Ensuring the security of the corporate cloud
In today’s digital landscape, cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses deliver business services. The cloud offers unmatched scalability, flexibility and efficiency/cost, allowing organizations to focus on innovation instead of infrastructure management. However, the convenience of the cloud also comes with real security challenges (as we move away from the secure local network to our current perception). As more sensitive information and critical applications move to the cloud, ensuring strong cloud security has become paramount.
During the last few years, large security companies have offered the market diverse solutions in the field of cloud security and a considerable variety of startups, local and global, provide need-based solutions for new aspects that did not exist in traditional organizational infrastructures before the digital age of the cloud.
On daily basis we currently hear about security areas which are called by names such as: DSPM, CSPM, IAM, CNAPP, IR, API Security and more.
In this article, I will review a variety of modern security components that every organization is required to pay attention to, each organization according to its organizational priorities, the resources and projects capabilities available to it, and later I will focus additional articles regarding the classifications for the field as defined in the market and by the analysts.
Main components of cloud security:
Data Security, data security in the cloud: adopting a comprehensive approach to safeguarding sensitive information that is stored, processed, and moved within cloud environments outside of it and between clouds. Data security includes the implementation of tools, practices and policies aimed at ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in the cloud. This involves monitoring and assessing the security status of the cloud resources, identifying weak points or incorrect settings and taking proactive measures to reduce risks and leakage of information to unauthorized parties – inside and outside the organization. Quality solutions in the field provide organizations with the means to maintain compliance with industry regulations and standards, protect against information breaches and maintain solid security as they realize the benefits of cloud computing.
Identity and Access Management (IAM): Controlling and managing who can access the corporate cloud resources is critical. IAM solutions manage user identities, permissions and authentication, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has become the de facto standard that adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of authentication before they are granted access. Solutions in the field of IAM should provide capabilities to handle the complexity of working in multiple clouds as well as the hybrid configuration that is more common in traditional organizations.
Api Security, secure API interfaces: Application programming interfaces (API) enable interactions between different software components inside and outside the organization. Securing APIs is essential to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities and gaining unauthorized access to data or services. Using proper authentication and authorization mechanisms for APIs minimizes such risks. In addition, there are currently wrap-around solutions on the market that provide a wider protective envelope by discovering/exposing all the API’s that exist in the organization and integrating AI tools to prevent attacks and intrusions.
Threat Intelligence and Incident Response: essential elements in modern cyber security strategies. Threat intelligence includes proactive collection, analysis and interpretation of data related to potential and existing cyber threats. This information helps organizations understand the tactics, techniques and procedures employed by malicious actors in sectoral, regional and other cross-sections. This information makes it possible to make informed decisions about the security measures that should be taken. Incident Response (IR), on the other hand, is a structured approach to managing and reducing the consequences of a cyber incident or breach. IR includes activities such as detection, containment, eradication of attackers and recovery. By combining Threat Intelligence with IR, organizations can not only prevent and detect threats more effectively but also respond quickly and effectively to minimize the impact of security incidents, reduce downtime and potential data loss.
Auditing and Monitoring: Implementation of monitoring tools that operate continuously and continuously while performing regular audits, which helps to detect and reduce potential security threats. Public cloud service providers offer tools for tracking user activities, tools for monitoring resource usage and identifying abnormal behavior, while ensuring a quick response to suspicious activities. There are a wide variety of tools from providers. Information that enables management and control collection as well as multi-cloud management capabilities in one platform. Attention should also be given to saving a long rage back information for the benefit of incident investigations, studying behavior patterns, identifying anomalies, and more.
Cloud-native application protection: a new field of application protection platforms for a new generation of born to the cloud solutions. A unified and integrated field of security and compliance capabilities designed to secure and protect cloud-native applications throughout the development and production lifecycle. Platforms from the CNAPP family unite a large number of previously completed capabilities, including container scanning, cloud security exposure management, code infrastructure scanning, cloud infrastructure permission management, runtime cloud business application protection, and runtime container configuration/vulnerability scanning.
Disaster Recovery Planning: Information security in the cloud is not only preventing breaches and strengthening the control and protection systems, every organization must be prepared for the worst scenarios. Every organization must establish orderly plans for disaster recovery that describe procedures for recovering data in a minimum of time, restoring systems and ensuring business continuity in the event of a hack or shutdown.
Integration of Security into CI/CD Pipelines: Security integration into the CI/CD process is a crucial factor in modern software development. Implementing this practice helps ensure that testing and security measures are implemented throughout the software development lifecycle, from code development to deployment. Remember that this is an ongoing effort, integrating security into the enterprise CI/CD process is only one part of a comprehensive security strategy. Conducting periodic security surveys, building a threat model and continuous improvement are essential elements for maintaining a secure development environment. Integrating security into the CI/CD process, known as “DevSecOps”, ensures that security is an integral part of the development life cycle. Automated security testing, vulnerability assessments, and code analysis tools can identify potential problems early, reducing the risk of security flaws entering the production environment. Treating the CI/CD infrastructure as code (it is common to call it IAC) and applying the same security methods that are used for the business apps code. It is appropriate and desirable to review and update the configuration settings regularly to minimize vulnerabilities. Implement version control for the CI/CD configuration files to track changes and enable rollback to a known secure state – if necessary.
Security assessment of suppliers and subcontractors / supply chain security: Most organizations use third-party cloud service providers. The suppliers must be instructed regarding the security guidelines required for the benefit of working with the organization. These guidelines should include more methods, tools and work practices. It is recommended to conduct a security survey of the provider’s infrastructure and procedures. Make sure they meet the industry standards and compliance regulations relevant to the organization, and that their security protocols match your work requirements.
Employee training: Human error remains a significant (and perhaps even the primary) factor in security breaches. Every organization should have a plan to raise the level of awareness of the company’s employees regarding hacking methods and preventing human errors that affect organizational security, data handling procedures and how to identify phishing attempts. More advanced organizations train employees using existing tools from the market how to avoid these mistakes. Employees who are more skilled and aware of the capabilities of hackers and ways to avoid security mistakes significantly reduce the danger to the organization.
Summary: Maintaining the organization’s digital future.
In an era where security breaches can have substantial consequences for a company’s reputation and business, cloud information security is not a luxury – it is a necessity. The benefits of cloud computing can only be fully realized when they are accompanied by strong security measures. By implementing solutions and tools, strict access controls, continuous monitoring and disaster recovery plans, the organization can ensure that its digital assets remain protected and in the event of a disaster can be recovered.
Adopting cloud security isn’t just about protecting against cyber threats; It is about cultivating trust with the organization’s customers, partners and stakeholders. As technology evolves, it is imperative for every organization to stay one step ahead of potential attackers. Adapting enterprise security strategies is essential to navigating the ever-changing landscape of cloud security threats.
In conclusion, safeguarding the digital and business future of the organization starts with a proactive and continuous approach to cloud security.
About the author:
Shmuel Mishali is the founder of YouCC Technologies, a leading global cloud security company. His experience includes many years of involvement and leading security projects, in the cloud ,on-prem and hybrid, planning and deployment of secure application architectures.