Implementing a strong cloud security strategy can be an overwhelming job. As you’re probably aware from experience, unexpected security issues are frequent with cloud security, forcing your staff to improvise quick solutions. Fortunately, the widespread adoption of cloud services means there are lot of people working on finding the best approaches. In fact, as of 2015 around 93% of companies are using cloud technology. With that in mind, here are 7 tips to help your business develop a first-rate cloud security strategy.
1. Configure Cloud Security Alerts at a Manageable Level
It’s difficult to solve a problem you don’t know exists. There’s a lot going on with a cloud platform and it’s impossible to manually screen everything, so instead you should rely on tech to police abnormalities. Configuring cloud security alerts across the many levels of the platform can immediately tell your DevOps staff there’s a problem as it happens. However, the trick here is to find a balance between providing too many and too few alerts.
Set the alerts standards loose enough to avoid false positives, but strict enough to catch real issues.
2. Utilize Continuous Monitoring for Workload Insights
Sometimes the biggest security threats you’re worried about come from the inside. Workload insights, an element of continuous monitoring platforms, examine how internal staff uses the cloud platform and identifies suspicious user activity. Workload Insights examines things like configuration changes, access to important files, control server connections, and other potentially harmful activity.
3. Catch Alerts Early
If you’re unfortunate enough to have experienced a cloud security breach, you know how important it is to get the holes patched immediately. The experts at eSecurity Planet recommend immediately reviewing alerts for things like new nodes, unauthorized configuration changes, new account creation, access rights adjustments, and other unusual behavior. Act on serious alerts immediately.
4. Implement a Backup Plan
If you’ve ever recovered from a computer crash, you’re probably aware of how helpful a reliable data backup can be. In a worst case scenario, your business may have to cut its loses and restore a cloud copy to a previously backed up state. A recent backup is your only insurance in the case of a catastrophic loss; the more frequent the backup the better.
For example, a data-important business like a hospital may run backups every four hours.
5. Think of Compliance as a Best Practice
Compliance reporting can mean more to cloud security than trying to pass an audit. Monitoring alone isn’t enough: leaving compliance regulations and requirements unfulfilled can leave your cloud open to attack.
6. Take advantage of APIs to minimize security risk
APIs are everywhere and a great cloud security option. If you found an interactive Google Map on your lunch restaurant’s website today, you used an API. APIs allow cloud implementations to communicate while minimizing risk of data exposure.
Use APIs whenever possible instead of directly sending data between services.
7. Don’t Fear Hybrid Models
If your business is using an application that houses extremely confidential information mostly within the confines of the office building, the cloud may not be the safest option. While often more costly, data centers and local servers minimize Internet exposure and are much easier to protect from hackers. It’s often wise to embrace a hybrid cloud and data center model for different applications.
Let`s hear from Chris Richter, Level 3’s SVP of Managed Security Services, if the cloud is more secure than an organization’s own IT environment.
Security surprises can make you feel like cloud security is a never-ending goal. However, you can save yourself time and frustration by working with the experts at Ciklum, making cloud security a much easier job to handle.