Why Cloud Security is important?
As enterprise cloud adoption grows, business-critical applications and data migrate to trusted third-party cloud service providers(CSPs). Most major CSPs offer standard cybersecurity tools with monitoring and alerting functions as part of their service offerings, but in-house information technology (IT) security staff may find these tools do not provide enough coverage, meaning there are cybersecurity gaps between what is offered in the CSP’s tools and what the enterprise requires because no organization or CSP can eliminate all security threats and vulnerabilities, business leaders must balance the benefits of adopting cloud services with the level of data security risk their organizations are willing to take.
Hybrid cloud security
Hybrid cloud security is the protection of the data, applications, and infrastructure associated with an IT architecture that incorporates some degree of workload portability, orchestration, and management across multiple IT environments, including at least 1 cloud-public or private.
Hybrid clouds offer the opportunity to reduce the potential exposure of your data. You can keep sensitive or critical data off the public cloud while still taking advantage of the cloud for data that doesn’t have the same kinds of risk associated with it.
Why Choose a hybrid cloud for enhanced security?
Hybrid clouds let enterprises choose where to place workloads and data based on compliance, audit, policy, or security requirements.
While the various environments that make up a hybrid cloud remain unique and separate entities, migrating between them is facilitated by containers or encrypted application programming interfaces (APIs) that help transmit resources and workloads. This separate yet connected architecture is what allows enterprises to run critical workloads in the private cloud and less sensitive workloads in the public cloud.
The Components of hybrid cloud security
Hybrid cloud security, like computer security in general, consists of three components: physical, technical, and administrative.
Physical controls are for securing your actual hardware. Examples include locks, guards, and security cameras.
Technical controls are protections designed for IT systems themselves, such as encryption, network authentication, and management software. Many of the strongest security tools for the hybrid cloud are technical controls.
Physical Controls for hybrid cloud security
Hybrid clouds can span multiple locations, which makes physical security a special challenge. You can’t build a perimeter around all your machines and lock the door.
In the case of shared resources like a public cloud, you may have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with your cloud provider that define which physical security standards will be met. For example, some public cloud providers have arrangements with government clients to restrict which personnel have access to the physical hardware.
Technical controls for hybrid cloud security
Technical controls are the heart of hybrid cloud security. The centralized management of a hybrid cloud makes technical controls easier to implement.
Some of the most powerful technical controls in your hybrid cloud toolbox are encryption, automation, orchestration, access control, and endpoint security.
Encryption greatly reduces the risk that any readable data would be exposed even if a physical machine is compromised.
You can encrypt data at rest and data in motion. Here’s how:
Protect your data at rest
Full disk (partition encryption) protects disk (partition encryption) protects your data while your computer is off. Try the Linux Unified Key Setup-on-disk (LUSK) format which can encrypt your hard drive partitions in bulk.
Hardware encryption will protect the hard drive from unauthorized access. Try the trusted platform module (TPM), which is a hardware chip that stores cryptographic keys. When the TPM is enabled, the hard drive is locked until the user is able to authenticate their login.
Protect your data in motion
Encrypt your network session. Data in motion is at a much higher risk of interception and alteration. Try Internet Protocol Security(IPsec) which is an extension of the Internet Protocol that uses cryptography.
Selects Products that already implement security standards. Look for products that support the Federal Information Processing Standard(FIPS) Publication 140-2 which uses cryptographic modules to protect high-risk data.
To appreciate why automation is a natural fit for hybrid clouds, consider the drawbacks of manual monitoring and patching.
Manual monitoring for security and compliance often has more risks than rewards. Manual patches and configuration management risk being implemented asynchronously. It also makes implementing a self-service system more difficult. If there is a security breach, records of manual patches and configurations risk being lost and can lead to team in-fighting and finger-pointing.
Hybrid clouds also depend on access control. Restrict user accounts to only the privileges they need and consider requiring two-factor authentication. Limiting access to users connected to a Virtual Private Network(VPN) can also help you maintain security standards.
Endpoint security often means using software to remotely revoke access or wipe sensitive data if a user’s smartphone, tablet, or computer gets lost, stolen, or hacked.
Users can connect to a hybrid cloud with personal devices from anywhere, making endpoint security an essential control. Adversaries may target your systems with phishing attacks on individual users and malware that compromises individual devices.
We’re listing it here as a technical control, but endpoint security combines physical, technical, and administrative controls: Keep Physical devices secure, use technical controls to limit the risks if a device falls into the wrong hands, and train users in good security practices.
Administrative Controls for Hybrid Cloud Security
Administrative control in hybrid cloud security is implemented to account for human factors. Because hybrid cloud environments are highly connected, security is the user’s responsibility.
Hybrid architecture offers significant advantages for administrative security. With your resources potentially distributed among on-site and off-site hardware, you have options for backups and redundancies. In hybrid clouds that involve public and private clouds, you can fail over to the public cloud if a system on your private data center cloud fails.
IT Security Takes Time
IT Security takes time and needs iteration. The security landscape is always changing. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to get to a state of perfect security (which does not exist), focus on placing one foot in front of the other and taking reasonable, well-thought-out actions to make you more secure today than you were yesterday.
Cloud-Native Data Protection
Five Concepts that Make a cloud-native data protection solution
- Delivered as-a-service
- Purpose-built for the cloud
- Cloud-scale architecture
- Hybrid-cloud aware
- Proactive customer support
When a data-protection solution is delivered as-a-service, it should offload any form of manual labor. In other words, the solution should have:
- No Deployment and configuration
- No Discovery of existing and new VMs and applications
- No maintenance or upgrades
Purpose-built for the Cloud
When a data protection solution is purpose-built, much like the concept of purpose-built appliances, it should be tightly integrated and support the specific platform it was designed to support, in the best way possible. This ensures the best ROI of the cloud platform of choice by in turn leveraging every ounce of its functionality.
When a data protection solution can be deployed at the same scale as any cloud-ready application, it should be to host workloads on the cloud at a limitless scale. This means the solution protecting this workload should be able to scale up, down, and across multiple regions dynamically.
Unlike most, if not all, typical backup solutions, cloud-scale solutions take a hands-off approach to automatically size themselves based on the size of the environment they are serving. Anything else defeats the value of cloud scale.
When a data protection solution can be deployed across clouds, no matter how deep customers get with their cloud adoption, they still need to factor in some form of fashion typically. In these cases, customers may want to leverage cloud resources purely for backup or DR purposes.
In this case, the solution should be able to back up on-prem workloads to cloud storage in an agentless manner with auto-tiering. Also, in this case, the solution should provide smooth failover and failback capabilities between on-prem and cloud environments. Anything else defeats hybrid cloud usefulness.
Proactive customer support
When a data protection solution is cloud-native, like most applications, it means knowing that you are protected and safe. Customers hosting workloads on the cloud know that they are relinquishing some control over their environment.
It is important for as-a-service, cloud-native solutions to be able to deliver around-the-clock proactive customer support. This means to support that can identify and resolve problems in many cases even before the customer is aware of them. Anything else defeats the cloud-native customer support experience.
Web Application Or API Protection
Web Application firewall
Web application firewalls help protect web applications from malicious attacks and unwanted internet traffic, including bots, injection, and application-layer denial of service (DoS). The WAF will help you establish and manage rules for avoiding internet threats, including IP addresses, HTTP headers, HTTP, URI strings, cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and other OWASP-defined vulnerabilities.
Importance of WAF Security
Web application firewalls help protect applications deployed in the public cloud, on-premises, and in multi-cloud environments with access controls based on geolocation data, whitelisted-, and blacklisted IP addresses, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Uniform Resource Locator (HTTP URL), HTTP header.
Service Components of Web Application Firewall:
- Web Application Firewall Policy
WAF policies encompass the overall configuration of your WAF service, including origin management, protection rule settings, and bot detection features.
Your Web application’s origin host server-, is designed to set up protection rules or other features, as defined in your WAF policy.
- Protection Rules
Protection rules can be configured to either allow, block-, or log network requests when they meet the specified criteria of a protection rule. The WAF will observe traffic to your web application over time and suggest new rules to apply.
- Bot Management
Features of Web Application Firewalls
Some of the key capabilities and features of WAFs include:
- Dynamic traffic routing via domain name system (DNS): Leverages DNS-based traffic routing algorithms that consider user latency from thousands of global locations to determine the lowest latency routes.
- High availability of the WAF services: When configuring web application delivery, WAFs can offer several high availability configuration options with the ability to add multiple origin servers.
- Flexible methods to managing policies: WAF configurations allow you to configure and manage features and functionality to address your organization’s needs.
- Monitoring and reporting: WAFs give users the ability to access reporting related to their content library for compliance and analysis.
- Escalation: Information from WAFs provides support teams the ability to issue and escalate a ticket depending on urgency.
Deploying a Cloud based Web Application firewall
A cloud-based WAF must support multiple web application hosting environments including on-premises, cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud. The right cloud-based WAF will provide an independent platform for securing all internet-facing applications and APIs, no matter where they reside.
The best cloud-based WAFs are managed 24/7 by a team of experienced internet security experts who monitor an environment and recommend proven threat mitigation steps when issues arise. The benefits of a managed WAF service include significant risk reduction.
Benefits of web application firewalls
The Web Application Firewall (WAF) filters out malicious requests to a web application or API. It also provides more visibility as to where the traffic is coming from – and layer 7 distributed denial of service (DDoS)attacks are mitigated, to help gain application availability, and better enforce compliance mandates.
The bot management solution uses detection techniques such as IP rate limiting, CAPTCHA, device fingerprinting, and human interaction challenges to identify and block bad and/or suspicious bot activity from scraping your website for competitive data. At the same time, the WAF can allow legitimate bot traffic from Google, Facebook, and others to continue to access your web applications as intended.