What Settings Must be Essentially Enabled for Cloud Security? 

Managing cloud security privileges is a daunting task, given the lack of niche skillset that further complicates applying an appropriate security posture. This understanding gap leads to several vulnerabilities and low visibility into resource consumption. With the cloud being exposed to new, more sophisticated attacks, it’s essential that in-house security teams of organizations have a sound awareness of different threat scenarios with potentially disruptive impacts. Some of these are 

  • Data breaches
  • Violations in cloud infrastructure compliance 
  • Misconfigurations 
  • Identity theft 
  • Dos attacks 

Having a cloud security posture management solution in place, organizations can easily address their security gaps and the way their team governs them. Almost every successful attack on a cloud environment is linked to misconfigurations, manual errors, and mismanagement. CISOs are focusing on investing in security posture management of their infrastructure and identifying tools, Cloudlytics for instance, for proactive remediation of potential risks. The global expenditure on cloud security & management is estimated by Gartner to exceed US$ 18 billion in 2022. 

Having All Security Management Features at One Place 

A key challenge among organizations is that they have many security tools deployed, which has deemed managing all alerts and prioritizing them impossible. This has not only led to fatigue but also ignorance of several alerts due to the absence of information needed for contextual decision-making. The end result is exposure to risks. Having all security features at one place brings all alerts together, centralizing them for organizations to run their security settings at ease. 

A prime example of this would be AWS Security Hub, which helps organizations manage alerts generating from different security tools, including firewalls, endpoint protection, or compliance scanners. This stays true for both integrated services as well as those comprised within the APN. 

Top Tips for Securing a Cloud Environment 

  • Configuration – Ensuring that systems are configured accurately at the fundamental level allows operating at the degree of security that aligns well with regulatory as well as business needs. There are fine-grain permissions assigned to storage clusters and applications’ need to access them can be met through small subsets. It is a convoluted task, locking these permissions, which makes it important for organizations to prioritize configurations and monitoring for securing their cloud resources.   
  • Logging & Auditing – No security breach happens with a warning and not all security breaches occur at once. Gauging when security breaches could possibly occur and identifying gaps to safeguard against future challenges needs logging and auditing. AWS has several built-in tools for this, such as Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon CloudTrail, which help in pinpointing issues, visualizing logs, and automating actions for remediations. 
  • Role-based Access – Defining roles to cover accessibility requirements and ensuring that these roles have minimum access helps reduce the potential damage of accounts in the event of breaches. The identity, which can be authenticated, is called a principle and principles can be anything, ranging from roles and users to applications. Authorization helps organizations identify the type of access to requested resources that identified principles possess. 
  • Multi-layered Security – Subsequently layered security is touted to be the differentiator between security and breaches. One of the most potent tools is MFA or multi-factor authentication, wherein the password is one layer of security and acts as the first factor. The additional requirement here is to have a second factor, which is something unique. Using both factors, authenticating devices or users becomes quite assuring and reinforces the security considerably. 
  • Encryption – No matter how top-notch the efforts are, it is always sensible to gauge that the data is at risk of exposure. Implementing encryption helps prevent attackers from breaching the systems. Encrypting the data at rest as well as the data in transit ensures organizations that anyone trying to infiltrate their systems will need a passcode for decryption. 

Cloud Security Goals in the New Normal 

  • Automation – Monitoring every asset in the cloud while determining remediation plans and supporting new resources types is a tedious activity. Such jobs require automation and organizations are already investing and putting efforts to achieve it. 
  • Monitoring in Real Time – Just inspecting logs won’t work. Cloud environments, unlike traditional data centers, need continuous monitoring of every asset’s configuration state. This helps organizations in ensuring a robust compliance posture even as having insights to take prioritized actions. 
  • Mitigating Complexities – Cloud environments continue to grow more and more complex, with a growing number of applications, multiple pipelines, and the ever-expanding landscape. The need of the hour is to streamline approaches to security that reduces complexities of cloud environments as an end-result. 
  • Proactive Approach – While security must be implemented even before identifying possible breaches, it is often observed that organizations take actions only after damage is caused. Being more proactive and less reactive is the key to anticipating potential risks. 

Moving Forward 

Cloud security is one of the most important areas to consider in 2022 as providers and businesses alike bring more solutions to the fore. Responding to this, organizations must emphasize leveraging cloud-native tools, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, and cybersecurity solutions to stay secure while they compete to gain an edge in the modern business landscape. 

What are cloud Access Security Brokers? The Complete Guide

Imagine a broker between the user and the cloud. They address most of the gaps in maintenance and security between the user of the software and the cloud in which the software resides. A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) does exactly this. A CASB is defined as cloud-based software and/or hardware that acts as a mediator between cloud service providers and end-users. 

Used to deal with risks and security issues that extend through SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, CASB also helps extend the reach of maintenance and security policies from existing on-premise architecture to cloud-based architecture. This helps organizations create better policies, specifically for cloud usage. 

What is CASB?

The development of CASB inside the cloud infrastructure helps developers address security risks through increase visibility into the cloud. This particularly applies to SaaS or Shadow IT.

As seen with SaaS, the analytics demonstrated by the CASB is a real shocker to many IT project managers. They discovered the depth to which cloud usage within their enterprise application penetrated their daily usage. According to the 2019 McAfee Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, an average of 1935 cloud-based services were being utilized by the business as opposed to 30 according to the everyday IT professional.

While Shadow IT threats loomed large over every SaaS and PaaS organization, CASB wasn’t adopted just for this use case. A lot of new-age organizations began moving their data from traditional data centers to cloud environments. This required the large-scale adoption of CSPM along with CASB, which enabled the protected movement of data (restricting access to sharing and editing things) as well as encrypting the content of data, which was deemed the most essential. 

While the abilities of cloud to mount a strong defense against threats increased with the increasing adoption of the latest technologies, the malware world was seeing a shift as well. Phishing and scamming became more pervasive and better targeted. The smallest of the security loopholes were massively exploited. A solid and common example was to make an Amazon S3 bucket public, which can reveal sensitive data to the consumers at large, leaving them wide open to all kinds of security attacks and threats. 

The adoption of CASB is much needed than ever before. According to Gartner, by 2022, 60% of large enterprises will use CASBs, which is triple the number in 2018.”

What CASBs provide

The features of CASBs are quite unique when compared to other security protocols for cloud-based environments. They are different from traditional firewall protocols for web and app-based platforms. They may offer:

  • Risk assessment and governance over the cloud
  • Prevention of data loss
  • Control and collaboration over cloud-based activities
  • Preventions of threat-based risks in User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)
  • Configuration auditing
  • Detection of malware
  • Data encryption
  • SSO and IAM integration
  • Key management
  • Contextual access control

How does a CASB work: Four Pillars of CASB


A large organization may have many players accessing and viewing the data inside a cloud system for various uses. When the usage of the cloud is done beyond the purview of IT, the enterprise data within its strongholds are no longer contained by the company’s governance and policies, particularly risk and compliance. 

To deal with this change, a cloud security broker is installed, which provides a detailed visibility into various analytics such as app usage, user information, and the time used by the person to access the services inside the cloud. The analysis also provides an assessment of risk for each cloud service that has been in use, which helps enterprise IT professionals make the right call whether to provide access or block a feature within the app.

Using the CASB, modular access can be provided to the various facets of the app, and data can be targeted based on the individual’s location, device, and primary job functions.


With the large-scale adoption of the cloud, companies are driving out their data into typical cloud-driven architectures. This requires them to maintain responsibility when it comes to matters of compliance with various regulatory bodies and the governing protocols over privacy and safety while using the enterprise application. 

Specialists known as Cloud Access Security Brokers can help maintain protocols within the cloud as per the regulations. Some of the compliance regulations can include HIPAA, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and more. A CASB can provide answers to compliance and protocols and provide a meaningful direction to the security team that would focus on solving these issues inside the cloud.

Data Security

The adoption of cloud-based infrastructure has removed many barriers that prevent efficient collaboration from a distance. The cost to protect data while keeping its movement seamless is pretty high for organizations that aim to keep it protected and confidential based on various agreements and compliances. DLP solutions are designed to help on-premise movement, but it is the application of the CASB that helps in extending it into cloud services and cloud context. 

The fusion of CASB security and DLP solutions helps the IT department in verifying the sensitive content that parses through the cloud. This applies to any data moving within the cloud and cloud to cloud as well. Security features such as collaboration control, data loss prevention and access control, management of information rights, tokenizations, and encryptions can be deployed to prevent any data leaks and security malfeasances. 

Threat Protection

Mistakes in the IT domain can lead to tons of losses. Whether it’s through negligence or malicious intent, employees and third-party users can leak credentials exposing sensitive data from cloud services. To help target such anomalies, CASBs can help provide a comprehensive view of patterns across various use-cases. These can help in providing comparisons. 

With the integration of AI and ML into the User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), CASBs can detect threats and remedy them as soon as there is an attempt made at stealing data to gain improper access. Adaptive access control, dynamic and static analysis of malware, threat intelligence, and prioritizing the analysis of malware are some of the many capabilities adopted by CASBs to protect the services from incoming threats.

Will a CASB provide comprehensive cloud security? 

Gartner, in its latest report, expounds on the Cloud Access Security Broker is a core unit of the enterprise cloud security systems. It also mentions the adoption of CASB as one of the many overall security strategies to secure using cloud storage within an organization. 

Comprehensive protection can involve the usage of CASBs in deploying Secure Web Gateways (SWGs), which help in securing internet usage and provide solutions that prevent data loss. This helps protect IP rights and sensitive data spanning across the entire organization and the network.

How Can I deploy a CASB?

Simplicity and ease of deployment are two of the functions of Cloud Access Security Broker technology. Some of the things to be considered before deployment are

Deployment location

A CASB can be deployed either on-premise or within the architecture of a cloud. SaaS versions, which are highly popular, adopt CASB technologies the most.

Deployment Model

Inherently, there are three CASB deployment models to be considered. They are API-Control, Reverse Proxy, and Forward Proxy.

  • API Control helps in providing visibility into the threats plaguing the cloud and the data stored within it. It helps in quick deployment and offers ample coverage.
  • Reverse Proxy is ideal for technology that is outside the control of the network security.
  • Forward Proxy helps in collaboration with endpoint protection and VPN technology for offshore clients.

Gartner proposes an ideal scenario for businesses to consider CASB products in the cloud architecture that offer options to cover all access points to the cloud. The flexibility helps in businesses expanding their cloud protection and scaling issues as well. 

Considerations for CASBs

Some of the considerations for CASBs are given below:

  1. Is this the right fit? Enterprises should identify their needs for CASBs before specifically crafting a solution that addresses their goals and needs. Companies should perform POCs and analyze the data that results from the surveys using cybersecurity tools. These in-depth reference calls with similar organizations can help them craft the right CASB solutions for them.
  2. Scalability as per your needs. The threats faced by clouds can grow with the growth of the cloud infrastructure. Partnering with the CASB vendors that tailor to your needs, the cloud compliance and security policies can be maintained and up-to-date with the ability to have access to newer features and options.
  3. Protection for IaaS. Large enterprise environments such as IaaS,’ must be protected against threats as well with the establishment of CASBs not only catering to their configurations but also defending the customers through threat protection, DLP control, and activity monitoring.

Integrating a CASB with Cloudlytics

Cloudlytics can help offer a comprehensive Cloud Access Security Broker for your needs. Cloud audits, free trials, and more can help you garner an accurate idea for your business needs and cloud usage. 

These metrics can help you tailor a custom cloud solution for you that will fit well into your overall security strategy and cloud infrastructure. Integrating CASBs with SSOs (Single Sign-On) and IAM (Identity and Access Management) applications can be done sooner than later to leverage the applications of CASBs. Test-driving your CASB can be provided, and the role of your CASB can be determined during the trial and evaluation period as well.

Click here to get a free demo AND a free audit of your cloud security too!

What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) helps automate and identify the various levels of risks and their potential remedies across different cloud infrastructures. These can be Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

The main use of CSPM is risk visualisation, risk assessment, response to incidence, monitoring, DevOps integration, and regulatory compliance. CSPM helps apply the best practices and regulations to cloud security that includes multi-cloud, hybrid, and container environments.

Why Using CSPM Is Important

With the world moving closer to cloud-based systems, the security problems become more acute in nature. Over the course of a single day, a cloud tends to connect and disconnect from several thousands of other networks. This requires a cloud computer to be powerful in processing with negligent latency. However, this may leave them vulnerable at times and hard to secure. 

Some of the reasons why traditional security fails with cloud-based systems:

  • There is no defined perimeter to protect
  • The manual processes fail, with the required speed and scale
  • The dearth of centralization makes it difficult to pinpoint vulnerabilities 

Newer technologies are breaching the market at such a pace that their security requirements fail to catch up. We need cybersecurity now more than ever. While cloud-based computation ends up providing cost benefits, the security aspect can take away a large chunk of the ROI – with different technologies such as Kubernetes, microservices, containers, serverless functions, and more. 

How Does CSPM Work?

Discovery and Visibility

Cloud Security posture management systems discover different infrastructure assets and configurations. Users can access fundamental points of truth across the entire infrastructure.

Misconfiguration Management and Remediation

Cloud Security posture management eliminates security threats and accelerates the process of cloud application delivery and its configuration up to industry benchmarks. 

DevOps Integration

CSPM significantly reduces overhead charges and removes friction and complexity across the entire cloud infrastructure. A posture management system that is cloud-native and agentless provides central level control and visibility over the cloud resources.

The CSPM also integrates with DevOps and its toolsets to ensure faster remediation and response. The dashboards provide a shared understanding through different operations and security needs among the infrastructure teams. 

Additional Benefits of Enterprise CSPM

Cybersecurity and information or network protection. Future cyber technology web services for business and internet project

Fundamentally, there are two types of risks: Intentional and Unintentional. Most of the cybersecurity work revolves around intentional risks. These can be malicious attacks on the cloud and more. However, unintentional risks, such as leaving sensitive information in S3 buckets, can cause significant losses to an organisation. 

For example, in November 2020, around 10 million files containing information about travellers were exposed when they were found to be stored in S3 buckets that were improperly configured. This is just one of the many data leaks that we see every day – a common problem plaguing the cloud industry and businesses. 

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) aims to prevent accidental vulnerabilities by giving unified visibility through various cloud environments instead of having to verify different consoles and consolidate data from various vendors. Automatic misconfigurations are prevented, and the time for value is accelerated. 

Cloud Security posture management also helps in the reduction of alert fatigue since the different alerts come through a single system rather than multiple. False positives are severely reduced through the use of artificial intelligence. Security operations centre productivity increases significantly. 

CSPM further monitors and continuously assesses the environment for strict adherence to compliance policies. When an unknown tangent is detected, corrective measurements are run automatically.

Another important factor is that cloud security posture management systems also uncover hidden threats through continuous scanning of the entire architecture. This reduces detection time as well as the time for remediation. 

Why Do Misconfigurations Occur?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a new technology that leverages the power of machine-readable definition files for its provision and management. This structure, which is primarily API-driven, is paramount to cloud-first environments since it makes it simple to change the infrastructural configurations on the fly. Unfortunately, it also makes it easy to program any misconfigurations that leave the environment open to all forms of security hazards. According to Gartner, 95 per cent of all security breaches are a direct result of misconfigurations, and these breaches cost companies nearly $5 trillion between 2018 and 2019.

The single largest vulnerability to cloud-integrated platforms is the lack of visibility. The typical enterprise cloud is complex and fluid, with hundreds and thousands of instances. Knowing the ins and outs of such a system requires sophisticated automation. With the lack of such automation, vulnerabilities might make the most of the misconfigurations within the system. These can remain undetected for days, weeks, and months if not constantly verified. 

Cloud Security Posture Management tackles these problems by monitoring the risk to the cloud environment continuously, by prevention, detection, response, and predicting the future risks and their appearances.

CSPM Secures Cloud Configurations Through Visibility 

Ultimately, CSPMs help eliminate security blindspots through constant monitoring inside-out of the cloud infrastructure. They help categorize data based on sensitivity through automation and help provide compliance and security through AI.

CSPM has become the standard norm for cloud-based architecture across multinational organisations and small-scale businesses alike.

Cloudlytics makes it easy for you to build robust CSPM. With multiple layers of security checks and automated configurations, Cloudlytics is built to up your cloud security

posture and help you fulfil compliance mandates for your business. With it, not only do you gain valuable insights into your entire security posture, you also get guidance on the appropriate measures to take to avoid possible cloud security breaches.

We are offering a free audit of your cloud security posture. Click here to avail it now!

Why is Cloud Security Important?

From increasing speed to expanding reach, cloud-based products & services empower businesses in every industry. For instance, a real-estate developer can deploy advanced project management systems on the cloud to increase operational efficiency and save labor overheads. Similarly, a manufacturing business can adopt IoT-based machinery and manage operations from a cloud-based application.

Be that as it may, there is one thing about the cloud that makes CIOs, CSOs, CISOs, networking administrators, and even the professionals nervous, which is cloud security.

What is cloud security?

Cloud security entails protecting and ensuring the integrity of cloud-based IT infrastructure. It includes authentication (user & device), access control, data transmission privacy, and regulatory compliance.

Depending on the type of cloud (public, private, and hybrid), cloud security professionals guide businesses to build a secure working environment and safeguard sensitive information.

Why is cloud security important?

Simply put, your business depends on the cloud and hence its security is essentially the security of your business. Cloud security is a top priority, whether you are a bank with the core application on the cloud, a real-estate developer using cloud-based project management, or a manufacturer with an automated facility. It protects your company from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, malware, hackers, and unauthorized access to company data.

Businesses store confidential information such as customer financial details, intellectual property, and sales records, which could cause irreparable damage if leaked. Therefore, it is essential to employ the most stringent cloud security measures.

Cloud security benefits

Cloud computing offers many benefits like 

  • Enhanced ability to deploy business apps 
  • Improved accessibility
  • Effective collaboration 
  • Easier content management

Cloud-based IT can scale with the business almost instantly. However, with these benefits comes the vulnerability of business data. To counter this vulnerability, cloud security offers a range of features. Let’s take a look at these in detail.

1. Increased Reliability and Availability

The problem with cloud computing is the increased exposure of business information on the internet. However, cloud security mitigates this risk by deploying data encryption and secure transfer channels, increasing the reliability of business applications. Features such as access control ensure that only authorized personnel can access data on your business cloud.

2. Improved DDoS Protection Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a nightmare of any cloud computing setup. The idea is to overload your cloud servers and cause a system crash exposing your business to a possible data breach. Cloud security mitigates that risk by IAM, monitoring the user inflow, and dispersing them in case of a sudden increase.

3. Lower Upfront Costs

Just like cloud computing, cloud security reduces the upfront costs significantly. Organizations do not need to invest in continuously upgrading heavy-duty security hardware to protect their IT infrastructure. Cloud Security Providers (CSP) proactively assess your security needs and deploy additional security if required. Businesses do not need to buy other hardware to ramp up their security.

4. Reduced Ongoing Operational and Administrative Expenses

Cloud security eliminates the need for ongoing operational and administrative expenses, and a CSP replaces the need for network security and organizational workforce to provide manual upgrades and configurations. Instead of conducting team meetings to assess the readiness of your security, you only need to contact your CSP and get a detailed report.

5. Centralized Security

Earlier it took days, maybe even months, to find the source of a data breach. But in today’s age of cloud security, it takes minutes to identify the origin of a security breach. It gives a centralized view of the security readiness of all the devices and users of your business applications.

6. Greater Ease of Scaling

If you were to increase the storage and computing capacity of conventional hardware IT infrastructure, it would entail a lot of meetings and discussions with OEMs about the security of the additional capacity. However, you can complete this task in just a few conversations with cloud computing and security professionals. Cloud security offers ease of scaling without a significant investment of time and money.

The benefits of cloud computing far outweigh the risks. In 2020, only 20% of cloud-based businesses saw a security breach. Of course, a lot of this relative safety can be attributed to increased adoption of cloud security. Just like the breaches more often than not were traced back to violation of the same security protocols. 

Let’s look at a few additional cloud security methods which make it an ideal candidate for business applications and information management systems. 

Zero Trust Security Strategy

A popular topic in cloud security is the Zero Trust Security strategy. Zero Trust is a cloud security framework that makes it necessary for all users to regularly authenticate and check for security postures before allowing access to business applications. It gives secure access to remote workers and protects against any ransomware threats to your organization.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM adds another layer to your cloud security. It combines security information management and event management functions under one umbrella and gives a bird’s eye view of your cloud security. The idea is to continuously log possible threats and provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated through business apps and networks.

The Importance of Balancing Security and User Experience

A crucial aspect of successful cloud security is its user-friendliness. Your security measures should not be so extreme that users cannot work in your cloud environment. Rigid cloud security invokes users to find a workaround to get their job done, ultimately leaving your systems unsecured. When choosing a cloud security provider, you must assess the user-friendliness of security protocols. Experts believe that users are the weakest link of cloud-based IT. Therefore, ensure that your CSP has an end-user first mindset.

Tips to Select the Right Cloud Security Provider

Selecting a cloud security provider is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your organization’s data protection and overall cybersecurity posture. Here are ten tips in an ordered way to help you make an informed choice:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Begin by understanding your specific security requirements. Identify the types of data and applications you’ll be moving to the cloud, as well as compliance and regulatory considerations.
  2. Research Providers: Thoroughly research different cloud security providers. Research to know about more about the company’s reputation. Seek recommendations from peers and industry experts.
  3. Compliance Expertise: Ensure the provider has expertise in compliance standards relevant to your industry, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or SOC 2, to ensure they can meet your compliance requirements.
  4. Data Encryption: Verify that the provider employs strong encryption methods for data in transit and at rest. Encryption is fundamental to protecting your sensitive information.
  5. Access Control: Look for robust access control mechanisms, including role-based access controls (RBAC) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to limit access to authorized users only.
  6. Incident Response: Inquire about their incident response plan and their track record in handling security incidents. A rapid and effective response is crucial in mitigating potential breaches.
  7. Security Monitoring: Ensure the provider has a robust monitoring and alerting system in place to detect and respond to suspicious activities and threats promptly.
  8. Data Backup and Recovery: Check their data backup and disaster recovery capabilities to ensure that your data is protected in case of unexpected events or data loss.
  9. Transparency and Reporting: Seek transparency in their security practices and request regular reports on security incidents, compliance audits, and performance metrics.
  10. Scalability and Future-Proofing: Consider how well the provider can scale with your organization’s growth and evolving security needs. Assess their ability to adapt to emerging threats and technologies.

By following these ordered tips, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting a cloud security provider that aligns with your organization’s security requirements and helps protect your digital assets effectively.

How Cloudlytics Enables Seamless Security and Compliance

At Cloudlytics, we are dedicated to finding the sweet spot of impeccable cloud security with minimum user difficulty. From compliance management, event analytics, AWS well-architecture reviewing to cloud system monitoring, we can help your business scale up your IT without compromising security and user efficiency. Let’s discuss your shift to the cloud and find the best possible solution for your cloud security.

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