enter your applications by using network or application layer filters.
SQL injection, data leakage, and cross-site hacking are three of the application vulnerabilities that are among the most hazardous. With the use of an OWASP threat monitoring rule-based web application firewall (WAF), attacks such as these can be located and thwarted. If you want to protect cloud workloads from DDoS attacks that are intentionally launched, you need a multi-layer DDoS defence plan. All the cloud service providers offer DDoS protection technologies, which may be integrated into the front end of your application and used to detect and thwart attacks of this nature.
Installing a reliable firewall at the network’s perimeter will shield it from dangers and hazards originating from the outside world. These can be cloud-based firewall services or more powerful third-party tools that can discover threats, analyse packets, study data, and find intrusions. Cloud-based firewall services are becoming increasingly popular. To further improve the security of your cloud-based operations, you may choose to install a dedicated intrusion detection system (IDS) or an intrusion prevention system (IPS) at the cloud’s perimeter.
3.Be wary about making decisions that will lead to undesirable outcomes
Most of the time, people find themselves working in the cloud because services were not set up properly or because other people made mistakes while setting up the services. Cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions should be included into the design of your system to keep an eye out for any mis-configurations that might find their way into your cloud infrastructure.
The fact that CSPM systems compare the deployments you make to a predetermined set of recommended practises is the best thing about them. These standards could be completely original to the organisation, or they might be modelled after the most stringent security and compliance benchmarks. A secure score provides you with information about how secure each of your cloud-based operations currently is. If your cloud computing service has a high security rating, then it is secure to use. People will also be able to recognise when they are doing things incorrectly and be given the opportunity to correct their behaviour with the use of these tools.
4.Employ methods of managing identities and controlling access
Because the control plane is where all the kingdom’s secrets are kept, ensuring its safety is essential for cloud jobs. Establishing role-based, granular control over access to cloud resources can be accomplished by utilising the identity and access management services that are included with your cloud platform.
Cloud platforms also come equipped with capabilities that simplify the process of connecting on-premises solutions like Active Directory to identity and access management (IAM) services that were developed specifically for the cloud environment. Users who have tasks that are hosted in the cloud can benefit from a streamlined experience with single sign-on (SSO) thanks to this. When configuring IAM controls, the principle of least privilege should be adhered to. This indicates that users should only have access to the information and software tools that are necessary for them to perform their tasks effectively.
5.Make the security issue visible to the public.
The likelihood that security flaws won’t be discovered increases as the number of cloud services increases. The correct tools will provide you with much-needed information regarding your security and enable you to take preventative measures.
The finest cloud platforms all include an advanced/premium level native CSPM solution that can, among other things, detect data ex-filtration, identify threats during events, hijack IAM accounts, and mine cryptocurrency. However, bear in mind that these functions often only function on the respective cloud platforms. The best course of action for hybrid or multi-cloud deployments is to employ a specialised tool that illustrates how secure the deployment is.
6.Establish cloud security policies
To set boundaries across a business to keep it secure, security policies are created specifically for the cloud. For instance, you may restrict the deployment of workloads that use public IP addresses, block east-west connectivity, or monitor the traffic patterns of container workloads.
There are several methods used by various assistance providers. This could be accomplished in GCP with the aid of business rules, although in Azure it could be accomplished with the aid of Azure policies. The benefit of security rules is that they ensure that all cloud deployments immediately meet the compliance requirement. You can read more about the security practices in cloud after you get yourself a cloud hosting to strengthen your cloud security.
7.Secure your containers
The most common option in the cloud is Kubernetes. Both the platforms that run the containers and those platforms are safeguarded. For containerized processes, you must establish security baselines that adhere to industry requirements, monitor them, and notify any changes.
Even if they occur while the container is running, organisations require technologies that can detect terrible things that happen in containers. It is difficult to overstate how crucial it is to have security tools that enable you to monitor activity in containers and identify and terminate malicious ones. Strong artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are the best way to discover malware without utilising signatures because threats are always evolving.
8.Carry out vulnerability analysis and remediation
To safeguard your workloads against malware and virus attacks, you need have a real-time vulnerability screening and repair solution. Both VM-deployed and containerized workloads should be supported by the service.
Think about a vulnerability management solution that can automatically fix issues when they can be fixed, produce reports and display the results on dashboards, and continuously scan workloads for vulnerabilities.
9.Adopt a Zero Trust Strategy
The gold standard for providing cloud security best practices is the Zero Trust (also known as assume breach) strategy. Even though the services are inside the organization’s security perimeter, there should be no assumption of trust between them.
Segmentation and allowing for little to no contact between various services in an application are the fundamental tenets of a Zero Trust strategy. For this message, only authorised identities should be used in accordance with the least privilege principle. Any communication that takes place between internal resources or with external resources needs to be watched, recorded, and checked for irregularities. This also holds true for administrative tasks. You can use either native or external monitoring and logging technologies in this situation.
Here is hoping that you have understood the listed cloud security best practices for cloud hosting. We believe that these are some of the most prominent ones if not all. But we believe that implementing these from the beginning will set you off far ahead than most others in this domain.
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