Transitioning from On-Prem to the Cloud: 4 Steps for Effective Cloud Security
While digital transformation has become a necessity for any business who wishes to stay relevant, security isn’t always factored into this process. The security parameters that were in place while on-premises will not adequately protect an organization’s data and network while in the cloud.
For many businesses, their cloud adoption progress outpaces their security controls. This should be a top concern for CIOs as they come to the realization that the traditional tools they previously relied on will no longer be adequate.
As organizations accumulate more data than ever before, their attack surface and exposure grow. The extensive connection capabilities that come with the transition to the cloud have enormous benefits, but also present security challenges. This connection can become dangerous as cloud infrastructure grows and becomes more complicated. Cloud users must always ensure they’re in total control of their environment.
Here are four steps your business can take to effectively transition your security from an on-premises environment to the cloud:
Implement the Right Technology for the Cloud
Organizations with a multi-cloud environment, those using cloud native applications, and those with critical assets in the cloud should reevaluate any traditional technology their business is relying on.
These six security mechanisms can help your business strengthen your security posture within the cloud:
- Cloud Security Posture Management: CSPM is designed to identify misconfiguration issues and compliance risks in the cloud by continuously monitoring cloud infrastructure for gaps in security policy enforcement.
- Cloud Workload Protection Platform: CWPP protects a business’s growing attack surface within the cloud from the processes and resources that support each application. This protects common attack points including containerized applications or those running on virtual machines and cloud-based endpoints and storage.
- Cloud Access Security Broker: CASB acts as a gatekeeper and sits in between a business’s on-premises and cloud provider’s infrastructure. This offers firewalls, authentication, and data loss prevention.
- Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management: CIEM is a SaaS solution that manages access and enforces least privilege within the cloud. This addresses potential risks like inactive identities, over permissioned roles, and nonhuman identities.
- Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform: CNAP is a combination of methodologies from CSPM and CWPP. This is “designed to help secure and protect cloud-native applications across development and production.” This addresses potential issues before they go into production.
- Cloud Identity Access Management: CIAM provides users with secure access while constantly authenticating based on a zero-trust strategy. This allows businesses to scale their users or transactions up or down without an entire infrastructure overhaul.
Access management within the cloud provides flexibility and eliminates the need for shared credentials. Polices and controls can be very granular, however, it can also get overwhelmingly complex. It’s important that your IT team keep track of all identities and what permissions they’re granted.
These solutions will provide visibility of all activity within the cloud, detect potential threats, and perform necessary automated responses.
Consider Privileged Access Management
Also known as PAM, this locally deployed software solution is used to “secure, control, and monitor access to an organization’s critical information and resources.”
- Access password management
- Privileged session management
- Vendor privileged access management (VPAM)
- Application access management
Today, 74% of all breaches start with privileged access abuse and recent staffing turnover across the entire job market should be a concern for managers.
Due to this exposure, most Cyber Insurance audit forms will outline the need for PAM Solutions to be considered. Any organization looking to purchase a Cyber Insurance policy, those with large Active Directory Environments, or those who have concerns about rogue admins or contractors should implement a PAM solution.
Understand the Shared Responsibility Model of the Cloud
Many new cloud users incorrectly believe that their third-party cloud provider assumes all responsibilities for security. However, there are still assets, processes, and functions that are owned and controlled by the business, hence the need for shared responsibility.
It’s important to have a clear definition of both parties’ ownership and each of those parties must maintain total control over the areas they’re responsible for.
In addition, it is important that you’re familiar with your cloud provider’s security protocols and procedures and you ask them the right questions. For example, what are their security measures for protecting your data center? How often is their software updated? Where are the servers physically located? What is their encryption policy?
If your business and industry must adhere to specific regulations (and most do) your business will have to be able to prove that your cloud provider addresses those specific regulations and is compliant with them.
Utilize Standardization & Automation to Avoid Overbilling
Cloud computing does offer extensive cost savings, however, there are various ways in which companies can face overbilling.
Simple human error or configuration oversight can result in significant unnecessary costs and expose potential vulnerabilities. Where possible, configuration management or infrastructure as a code should be implemented to prevent these errors.
Using a platform as a service (PaaS) specifically can lead to overbilling as you get charged based on usage. If the platform is not architected appropriately, the cost of the platform can quickly add up. Further, certain cyber attacks can lead to extensive unnecessary charges.
Next Steps: It’s Time to Embrace Cloud Security
While many businesses were already considering or beginning the journey to the cloud prior to the pandemic, the past two years have accelerated the widespread adoption of cloud computing. As the cloud computing market is estimated to be worth $832.1 billion by 2025, it’s clear there’s no going back.
However, CIOs and IT staff need to take a hard look at the security posture of their cloud environment. If it remains unaddressed, it’s likely to keep them up at night—and for good reason.
While cloud adoption is encouraged to take advantage of all the benefits of digital transformation, it’s imperative that your security controls don’t get outpaced.
To learn more about securing your cloud, contact an Arraya expert today to start a conversation.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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