Today we are all familiar with the Cloud, its advantages in productivity, cost savings and ubiquity. The differences are notable, in the physical or fixed environment the applications run on dedicated servers that can only be accessed by authorized users and in a cloud environment everything is dynamic and automated.
An environment, where it seems that there are no limits, where there are groups of computer resources available to support the workloads of the applications, which you can access from anywhere, at any time and through the device of your choice.
Create your security strategy for the Cloud with these key points
If you are one of the experienced security professionals, you will agree with me that many of the principles that make cloud computing attractive are against network security best practices.
In this post we gather the three main key considerations of cloud security that many companies use in their cyber-security strategy and that will help you minimize risks.
1) Consider that Cloud computing does not reduce existing network security risks
Security risks that threaten a data center and a network currently change once applications move to the cloud, no matter if it is a complete migration or if it is in a hybrid scenario where only some applications move to the cloud while others remains in the facilities. In any scenario, the security risks they face when jumping to the cloud are more significant.
For example, many data center applications use a wide range of ports, which makes many of the traditional security measures ineffective when those applications move to the cloud. While it is true, cybercriminals are developing more sophisticated attack strategies that include multiple vectors to compromise their objective, so that they hide in plain sight and use common applications to complete their mission.
2) Take into account that security wants separation and segmentation, the Cloud relies on shared resources
Here comes the Zero Trust model: Never trust, Always verify. From many decades ago, information security best practices dictated that crucial applications for mission and data be separated into secure segments in the network.
What happens a physical network? The Zero Trust model is a relatively straightforward method to be implemented through the use of firewalls and VLANs (i.e. virtual LANs), managed by application-based policies and user identity.
Now what happens in the cloud? In these types of scenarios, direct communication between virtual machines on a server occurs constantly, in some cases at various levels of trust. So segmentation becomes a difficult and complex task especially because cloud applications are based on the notion of shared resources. What s mixed trust levels, when combined with a lack of visibility of traffic within the host by security offerings based on virtualized ports, probably they present a weakened security posture.
3) Remember that Security configurations are process oriented, Cloud computing environments are dynamic
In the Cloud, everything happens in seconds. Virtual workloads can be created or modified in minutes. So the operation is in a highly dynamic environment, with workloads being added, removed and constantly changing.
On the contrary, the security configuration for this workload can take hours, days or weeks. Security delays are not designed to create controls. Instead, they are the result of a process that is designed to maintain a solid security posture.
Policy changes must be approved, appropriate firewalls must be identified and relevant policy updates must be determined. Unless this imbalance is understood and dealt with as part of cloud migration, the result is a discrepancy between security policies and the implementation of cloud workloads.
The result is a weakened security position that can endanger important intellectual property and data and, perhaps also, can lead to breaches in compliance and the implementation of policies and regulations.
To succeed, organizations need a cloud security solution that meets these three primary considerations and develop a cybersecurity strategy that includes consistent security, segmentation and management, three key requirements to secure the Cloud.
If you are developing your Cloud security strategy or are in a migration process and do not know where to start, talk to an expert consultant and apply best practices.