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
- 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.
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.