Due to the practical advantages of cloud computing, your organization might have leveraged it by now. Apart from all the benefits like scalability, storage capacity, flexibility, and rapid deployments, there are also some threats that come with cloud computing. These involve a high risk of data breaches and leaks, risk of trade secret compromise, and intellectual property theft.
To protect your organization’s cloud infrastructure against cyberattacks, you can use different best practices, controls, procedures, and technologies. This article will discuss how you can build a secure cloud environment by implementing a firewall solution in the cloud and following other best practices.
Keep track of Privileged Users
Following the principle of least privilege, you should regularly reassess and revoke user privileges in your organization. At any time, a user should have enough access that is necessary to perform their routine activities. The user’s accounts with access to sensitive data should require two-factor authentication to prove their identity. Such accounts usually have extensive access to the network data and thus are a goldmine for cyber attackers.
To add or remove accounts and their privileges, your organization should have defined onboarding and offboarding procedures. To safeguard critical enterprise systems, assets, and information from unauthorized access, identity and access management (IAM) is crucial. It lets you perform different security functions such as authorization, authentication, and provisioning of storage and verification.
Raise Your Personnel’s Cybersecurity Awareness
When working in a cloud environment, raising your personnel’s cybersecurity awareness should be the prime goal of your organization. You can have the most sophisticated cybersecurity programs in place, but it has minimal influence on the human factor. If your employees are not aware of the network security fundamentals, there is a big chance that you’ll end up losing sensitive information through attacks like phishing and social engineering.
You must arrange regular security awareness training and seminars so your employees can identify cybersecurity threats and know how to respond to them. The most common topics regarding personnel’s cybersecurity awareness are phishing attacks, password management, and risk management. Organizations can train their employees on phishing prevention through simulated phishing attacks. This will allow the employees to get hands-on experience in handling phishing cases.
Monitor Your Personnel’s Activity
Monitoring your personnel’s activity on cloud platforms can provide you with valuable information regarding the vulnerabilities that are found in your network. It can also help you assess if the compliance rules are being followed or not. You can use the information gathered through cloud monitoring software to retain better employees and build a stronger culture. This will ultimately help you reach your company’s digital transformation milestones.
Monitoring can be used to ensure correct usage and adoption. For instance, you can monitor whether the employees are following the cybersecurity guidelines. At times, employees are instructed to clear their cache at the end of the day or run anti-virus software. Some employees may find these tasks cumbersome and not do them at all. You can learn a lot about the vulnerabilities in your network by keeping an eye on what your employees are doing on cloud platforms.
Secure Access to the Cloud
Most cloud providers have security protocols in place to protect their customers’ infrastructure. Still, as an IT professional, you are responsible for securing your organization’s cloud network. Here, you need to understand the shared responsibility model. This will ensure that there is no gap in the security coverage of a system.
A defense-in-depth strategy includes intrusion detection, firewalls, and anti-malware programs. You can also implement the Zero Trust approach, encrypt sensitive data, and apply advanced malware protection to your IT infrastructure to minimize attacks by cybercriminals.
Ensure Strict Cybersecurity Compliance
Cybersecurity compliance refers to following the requirements set by industry standards, laws, or any internal governance policies. Following the rules and regulations can ultimately help you build a safe and secure cloud environment. Several professional and technical organizations are addressing various aspects of cloud technology, offering their own standards, recommendations, and guidelines for successful cloud implementation.
In fact, compliance standards can help us decide which workloads or which parts of our infrastructure to migrate to the public cloud or which to third-party data centers, also based on the required compliance requirements. For instance, ISO includes cloud-specific security controls within ISO 27017. Apart from these, companies have their own formal guidelines that provide guidelines that ensure safe and secure operations in the cloud.
Organizations using cloud technology, or those contemplating the use of cloud-based services, must ensure that they or their service providers meet standards of compliance with guidelines and regulations. That said, the enthusiasm for the rapid growth and diffusion of cloud technology has led to the creation of many open-source standards and activities focused on user needs.