Cloud Security: Its Benefits and main Pillars
Across the enterprise, Cloud Computing is one of the best ways to achieve digital agility. Migrating your data, infrastructure, and applications from on-premise hardware to the cloud supports the productivity of your hybrid workforce. The data over the cloud is always available, and collaborative communication is a huge benefit of cloud computing. The challenge of securing a perimeter is experienced in delivering secure cloud services.
Over the globe, various companies have rapidly implemented cloud solutions within the last two years to accommodate remote working. But the hasty migration may have increased the attack surfaces and led to wasteful technology acquisitions, insecure data transfers, and compliance issues. Cloud solutions must be addressed as a part of your overall security posture to maximize the benefits of data reliability, availability, and security.
What do you mean by Cloud Security?
The role of Cloud Security is to protect the cloud-based services, applications, and data through governance policies, technology, threat management, defined processes, and accessibility controls.
Protecting your business-critical data and applications can be a shared responsibility and a shared cost of the cloud services when you partner with a trusted Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). In an OpEx model, when cloud computing is delivered securely, it not only decreases the upfront costs but with the utilization of this, the user will also be able to scale as per the demand. While cloud strategies seem standard for future-focused business organizations, Gartner sees that “execution remains impeded by a lack of mandatory skills and tools to ensure secure cloud computing deployments.”
From the CEO to software developers, everyone in the organization needs to take security as a primary approach to cloud services. Engaging an MSP experienced in cloud deployments will help build and implement your cloud strategy to ensure that cloud deployment and execution will be managed appropriately.
How to Manage Security in the Cloud?
To protect the data from unfair means, cloud service providers use a combination of methods.
- Firewalls are a mainstay of cloud architecture. Firewalls protect the perimeter of your network security and end-users as well. Firewalls also safeguard traffic between different applications stored in the cloud.
- Access controls protect data by permitting you to set access lists for different assets. For example, you might allow specific employees’ application access while restricting others. By maintaining strict access control, you can safeguard critical documents from malicious insiders or hackers from stolen credentials.
- Cloud service providers always take the initiative to protect data that’s in transit. Data Security methods include virtual private networks, encryption, or masking. Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow remote employees to connect to corporate networks. VPNs accommodate tablets and smartphones for remote access.
- Data masking encrypts identifiable information, including names. Data masking maintains data integrity by keeping important information private. Using data masking, a medical company can share data without violating HIPAA laws.
- Threat intelligence identifies security threats and ranks them as per their importance. This feature helps you protect mission-critical assets from threats.
- Disaster recovery is the essence of security since it helps you recover data that are lost or stolen.
- The cloud services provider may also need to comply with data storage regulations. Some countries require data that can be stored within the boundaries of their country. If your country can fulfill this demand, you need to verify that a cloud provider has data centers in your country.
Benefits of Cloud Computing Security
Let’s take a look at the several benefits of a cloud security solution that are blended with the performance of a content delivery network.
Cloud DDoS Protection
Distributed denial of service attacks is in the increasing stage, particularly for retail and gaming websites. In 2014, CDNetworks saw a 29 % hike in DDoS attack frequency on client websites. Amplification attacks, a type of DDoS attack that utilizes vulnerable systems to send huge amounts of traffic to the target website or web application servers, this has increased sharply from only one occurrence in 2013 to 64 % in 2014.
A DDoS attack is designed to overwhelm website servers so they can no longer respond to legitimate user requests. Once a DDoS attack becomes successful, it renders a website for hours or even days. This can result in a loss of revenue, customer trust, and brand authority.
CDNetworks’ cloud security is a suite of services that monitor, identify and analyze DDoS attacks. A four-step process begins with identifying incoming DDoS attacks, alerting website managers of them, effectively absorbing DDoS traffic and dispersing it across global PoPs (points of presence), and facilitating post-attack analysis.
Web assets, whether they’re a suite of applications or a business website, are always on. A security solution that provides constant real-time support, including live monitoring, is becoming a business necessity. CDNs enhance the delivery of website content as well as application functionality on a global scale.
CDNs have built-in flexibility, allowing for a defense against various DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks can flood servers with anywhere between 1Gbps to 20Gbps of traffic, putting most origin and backup servers in a traditional network infrastructure out of commission.
Considering this, enterprises are turning toward managing hosting providers and content delivery networks with DDoS absorption capabilities to ensure continuity of service for their audience. CDNs utilize a global network of PoPs to balance incoming traffic, whether a legitimate spike or an unusual amount of traffic that needs to be diverted, minimizing downtime and delivering more intuitive security controls.
Several major data breaches at high-profile companies are nicknamed “The Year of the Data Breach,” IT professionals and executives can do everything they can to prevent a data breach at their own company. As a result, investments in access control, intrusion prevention, identity management, and virus and malware protection are on the rise.
These types of investments are coupled with cybersecurity protocols that protect communications between users and company servers. CDNs have added security protocols within their network to protect sensitive information and transactions. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which safeguards information to prevent a third party from eavesdropping or tampering with a message. E-commerce sites should look for a CDN with PCI compliance and other digital rights management layers.
Some industries that belong to financial institutions and e-commerce industries can have more industry and governmental regulations than others. A robust CDN can facilitate an enhanced infrastructure that supports regulatory compliance and use to protect consumers’ personal and financial data.
Here we have mentioned some of the Pillars of Robust Cloud Security.
Some of the cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), offer many cloud-native security features and services. All of these services are supplementary third-party solutions that are essential to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection from breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. Only an integrated cloud-native/third-party security stack provides the centralized visibility and policy-based granular control that are mandatory to deliver the following industry best practices:
- Granular, policy-based IAM and authentication controls across complex infrastructures
- Rather than working with individuals at the IAM level, work with groups and roles to make it easier to update IAM definitions as business requirements change. Grant only the minimal access privileges to assets and APIs essential for a group or role to carry out its tasks. Do not neglect good IAM hygiene, enforcing strong password policies, permission time-outs, and many more.
- Zero-trust cloud network security controls across logically isolated networks and micro-segments
- Deploy business-critical resources and apps in logically isolated sections of the provider’s cloud network, like Virtual Private Clouds (AWS and Google) or vNET (Azure). Use subnets to micro-segment workloads from each other, with granular security policies at subnet gateways. Use dedicated WAN links in hybrid architectures, and use static user-defined routing configurations to customize access to virtual devices, virtual networks and their gateways, and public IP addresses.
- Enforcement of virtual server protection policies and processes such as change management and software updates:
- Cloud security vendors provide robust Cloud Security Posture Management, consistently applying governance and compliance rules and templates when provisioning virtual servers, auditing for configuration deviations, and remediating automatically where possible.
- Safeguarding all applications (and especially cloud-native distributed apps) with a next-generation web application firewall
- This will granularly inspect and control traffic to and from web application servers, automatically updates WAF rules in response to traffic behavior changes, and is deployed closer to microservices that are running workloads.
- Enhanced data protection
- Enhanced data protection with encryption at all transport layers, secure file shares and communications, continuous compliance risk management, and good data storage resource hygiene, such as detecting misconfigured buckets and terminating orphan resources.
- Threat intelligence that detects and remediates known and unknown threats in real-time
- Third-party cloud security vendors add context to the large and diverse streams of cloud-native logs by cross-referencing aggregated log data with internal data such as asset and configuration management systems, vulnerability scanners, etc., and external data such as public threat intelligence feeds, geolocation databases, etc. They also provide tools that help visualize and query the threat landscape and promote quicker incident response times. AI-based anomaly detection algorithms are applied to catch unknown threats, which then undergo forensics analysis to determine their risk profile. Real-time alerts on intrusions and policy violations shorten times to remediation, sometimes even triggering auto-remediation workflows.