How to Improve Security in Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing centralizes computing services, cloud applications, and data. As much as the cloud offers flexibility, it is vulnerable to cyber threats.
Failure to protect your data on the cloud can result in data loss or theft.
Cloud security is the process of securing cloud environments. It is a set of measures that work together to protect cloud systems.
Using the right set of technologies, controls, and policies will enhance your cloud security.
10 Tips to Improve Security in Cloud Computing
1. Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)
NGFW is a network security device that provides functions beyond a traditional firewall. It filters network traffic using a defined set of rules.
Features of an NGFW:
- Block threats at the network edge
- Reverse proxy/web gateway
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)
- In-line deep packet inspection (DPI)
- Identity and Access Management
2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication (MFA) adds a layer of protection to the sign-in process.
Benefits of MFA:
High-level protection: Get better protection as compared to 2FA.
Assures consumer identity: Protects consumer data from identity theft.
Time-based Codes: Provides your users one time access with time based codes.
Risk-based Access Control: Verifies users based on risk factors. Such as:
- Time of access
- User Device
- IP address
- Compliance based Access: MFA makes sure that users are in compliance with standard guidelines and policies.
3. Streamline Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM is a cloud service that controls the permissions and access for users and cloud tools. It helps you give access to tools at fine-grained levels on the cloud.
- Restricted Access: IAM ensures only approved users have access to data and systems.
- View only Access: Users can access files with only read or view rights. They cannot make changes.
- Platform-based Access: Limit user access to certain platforms. E.g., users can access OS but not the testing tools.
- Defined Sharing Rights: Restrict users from sending or receiving data by limiting their sharing rights.
4. Monitoring & Logging
Cloud monitoring reviews, observes and manages the cloud systems for security breaches.
Logging empowers cloud users to manage, analyze, and gain insights from log data in real-time. Cloud logging collects and compares log data from cloud-based systems.
The Logs can tell us ‘who’ accessed ‘what’ on the cloud and when. From logins to firewall updates, all events are logged in order. The log events include the signs of potential risks.
With clear insights into your data, you can respond to security risks with greater precision.
5. Cloud Visibility & Control
Cloud visibility is the ability to view all of your activities in the cloud.
It helps you identify weak performance and potential risks in the cloud deployment. Once you know what’s harming the process, you can put policies in place to control risks.
Security controls are a set of measures that helps you protect cloud systems.
The process includes:
- Prevention: Address threats in cloud systems.
- Detection: Detect an attack before it turns into a data breach.
- Correction: Reduce the effects of an attack after it has taken place.
6. Ensure Compliance with Data Protection Regulations
Data protection regulations are a set of laws that secure data in cloud storage. As businesses switch to hybrid cloud setups, data protection has become a challenge.
Compliance with GDPR is vital to gain user confidence. It protects your sensitive data and helps you in avoiding risks.
Non-compliance could lead to monetary and reputation loss.
The process of Data protection includes:
- Data encryption
- Access control
- Endpoint security
7. Ensure Data Security
Data security refers to the process of keeping your data centers safe from illegal access.
The process includes:
- Risk analysis
A successful data security risk analysis includes three steps:
- Identify what the risks are to your cloud systems and sensitive data.
- Identify and organize your data by the weight of the risk associated with it.
- Take action to mitigate the risks.
- Data masking
Data masking is a data security technique to hide confidential data using modified content such as characters or numbers.
- Data encryption
Data encryption is a security method where information is encoded. It can only be accessed by a user with the correct encryption key.
- Access control policies
Access control policies are requirements that specify how access is managed. It defines who may access information under what circumstances.
8. Use Cloud Automation
Cloud automation can automate your system processes without human intervention.
Cloud Automation can:
- Increase security controls
- Avoid misconfigurations
- Ensure compliance at all levels
- Limit the impacts of data theft
- Secure deployments in the development process
9. Cloud Security Training for Employees
Cloud security is a shared responsibility in a company. Untrained or new employees could put your data at risk.
Your employees should know their security responsibilities. They should know how to identify and avoid cyber attacks.
Cloud security training for employees includes:
- Email and Internet: Teach responsible use of cloud tools. This includes defining the security protocols for internet use.
- Sharing: Train on the right process to share information in and outside the company.
- Social Engineering: Prepare them to identify online attacks such as spamming and phishing.
- Compliance: Train your employees for GDPR.
10. Off-boarding Process for Departing Employees
An off-boarding process in place could prevent a data breach.
An effective off-boarding process should:
- Revoke access to apps and data.
- Transfer or clean up user credentials.
- Track and review account activities of the employee.
- Get back the issued devices from the employee.
Cloud security has elements to protect cloud infrastructure, applications, and data.
You can develop a cloud strategy to identify your unique requirements. Start with selecting the right cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Ensure cloud security with:
- User and device authentication
- Data and resource access control
- Data privacy protection
Learn more on how to develop a successful cloud strategy.