Cloud Security: Adopting a Structured Approach

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Companies across the broad spectrum of industries are increasingly embracing the cloud. Of course, this remains a terrific development, but not without its concerns. Security, much like with any other digital offerings, poses a huge question for most businesses on their journey towards the cloud. While the security landscape is constantly evolving, there is one particular approach that can help companies adopt a robust cloud security posture: a prescriptive approach. This security tenet essentially recommends the adoption of an informed MO when it comes to ensuring the security of a company’s interests in the cloud. Here is what this approach entails.

1. Access management: The key to protecting your interests in the cloud is the identification and verification of users who use the company’s cloud-based applications. So, to ensure top-notch access management, it would be a good idea to adopt a strategy based on two forms of access control: context-based and risk-based.

a. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): If you are working with IaaS, the key to ensuring security is through making use of a cloud access gateway in the organization’s cloud. Why? To integrate user authentication while also ensuring access to said service across all sorts of devices. Oh, and did I mention this is right where one can integrate safeguards and measures to protect apps against threats like cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks.
b. Platform as a Service (PaaS): If it is a new app in PaaS that you are aiming at, I highly recommend ensuring consistency in security. You can achieve the required consistency through the usage of said apps by standardizing an authentication API to facilitate the integration of the PaaS applications into the company’s identity and access management infrastructure and that too without necessitating the input of security experts.
c. Software as a Service (SaaS): When it comes to SaaS apps, experts recommend using an integrated identity management solution. To what end, you ask; well, to enable you to foster a trusted relationship with the SaaS vendors and applications for your organization. Okay, allow me to elucidate this further: When you adopt this approach, you not only gain significantly improved usage with a single sign-on but also the means for your security team to monitor and regulate employees’ usage of the said SaaS apps.

2. Data security: It is not news that data is one of the most valuable commodities in the world at the moment. That alone is enough to demonstrate just how important it is to focus efforts on safeguarding data. Here is the recommended approach for ensuring ace data security.

a. Data monitoring: I understand if data monitoring seems redundant, but given its importance in the overall process, it is worth mentioning here. Perform data activity monitoring of your data sources and assess and fix vulnerabilities due to misconfiguration of data repositories. Given that the statistics show that the majority of data breaches happen due to a variety of issues, such as the misconfiguration of the database and vulnerabilities in the database that could be exploited, taking this step is a critical part of data security.
b. Data encryption: Data encryption is a terrific security measure and also a mandate according to regulations pretty much all over the world. It can help companies avoid taking a big blow in the event of a breach. You are likely to need different strategies for encryption based on the environment. For example, in an IaaS environment, you will have to work with the security provisions and solutions furnished by the cloud provider and likely also integrate some of your additional security provisions.
c. Scan for vulnerabilities: It is imperative to scan all apps with access to the company’s data to find any vulnerabilities, if at all. The point is to determine any vulnerabilities so that one can adequately tend to them as well. This is why security engineering integration in DevOps comes so highly recommended.

3. Visibility: I have noticed that when companies take the plunge and transition to the cloud, they often end up ignoring a rather critical aspect of the move, i.e. keeping an eye on what goes where and other such aspects. To cut a long story short, teams and executives in charge of the company’s IT department must know precisely what data goes on the cloud; who has access to which cloud apps; any security incidents; administrative activities for infrastructure management across both, their traditional environment and the cloud. Such visibility across environments helps companies effectively analyze their performance in the context of security.
4. Streamline cloud security strategy: As cloud computing becomes increasingly common, the market is now brimming with cloud security experts who serve to help companies ameliorate their strategies when it comes to the cloud. It would be a good idea to engage the services of such a company to gauge their current security-related performance, identify and chart goals about the switch to the cloud, and even put together a well-thought-out strategy for adoption. This is important because it can be hard for a non-specialist entity to keep up with all the challenges and developments in cloud computing, thus making it a tad challenging to properly implement security policies. Hence, the advice is to consult an expert.

Cloud computing is a massive undertaking and there is no doubt about that. It is also abundantly clear that there is much to be gained by switching to the cloud, however, none of that and all your efforts will amount to anything unless you can ensure top-notch security for all your endeavors on the cloud.

Of course, there are countless technologies, strategies, tools, and other things to help companies properly manage the security of their in the cloud, but by now countless studies have proven that nothing is quite as effective as adopting a properly structured cloud security approach. I believe such an approach can deliver substantially better results than one might expect. Hence, I recommend you start looking for a trusted cloud app development company to help you figure out this approach and implement it for your properties on the cloud.

Mrunal Chokshi
Mrunal has been actively involved in Internet marketing for more than 10 years. His knowledge and experience motivates him regularly in contributing through writing on technology topics.

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