With a rapidly evolving digital world, the security of cloud operations has become extremely crucial today. We see headlines where cybercriminals execute malicious attacks on organizations every other day, causing them potential monetary loss. Gaps in cloud security can really prove dangerous for enterprises, and it should never be overlooked when setting up a cloud network.
Cloud security and networks are very much different than On-prem infrastructure, and that is why they require meticulous security directives. In cloud operations, infrastructural components are switched to software, and you might need modern firewalls to run in such fluid environments.
Significance of Cybersecurity
Today, enterprises are rapidly embracing cloud for their data and security, which has brought cybersecurity into the spotlight. New cybersecurity strategies are “need of the hour” to mitigate new risks that arise during cloud operations.
Security patches and detecting anomalies are simply not enough to manage cloud security. You need to have more in-depth insights into the organizational structure, tools, and information to run successful cybersecurity strategies.
In this post, we are going to see how cloud clients can secure their cloud operations to prevent cyber-attacks:
5 Best Strategies to Secure Cloud Operations against Cyber Attacks
1. Access Control
We all know, cloud management and configuration tools, including APIs, command-line interfaces, CSP (Cloud Service Provider) consoles provide exceptional autonomy, flexibility, and agility to the end-users. This is why these modern tools also need to be secured with strong role-based access control to prevent organizations from internal and external cyber threats.
To implement this, you can:
- Configure authorization and authentication of privileged users through two-factor authentication, certificates, and digital signatures.
- Standardize procedures for account life-cycle management.
- Evaluate skills and training thoroughly before assigning cloud roles.
- Make sure the admin and user credentials are separate and limit user access to the production systems.
2. Data encryption
As a matter of fact, data is the most critical asset for all organizations, hence preventing it at all costs is a necessity.
Cloud operations are highly prone to data spillage and data breaches. Besides, securing data-in-motion and data-in-rest are equally crucial, and this can be primarily done via encryption.
Encrypt sensitive data in transit and isolate it using multiple keys to reduce the chances of having a compromised key.
- Encrypt all data- be it data in transit or data at rest
- Check whether CSP network is natively encrypted or not.
- Look for third-party as well as native cloud encryption solutions.
3. Automation at its best
Making use of automation in your workflows will reduce the chances of human errors often caused due to carelessness or misconfigurations. Such manual human errors often result in security vulnerabilities, malicious threats, inconsistent deployment configurations, and unintended data leakages.
As per Gartner’s recent research reports, approximately 99% of cloud security failures are caused due to the client’s fault. This alone proves that manual errors pose a huge cloud security risk.
To avoid this, enterprises need to adopt automation of pipelines with well-audited and proven configurations. This will make sure that your cloud infrastructure is configured and deployed with precision. Here’s what you can do to adopt automation into your workflows:
- Automate platform and infrastructure builds, baseline configurations, security testing, and guardrails.
- Regularly perform configuration checks.
- Perform routine compromise assessments to strengthen cloud security and identify weak spots such as compromises and risks.
4. Evaluate Visibility and Vulnerability Management
As you adopt a cloud solution, organizations need to monitor and manage multiple systems, large amounts of data, and various cloud environments’ responsibilities. If organizations do not leverage smart visibility and vulnerability management tools, it can get really difficult to gain insights about different assets of your cloud infrastructure.
Traditionally, enterprises used to heavily depend upon legacy techniques such as manual vulnerability detection and remediation management by humans. But this method is quite challenging and time-consuming when it comes to cloud infrastructure, as events happen at a lightning speed across interconnected environments.
Before opting for a cloud solution, organizations need to look for answers to the following questions:
- Does your existing infrastructure provide deeper visibility across the cloud system?
- Do you have a well-integrated system of dashboards, logs, and reports to gather crucial data from operating systems, network appliances, applications, and other cloud infrastructure components?
- Are you well-aware of the cloud service provider’s SLAs (Service-Level Agreements) and incident response policies?
Adopting modern vulnerability management tools such as container and serverless architectures will reap myriads of benefits for enterprises. One of the main advantages of these tools is how they speed up the infrastructure deployment cycles and help in delivering new cloud services faster.
5. Adopt DevSecOps
Switching your business workflows to a cloud system is just the primary step of digital transformation. As you scale with time, new applications will be introduced in your infrastructure, and your IT leaders will have to make consistent enhancements throughout the operations life cycle.
Traditional IT operations can create bottlenecks in your journey of cloud agility. To avoid this, adopting the DevSecOps approach is the best solution. It is nothing but a set of practices that integrate “security” right at the initial stage of product development instead of considering it later. Such an approach bridges the gap between your developers’ team and Ops team. It keeps them on the same page, as security becomes a core responsibility of every single individual in the team.
- Set up site reliability engineer functions to help the Operations team in upgrading the environment consistently
- Adapt DevSecOps approach and assign security staff in Ops and developers team
- Evaluate new products/services by keeping the road map of future integrations in mind
The five powerful strategies mentioned here will help organizations in securing their cloud operations to prevent cyber threats. Not just that, IT leaders will also be able to mitigate their other compliance and security risks as they reap benefits from the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and agility of a cloud solution.
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