New security risks have emerged with use of cloud computing by businesses of all sizes, from startups to giant corporations. According to research conducted by Deloitte, 90% of companies have been utilizing cloud services for at least three years, and 79% are now utilizing the services of various cloud providers to host their workloads
Safeguarding cloud assets is essential. Meanwhile securing the cloud is a significant challenge. Nonetheless, with even the most fundamental cybersecurity measures in the cloud, businesses can take cost-effective steps toward making their assets better secured and regulated.
This article describes steps necessary for decision-makers to protect their assets in the cloud.
Why Are Cloud Assets Important?
Because of flexibility, the adoption of cloud-based assets has gone viral worldwide, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the booming work-from-home model. Cloud assets advantages provided below:
- By using cloud assets, businesses can respond rapidly to changes in their operational needs.
- Compared to traditional onsite assets, they offer a more cost-effective solution for the company by paying only for the time of asset usage. When asset is released, no further cost is incurred.
- The capacity to scale up or down cloud resources rapidly allows businesses to manage resources more effectively.
- The automated backup and disaster recovery services offered by cloud help to lessen the effects of unwanted scenarios including cyberattacks.
How to Protect Cloud Assets?
Understand the Shared Responsibility Model
Most companies falsely assume that shifting their data to the cloud will relieve them of security concerns and transfer it to a third-party service provider. Unfortunately, it is not; as cloud uses shared responsibility model of security, which means distribution of various roles of safeguarding assets between cloud provider and client. Therefore, companies must thoroughly comprehend the shared responsibility model.
Cloud service providers protect the cloud's physical infrastructure, scoping the security of the data centers, network, firewalls, and intrusion detection solutions. Client company is responsible for protecting business applications and data, including managing user access and permissions, and configuring security settings and controls.
Implement Controls That Achieve Security Goals
The security objectives are the same whether on-premises or when using cloud assets: In general, it means keeping the assets safe and secure. Meanwhile, the tools and strategies are different due to the specifics of assets in the cloud. For example, security groups are used for cloud assets, whereas firewalls are used for on-premises assets. Despite that, the actions involved in deploying security controls are the same and includes:
- Determine and prioritize the security objectives, what needs to be protected, and what is most important.
- Review the current security state to identify gaps that need to be addressed.
- Select the necessary security measures and tools, such as next-generation firewalls, antivirus software, etc.
- Test and verify security measures.
Enforce Identity and Access Management Requirements
Verifying collaborators' identities is important in the cloud. That is why it is crucial to set up identity and access management (IAM) with the following approaches:
- Use authentication methods to confirm user identification, including passwords, certificates, and biometrics.
- Manage authorization properly by deciding whether to grant users access to a given set of resources according to their responsibilities or role.
- Implement security measures like intrusion detection systems and encryption to control who can interpret data.
- Control who has access to what resources by centralizing the process of creating, managing, and deleting user accounts.
Improved security can be achieved by using multifactor authentication(MFA), in which multiple identifiers (such as codes) are required from users.
Use Host-Based Security Measures
Companies can set up their private clouds using their infrastructure. In such scenario host-based security will be responsibility of the company who own the private cloud. In these cases, host-based security measures are vital because their automation is crucial to a company’s ability to keep its cybersecurity measures current with the rapid pace at which technology is advancing. Protecting the servers and systems that host a company’s cloud-based resources on-premises is critical in securing its cloud assets.
The following are some methods that businesses can use to strengthen security on their hosts:
- Set up security measures like firewalls and intrusion detectors
- Install endpoint security software to keep the servers and systems safe from malware and other cyber threats
- Use security information and event management (SIEM) software to detect and investigate security issues and collect and analyze security-related data from various sources, such as logs.
- Maintain a routine schedule of security checks. Perform assessments and penetration tests regularly to find out how good are the security measures at any given time.
Consider Cloud Security Posture Management Solutions
In the cloud, it can be a huge challenge for IT teams to maintain a secure cyber posture. IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that over 30% of malicious cloud breaches were caused by stolen credentials and improperly configured cloud services. Cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions fill this void by providing an all-encompassing solution for performing these tasks. CSPM is a suite of security applications that includes:
- Access to a consolidated view of all cloud assets
- Track down and document cloud resources.
- Determine the level of danger associated with cloud storage.
- Analysis and Reporting
In other words, companies can see more of what is happening in their cloud environments and take steps to fix any security flaws they find using CSPM solutions.
Many companies today use cloud computing for their business, and this makes it essential to safeguarded cloud assets at all costs. Achieving governable and safe cloud assets would include defying the assets and their unique security vulnerabilities and putting the necessary security measures in place.