Cloud environments have become the core of business operations. Cloud networks have helped in generating numerous new opportunities for businesses, including faster, cheaper, & robust application capabilities, team collaboration, and data storage & distribution. However, cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the increased use of cloud storage by exploiting vulnerabilities in the cloud. They use these vulnerabilities to gain access to the cloud network & steal user credentials, data, and application functions.
The increasing number of cyber attacks involving cloud networks has made it crucial for organizations to focus on cloud security. A cloud security solution helps in ensuring data integrity, confidentiality, & availability across public, private, and hybrid cloud environments deployed by an organization. In addition, a cloud security solution also assists an organization in ensuring compliance with laws & regulations emphasized across the industry.
Choosing the right cloud security solution is one of the major tasks when formulating a cloud security strategy for the organization. In general, an effective cloud security solution is one that is easily scalable, can detect & manage multiple & complex threats, and is easy to deploy.
Let us delve more into the important factors that a cloud security solution must address in order to be efficient.
- Workload Visibility: The cloud security solution should provide deep and clear visibility of all the workloads running in the cloud environment of an organization. Thorough visibility at all times helps in the effective monitoring of the workloads and helps in reducing the risk of being exposed to cyber threats. It also helps in the early detection of vulnerabilities and intruding cyber threats. However, an important point to consider is that the cloud security solution should be able to maintain visibility even when new workloads are added to the cloud environment. In case new workloads are not monitored, they can be exposed to misconfigurations & vulnerabilities.
- Advanced Threat Prevention: The cloud security solution must be able to detect and prevent known and zero-day vulnerabilities. With new vulnerabilities & threats emerging every day, this is one of the critical aspects of cloud security. The cloud security solution must have features such as deep traffic inspection and threat intelligence to ensure effective prevention. It should monitor incoming & outgoing traffic regularly and isolate any suspicious traffic until validation.
- Seamless Integration: What is the point of deploying a security solution that is incompatible with your cloud environment? A cloud security solution can serve its purpose only if it integrates seamlessly with your cloud set-up, irrespective of whether it is a public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud environment. The compatibility & effective integration helps in ensuring in-depth monitoring & data synchronization across the network while making sure that no workload runs in isolation.
- Automation & Real-Time Detection: The amount of data being created, fast scalability of DevOps, and high speed of digital operations make it impractical to manually configure the cloud security solution while matching the pace of operations. If the security tools are not configured according to the processes running across the cloud network, they will not be able to monitor the operations in real-time. As a result, it can allow cyber criminals ample time to exploit the vulnerabilities of new workloads. Therefore, the solution needs to offer a high level of automation, including policy updates, security gateways control, automated threat response, and remediation to ensure real-time detection of threats & vulnerabilities. This can be achieved by employing AI & ML based solutions.
- Data Compliance: An organization has to comply with internal data policies & local or state laws governing the collection, storage, & sharing of data. The cloud security solution should allow the usage, storage, management, transmission, & protection of sensitive data while adhering to applicable compliance laws.
- Context-Aware Security Management: Cloud environment is highly dynamic & changes at a fast pace. The cloud security solution should be capable of collecting, aggregating, & correlating information across the entire cloud environment of the organization & update the security policies such that they are context-aware & consistent across the whole environment.
To know more about cyber security solutions, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 - 4740, Dallas (972) 375 - 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 - 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.
A hybrid cloud model combines a private cloud with one or more public cloud solutions. In a hybrid cloud model, proprietary software enables communication between distinct services. This type of cloud computing model can help gain security advantage provided some critical challenges are addressed.
Following are crucial cybersecurity risks that need to be identified and addressed before implementing the hybrid cloud model:
- Compliance: A hybrid cloud model involves data movement between high-security private cloud and comparatively less secure public cloud. Such data movement may induce compliance issues and make data vulnerable to breaches. Businesses need to take extra measures to ensure that the hybrid cloud model meets compliance requirements. It may be achieved by ensuring that individual private and public cloud networks meet standard data security norms such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Also, it is important to make sure that the data transfer mechanisms adhere to regulatory requirements.
- Data Privacy: The essence of hybrid cloud model lies in flexible data movement between public cloud and private cloud. In such movement, there are high chances that the data can fall prey to intruder attacks that challenge the organization’s data privacy rules. Organizations should employ measures such as endpoint verification protocol, robust VPN, and strong encryption policy. These measures help in encrypting and protecting data from security breach incidents.
- Distributed Denial of Service: DDoS is another serious cyber-attack that can be initiated from multiple sources to target a single location. Since the attack has various source locations, it becomes difficult to trace and detect. This increases the risk factor. To tackle this, organizations need to maintain a strict monitoring system that can track the inflow and outflow of data. It is important to make sure that the monitoring system should be scalable, responsive, and able to handle multi-vector attacks.
- Service Level Agreements (SLA): Employing a hybrid cloud solution means handing over data governance and accountability to its public Cloud Service Provider (CSP). If the security of such a public cloud is compromised, it can be a severe issue and may lead to critical data loss. To avoid such issues, be careful while signing Service Level Agreements with the service provider to ensure data confidentiality. Make it a point to understand security limitations and strictly define accountability factors.
- Risk Management: Organizations should employ adequate risk management and preventive safety measures to protect their intellectual property from potential risks. Organizations can use tools such as IDS/IPS to scan malicious traffic. Also, maintain a log monitoring system with advanced firewall and security management features.
- Data Redundancy: Organizations should adopt a well-defined data redundancy policy to ensure timely backup of critical data. This can be achieved by maintaining multiple data centers. It also helps in continuing business services during data center outages.
For more information on various cloud models, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654
17. February 2021 14:20
Year 2020 has witnessed a great rise in number of cyber-attacks, specially Ransomware attacks and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks including phishing, spear phishing and whaling. These attacks result in data and financial losses. Another reason that has resulted in hike in threat of data threat and data exfiltration is increased number of remote employees due to COVID-19.
The major risk involved in data loss is associated with storing data on-premise or endpoints. Thus, it has become imperative for businesses to adopt a cloud-first approach to data protection.
Here is a step-wise approach to implementing cloud-first data protection strategy:
- First step is to determine if you can trust the cloud service provider’s platform. Analyze if the service provider can meet the data storage requirements of the organization and has the capacity to adapt to any changes to organization’s backup and recovery plans in the future. Check if the provider can:
Support all cloud models including private, public and hybrid.
Protect data on servers, desktops, mobile devices, and third-party cloud apps.
- Know about the data security practices implemented by the cloud service provider. It is important to ensure that organizational data should be encrypted both in flight and rest to avoid unauthorized access.
- Be prepared to combat a data theft attack by designing a well-defined data recovery plan. Ask the cloud service provider, if there is a recovery action plan such as redundant data centers, secondary data center at a different location, etc. for such situations.
- Relying solely on manual processes to back up mission-critical data can be ineffective. As organizations create a large amount of data everyday, manual data backup and management is no longer feasible. Also, processes such as Cloud, DevOps, and automation movements account for a dynamic business environment which further solidifies the need for automated backup policies.
- Consider the level of tech support that the organization would require in case any issue with cloud backup or cloud data management is detected. It is important to have a pre-hand knowledge about how to contact the cloud service provider to reduce the response time. Ask the cloud service provider if it offers different support channels such as Email or chat. Also, make sure that the provider offers 24*7 support across different time zones.
What Are The Benefits Of Cloud-First Approach To Data Protection?
- Cost savings
- Streamlined and coordinated approach
- Reduced human error
- Improved recovery abilities
For more information on cloud-first approach to data protection, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.