cloud computing security

IT Simplified: Cloud Security

Cloud computing security is a set of technologies and strategies that can help your organization protect cloud-based data, applications, and infrastructure, and comply with standards and regulations.

Identity management, privacy, and access control are especially important for cloud security because cloud systems are typically shared and Internet-facing resources. As more and more organizations use cloud computing and public cloud providers for their daily operations, they must prioritize appropriate security measures to address areas of vulnerability.

Security challenges in cloud computing:

Access Management

Often cloud user roles are configured very loosely, granting extensive privileges beyond what is intended or required. One common example is giving database delete or write permissions to untrained users or users who have no business need to delete or add database assets. At the application level, improperly configured keys and privileges expose sessions to security risks.

Compliance Violations

As regulatory controls around the world become more stringent, organizations must adhere to numerous compliance standards. By migrating to the cloud, you may be in violation of your compliance obligations.Most regulations and compliance standards require businesses to know where data is located, who can access it, and how it is managed and processed, which can all be challenging in a cloud environment. Other regulations require that cloud providers are certified for the relevant compliance standard.

Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS attacks)

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are designed to stream large amounts of traffic to a web server or other critical system, preventing it from responding to legitimate requests.Cloud computing is based on shared distributed computing resources and uses different types of virtualization technologies, making DDoS more complex and difficult to detect and prevent.

For example, new types of DDoS attacks involve attackers overwhelming virtualization resources like hypervisors; hijacking virtualization management systems to create new compromised VMs, and compromising migration and backup systems to create unneeded copies of production systems.

Unsecured APIs

Application program user interfaces (API) are the most common way to operate and integrate cloud systems.APIs can be used internally by company employees and externally by customers, via mobile or web applications. APIs can provide many types of data, including sensitive data that can be valuable to attackers. Because APIs are publicly available and their inner workings are well documented, they are a prime target for attackers

Lack of Visibility and Tracking

In the IaaS model, the cloud providers have full control over the infrastructure layer and do not expose it to their customers. The lack of visibility and control is further extended in the PaaS and SaaS cloud models. Cloud customers often cannot effectively identify and quantify their cloud assets or visualize their cloud environmets.

Ever-Changing Workloads

Cloud assets are provisioned and decommissioned dynamically—at scale and at velocity. Traditional security tools are simply incapable of enforcing protection policies in such a flexible and dynamic environment with its ever-changing and ephemeral workloads.

DevOps, DevSecOps and Automation

Organizations that have embraced the highly automated DevOps CI/CD culture must ensure that appropriate security controls are identified and embedded in code and templates early in the development cycle. Security-related changes implemented after a workload has been deployed in production can undermine the organization’s security posture as well as lengthen time to market.

Developing   Cloud Security system 

Granular, policy-based IAM and authentication controls across complex infrastructures

Work with groups and roles rather than at the individual IAM level to make it easier to update IAM definitions as business requirements change. Grant only the minimal access privileges to assets and APIs that are essential for a group or role to carry out its tasks. The more extensive privileges, the higher the levels of authentication. And don’t neglect good IAM hygiene, enforcing strong password policies, permission time-outs, and so on.

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, such as 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 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 maintaining good data storage resource hygiene such as detecting misconfigured buckets and terminating orphan resources.

Threat intelligence that detects and remediates threats in real-time

Third-party cloud security vendors add context to the large and diverse streams of cloud-native logs by intelligently 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. 

The cloud enables access to corporate data from anywhere, so companies need to make sure unauthorized parties cannot access that data. This can be achieved through a variety of strategies, including data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, monitoring, and careful use and maintenance of security & management  systems.

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