83% of organizations find cloud security to be a concern in the case of cloud computing. This overwhelming concern stems from the large-scale interactions offered by the cloud which can result in security risks, data leaks, and compliance issues.
This is why cloud infrastructure security plays a crucial role in cloud computing. The increasing adoption of cloud services necessitates the implementation of security strategies that address cloud risks.
This article will discuss what cloud infrastructure security is, its challenges, and tips to implement a well-rounded cloud infrastructure security strategy.
- Conduct risk assessments using tools like Astra Security to detect cloud vulnerabilities.
- Use Identity Access Management to secure cloud infrastructure.
- Use password management tools like Zoho Vault, Nordpass to safely store company passwords.
- Compliance checks to find and address areas of non-compliance.
- Place incident response plans to navigate through security breaches, data theft, or loss.
What is Cloud Infrastructure Security?
Cloud infrastructure security refers to implementing security strategies to secure the resources in a cloud from internal and external threats. This includes protecting the cloud infrastructure, applications, and confidential information from unauthorized access, insider threats, and unsecured integration points between hybrid environments.
Benefits of good cloud infrastructure security include centralized cloud security management, reduction in security risks, and better cloud performance because of automated cloud security infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure security aims to address the following aspects of cloud:
- Access control for managing cloud user roles and implementing the principle of least privilege.
- Protection of data using measures of cloud network monitoring and encryption.
- Prevention and resolution of attacks and vulnerabilities detected through risk assessments.
- Maintaining compliance with major regulatory bodies for a standardized cloud security infrastructure.
Tips to Implement Cloud Infrastructure Security
1. Use Identity Access Management To Secure Cloud
Identity and access management refers to controlling access to cloud resources through user identification, and authentication measures. IAM ensures that only authorized and identified individuals can access the cloud services.
Ensure this by implementing role-based access control, and authentication measures such as MFA (multi-factor authentication) or 2FA (2-factor authentication). It prevents data leaks, insider threats, and unauthorized access. IAM enforces the principle of least privilege by limiting user access to what is necessary to execute their work thereby reducing the attack surface.
2. Employee Password Management
Lack of strong passwords and reliance on default passwords are the main reasons why employee accounts are compromised. Reduce risks to your organization’s cloud assets by adding password management policies like:
- Changing or rotating passwords often at least every three months.
- Having complex, lengthy passwords with a variety of characters.
- Avoid writing down passwords.
- Using password managers to store passwords securely.
- Enabling MFA with passwords to enhance security.
Use centralized password managers like NordPass and Zoho Vault with encrypted vaults to automate the rotation of passwords and reduce the burden of password storage on your employees.
3. Conduct Continuous Risk Assessments
Continuous risk assessments such as vulnerability assessments and penetration tests help secure the cloud infrastructure. This is done through detection, identification, and in the case of penetration tests, exploitation of vulnerabilities to understand their impact on the cloud.
Continuous VAPT enhances cloud security by addressing real-time vulnerabilities and prioritizing them based on severity for prompt mitigation. It aids in compliance as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOC 2, GDPR, and others require or recommend risk assessments.
Astra Security is a world-class provider of cloud cybersecurity VAPT services. Additionally, it provides cloud configuration reviews, cloud security gap analysis, and assessments for cloud implementation and networking.
4. Conduct Employee Training
Humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Therefore, it is vital that employees be made aware of the latest scams, and security hygiene practices to avoid getting scammed through phishing and social engineering.
Employee training should include simulations on phishing and social engineering attacks so that employees are aware of the markers to look for. Have regular security awareness sessions as this reduces the chances of unintentional insider threats.
5. Carry Out Compliance Checks
Companies in almost every field rely on the cloud due to which global standards have been placed to ensure their reliability and integrity. Nowadays compliances like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and NIST address policies for cloud security, cloud infrastructure, and networking to improve cloud security.
Use tools like Astra Security for compliance scans for HIPAA, PCI-DSS, NIST, SOC2, and ISO 27001 and check for non-compliance and vulnerabilities. The tool has a dedicated compliance dashboard that helps you address all vulnerabilities and compliance issues with guidance from security experts.
6. Place Response Plans for Security Incidents
Work out incident response plans that provide steps for detecting and containing data breaches, theft, or loss well in advance. This can help your company get back on its feet without losing much time and in a cost-effective manner due to careful planning.
Efficient response to security incidents is a hallmark of a reliable company. Have measures to mitigate the effects of security incidents to ensure that break to business continuity is kept to a minimum.
Challenges In Cloud Infrastructure Security
1. Limited Remote Access Restriction
Increased adoption of cloud services results in a larger attack surface which raises the opportunities for hackers. Chances of breaches or malware attacks in remote user devices increase from the lack of stringent restrictions on remote access.
Another side of this comes from providing large-scale access privileges to employees regardless of their designation. For example, giving access to a whole department without considering whose roles actually require access. Such broad access to data, networks, and cloud resources can result in serious gaps in the security of the cloud.
2. Lack of Real-time Logging
Logs help keep track of user activity continuously and aid in maintaining cloud security and compliance. Logs provide accurate timely information on cloud functioning which helps in documentation during compliance or security audits, and in pinpointing security incident sources.
When real-time logging and monitoring aren’t enabled it results in a lack of activity records and gaps in documentation. This results in incomplete logging reports which are inaccurate and misleading. Incomplete logs are likely to hinder cloud security and compliance efforts.
3. Multi & Hybrid Cloud Complexity
Different types of cloud services, for example, private and public cloud services, have their own security systems. Integrations between these cloud services can result in security gaps due to misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, inadequate security policies, and increased attack surfaces.
The shared responsibility model of cloud providers further complicates the implementation of security controls across multi-cloud and hybrid models. Not having a comprehensive cloud infrastructure security strategy can increase security risks due to incomplete security coverage.
4. Insider Activity
It refers to employees of an organization causing security risks within the cloud environment unintentionally or with malicious intent. Unawareness of security policies can result in accidental data leaks and account compromises. This is caused by poor password habits and unrestricted sharing of sensitive information to unauthorized applications.
Malicious insider activity is deliberately carried out to harm the organization. This is done by disgruntled employees, or current employees for personal gain. It results in data breaches, disruption in business operations, and theft of intellectual property.
Comprehensive cloud infrastructure security is crucial to mitigate the challenges posed by the cloud environment. This article has detailed the challenges to cloud security and provided tips to overcome them. Using tools like Astra Security can aid in maintaining a good cloud environment free of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.
What are the different types of cloud infrastructure?
The different types of cloud infrastructure include:
1. Public Cloud: Owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers.
2. Private Cloud: Exclusively used by a single organization.
3. Hybrid Cloud: Combination of public and private clouds.
4. Multi-Cloud: Utilizes services from multiple cloud providers.
What are the benefits of cloud infrastructure security?
The benefits of cloud infrastructure security include scalability to adapt to increasing cloud security requirements, reduction in hardware expenses, increased accessibility, and enhanced options for backup and recovery of cloud assets.
What are the key threats to cloud infrastructure security?
Key threats to cloud infrastructure security include:
1. Data Breaches: Unauthorized access to sensitive information.
2. Misconfigurations: Improperly configured resources.
3. DDoS Attacks: Overwhelming cloud resources with traffic.
4. Insider Threats: Malicious actions by authorized users.
5. Compliance Risks: Failing to meet regulatory requirements.