Cloud computing has now become a standard requirement, and therefore cloud security must be a top priority in any industry. More and more companies depend on the cloud for their operations; therefore steps must be taken to ensure protection and security. Cloud computing comes in three models as follows, with different procedures and regulations –
- Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) – The contractor will be provided with the basic infrastructure by the provider, but is responsible for the installation, configuration and maintaining the application itself and application servers.
- Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) – The contractor is provided with the application server by the provider, but is responsible for the application and faults, if any in future.
- Software-as-as-service (SaaS) – The contractor is provided with the service by the provider, the contractor is thus responsible for cloud security. Therefore, the SaaS format necessitates a detailed contract stating clear terms and conditions between the client and the provider.
Security experts recommend companies to use the best technology available in the market of cloud security, as to yield better long-term results. Therefore, here is a list of must-have practices for cloud security as recommended by specialists in the field.
1. Basic protection package
A cloud email solution should be equipped with the following security measures to protect the infrastructure. Some of the measures include an antivirus, anti-spam, information leakage control and email monitoring. Meanwhile, a cloud application should be equipped with intrusion detection, attack mitigation tools, log correlation and content delivery network among others.
2. Strong identity authentication
Every company should have an identity and access authentication in place. Strong identification and authentication goes way beyond the conventional password or pattern, but calls for a combined security protection. Therefore, your security design should maintain at least two of the recommended tools – physical token, password card, biometry, digital certificate and an SMS password.
If you are using a federation, you will appoint a user from your company which can help with greater control over the users and having special passwords. Employee control is important, as one employee could breach the whole security system.
3. Regular auditing
To maintain security, the contractor must pay visits to perform the required audits. Experts recommend that providers should conduct regular audits to find out and solve security issues. You can use a checklist for proper assessment of security-related affairs.
4. Allow ethical hacking and vulnerability analysis
Ethical hacking and vulnerability analysis should be done by an impartial third-party. The tracing of user and access profiles should be done in a transparent manner which includes the creation, profile alteration and exclusion, changing passwords and even registration in the case of transactions. Threat detection technology should be checked and monitored regularly when needed. Similarly, a security point person should be appointed who shall be the connecting link between security and the client. They would manage security-related issues, if any, and organize security reports for the contractor.
5. Data classification
The segregation policy between clients and providers is needs to be discussed at the outset. Being in a cloud computing solution environment, there are thousands of segregation possibilities such as shared infrastructure and data in separate servers (Firewall, network and web servers), shared infrastructure and data in shared servers, classified information to be shown to different clients according to different program codes.
6. Secondary Internet Pipe
Secondary internet pipes are another significant thing to look out for in cloud security. Experts recommend using a second internet pipe to run cloud applications and to monitor regular Internet traffic. Having two different Internet connections can be a great advantage as opposed to having a single connection due to higher speed and less slowdown in cloud applications and cloud application downtime in case of a WAN issue.
7. Response to legal issues
A contractor may sometimes be required to deliver information in a legal manner. As delivery laws may differ from country to country, establishing a communication procedure with the contractor is essential in cases of legal requirements. In such a case, a contractor is discussed with to whether to go ahead with the delivery of information or not.
8. Cryptographic keys management
The process of cryptographic keys management is essential to cloud computing security. Data confidentiality again is an important part of cloud security, and is kept encrypted. The cryptographic keys are usually maintained by the contractors. If done otherwise, there lies a danger of the theft of data and subsequent security breaching.
9. Choose a dependable cloud vendor
As with everything else, go for a cloud vendor with an unbeatable track record for security. The best in the field might be more expensive than more easily available options, but it is important to understand what they can deliver and how they have fared with previous customers.
10. Correlation tools and log retention
The use of log collectors must be permitted to perform tasks related to correlation tools and log retention in your company on-premises. Now, the co-relater is responsible for checking a particular log with other logs to look for any potential security risks.
Therefore, these are ten of the top practices recommended by the security experts out there for your cloud security. It is the responsibility of both the provider and the contractor to install the software and other applications as needed. If executed correctly, cloud security shall be thus something that you would always be assured of.