With so many incredible benefits, cloud computing is revolutionizing business. From scalability and cost-effectiveness to storage capacity and the scope for innovation, cloud computing brings companies into the modern digital era. It does, however, also present companies with fresh challenges. The most prominent of these? Cloud security.
Cloud security management and the way in which companies deal with cloud security threats are now critical issues for modern companies, both large and small. An increased attack surface, reduced visibility, and a more complex environment make the cloud, by nature, more difficult to protect. Still, cloud security is an ever-evolving field with constantly emerging tools, technologies, and methodologies helping to keep companies ahead of the curve.
The key is expertise and updated knowledge. With that in mind, in this article, we delve into the essential tools and best practices to secure your company in the cloud.
Cloud computing enables huge amounts of data to be easily stored and transferred. However, this leaves the data vulnerable ”“ a vulnerability that necessitates an extra measure to make the data unreadable to unauthorized users. This measure is encryption, a process that uses complex algorithms to convert plaintext data into ciphertext. Authorized users have access to a key, generated within a trusted shared environment and validated through multi-factor authorization, enabling them to decode the data and convert it into a readable, usable format.
A high-level cloud computing technology, confidential computing isolates data that is stored, whether in transit or being used. It isolates this data in a secure ”˜enclave’, creating a trusted execution environment (TEE). This TEE is accessible by a unique programming code, blocking all unauthorized access.
With the rise of remote working and the subsequent increasing need for remote access, cloud security solutions like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) are more important than ever. Providing secure access to your company’s data, applications, and services, ZTNA operates using specifically defined access policies to enable multiple users to work remotely and securely over one network. ZTNAs are seen as the future and are already becoming the favored technology for companies looking to restrict access to information, replacing traditional VPNs.
IAM is everything that happens on the other side of a login box. It works within the principle of ”˜least privilege access’, granting limited permission to users ”“ the right person gains access to the right thing, at the right time. Essentially, they strictly only have access to the things they need, nothing more. Users are granted access through multi-factor authentication, which can include password, fingerprint, and code verification. IAM generally operates within three key principles: case-by-case authorization, constant verification, and constant monitorization.
As the old saying goes, “you can’t protect what you can’t see.” Visibility within your cloud environment helps to maintain control and gain a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t within your infrastructure. You’ll also know where potential incidents might arise and understand the attributes of cloud security threats when they do occur.
Your company’s security assets comprise both the physical devices, such as laptops and tablets, and the data, virtual storage, and overall cloud architecture. Protecting these assets relies on consistent execution across all control types, meaning a comprehensive set of standards across the business.
Asset protection can come in the form of training staff to understand and implement the shared responsibility model or from any of the technical solutions mentioned above. It can also, more broadly speaking, comprise dedicated cloud security management. Managed detection and response services provide clear and tailored solutions by actively searching for potential threats in order to protect your assets.
Detecting and mitigating cloud security threats is one thing. But how well prepared a company is to recover from a serious security incident is crucial. A good DRP prevents huge data loss, saves money, maintains reputational trust with clients, and adheres to compliance.
A detailed, well-thought-out DRP takes time and expertise. All good cloud MDR providers will be able to create a response plan that is tailored to your company’s individual requirements, implementing the best possible step-by-step plan to minimize the cost and damage of a cybersecurity incident.
A typical DRP will have several stages, from collecting and interpreting data in order to build a custom-made plan to implementing the plan, along with ongoing monitoring and reassessment.
All companies, regardless of size, need to regularly assess security posture to identify potential gaps in security, infrastructure weaknesses, and compliance risks. Security audits, together with vulnerability assessments, are generally undertaken by a dedicated team of experts against a security audit checklist. This list of criteria measures the company’s effectiveness at managing, detecting, and recovering from security threats.
Regular security audits and risk assessments enable you to categorize and understand the value of your assets which, in turn, allow you to prioritize your inventory ”“ determining which assets are critical for core business functionality and most in need of dedicated protection.
Security audits generally take a week to 10 days to complete. Their regularity depends on the complexity of the systems, applications, and data used by the company. Still, security audits should be carried out at least once or twice a year.
When it comes to cloud security, trust is key. First of all, trust in the cloud provider. The top cloud providers are top for a reason. They provide clarity, excellent cloud products, have a proven track record, and are highly respected. It’s far more sensible to choose a trusted vendor with a solid reputation than take a punt on an unknown vendor.
Secondly, choose a trusted cloud security vendor. With the increasing importance of cloud computing and, therefore, cloud security, more and more businesses are investing in dedicated cloud security experts to steady the ship. Managed detection and response (MDR) providers act as an extension of your security team, offering next-level detection and resistance from attacks.
A trusted MDR provider brings transparency, clarity of action, and excellent communication. Knowing what kind of MDR provider is right for you takes a fair amount of consideration. But they should have the skills, expertise, and personality that are specific to your needs in terms of cloud security management.
Find out more about how Ackcent can help your company with our blend of next-generation technology and dedicated 24x7x365 service.
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