How to develop an effective security strategy for cloud computing

Cloud security is the protection of data, applications, and infrastructures involved in cloud computing. Cloud security controls, processes, and policies which combine to protect your cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure.

It is a shared responsibility.

Regardless of what cloud deployment you’re using, you’re responsible for securing your own space within that cloud. Cloud security is everyone’s responsibility, and that includes:

  1. Security Monitoring
  2. Using trusted software
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication
  4. Implement Security Awareness Program
  5. Policy Integration

Security Monitoring: –

It is about monitoring, evaluating and managing the cloud-based applications, services and infrastructure. In order to have a real-time look at the user’s activities, it is necessary that enterprises make use of different cloud monitoring tools.

Security Monitoring is not only a matter of choosing the right security service provider but it requires that companies develop and drive adoption of a standard interface that permits to query the actual security status of specific elements of a provider’s services. In an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, these may include the security status of a virtual machine. In a Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS), the patch status of a piece of software may be important. In both of these cases (PaaS and SaaS), applications are provided through the cloud and their update status would need to be monitored. The data will be maintained by the provider in real time, allowing the subscriber to ascertain security levels at any given point in time. The onus is ultimately on the subscriber to ensure its compliance reporting meets all geographical and industry-based regulations.

Using trusted software:-

As with any code you download from an external source, you need to know where the packages originally came from, who built them, and if there’s malicious code inside them. Obtain software from known, trusted sources and ensure that mechanisms are in place to provide and install updates in a timely way.

Multi-Factor Authentication: –

The traditional username and password combination is often insufficient to protect user accounts from hackers, and stolen credentials are one of the main ways hackers get access to your on-line business data.

Once they have your user credentials, they can log into all those cloud-based applications and services that you use every day to run your business.

Protect yourself with multi-factor authentication – also known as two-factor authentication – to ensure that only authorized personnel can log in to your cloud apps and access that sensitive data.

Multi-Factor Authentication is one of the cheapest yet most effective ways of keeping would-be hackers from accessing your cloud applications. In fact, most security experts will tell you that it’s now considered negligent if you DON’T implement MFA.

If you want to learn more about exactly what MFA is, take a look at our data sheet to get all the details.

Implement Security Awareness Program:-

The training should focus on software security awareness, computer and network security awareness, and social media awareness (a discussion of the company’s policy for access to social media during business hours as well as any other company policies about content – if access is allowed). Emphasis should be given to complex password/login creation, use of USB drives, virus attacks, and disaster recovery plans. Other topics to discuss include good security practices, such as, making regular back-ups, encrypting sensitive data, turning off computers before leaving the office, carefully disposing of storage devices, not installing illegal copies of software or any other personal software on company computers or devices. With today’s on-the-go and work-from-home workforce, it is also worth discussing the importance of secure Wi-Fi – not all public Wi-Fi’s should be trusted. In addition, smartphones can be hacked. Create passwords for all portable devices including smartphones, laptops, eReaders, tablets, or anything else that holds secure information. If a security breach happens, alert the appropriate IT/InfoSecurity team immediately.

In order for companies to step up to the plate and promote security awareness, weekly emails should be distributed to employees with “quick tip” reminders. The bottom line for security awareness efficacy is that it cannot be a one time event. Companies need to be proactive in their security protection – and all employees must do their part.

Policy Integration:-

Different cloud servers can use different tools to ensure the security of client data. So integration policy is one of the major concerns of security.

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