5 key areas of cloud security for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud (2023)

5 key areas of cloud security for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud (1)

5 key areas of cloud security for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud (2)by Sarah Harvey / April 13, 2020

Data breaches are on the rise worldwide and on cloud platforms - what we're talking aboutsecurity in the cloudwithin AWS, Azure and Google Cloud so often. As more and more organizations migrate sensitive information and services to cloud environments, it should prompt users to consider how the cloud will affect their privacy, security and compliance efforts.

In cloud security audits at KirkpatrickPrice, controls will be tested against our framework based onCIS benchmarksforAWS,Azure, iGoogle Cloud. These audits use our audit delivery tool, theOnline Audit Manager, and the framework assesses five key areas of cloud security:

  1. Identity and access management
  2. Data protection in the cloud
  3. Operating system security
  4. Network layer protection
  5. Manage security monitoring, alerting, audit trail and incident response

As you work to make your cloud infrastructure as secure as possible, we encourage you to spend extra time in these five areas so you can strengthen your overall security posture.

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Identity and access management

IAM is critical to a secure environment. Role-based access control and the principle of least privilege have been constant tenants of access control implementations, and with the rise of cloud infrastructure deployments this is even more true. In fact, Azure says that cloud users should treat identity as the primary security perimeter because it governs who has what access to which resource. IAM security measures include implementing MFA, password management, creating and disabling credentials, role-based access controls, isolating environments and privileged account activities. For industry resources on cloud IAM, learn more here:

Data protection in the cloud

To protect data in your cloud, you need to consider the security of data in all states—at rest, in transit, and in storage—and who is responsible. The shared responsibility model has become the paradigm that defines interactions with cloud resources and who is responsible for data security. Using proper encryption and key management solutions within AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are two critical areas of data security in the cloud. For industry resources on cloud data security, learn more here:

Operating system security

Regardless of the operating system supported by your cloud provider, maintenance, proper configurations, and patching methods can strengthen the security of that operating system. Scheduling maintenance windows, tracking system configuration requirements, and establishing a patch baseline are integral components of cloud security and something your organization must be careful to implement, especially given the current cyber climate where malicious individuals and organizations are quick to exploit vulnerabilities. For more industry resources on security operating systems, learn more here:

Network layer protection

Network security is how you protect resources from unauthorized access. Network security can be a challenging task because it requires understanding the connections between resources. Having an action plan that identifies where segmentation is needed, how connectivity will be implemented, and ongoing network hygiene are key to securing your organization's environment. For industry resources on cloud network security, learn more here:

Manage security monitoring, alerting, audit trail and incident response

Without a proper monitoring program, you won't have the insight to identify security incidents or anything wrong within your cloud infrastructure. The implementation of monitoring is essential for operational monitoring. For cloud operations, it is important to ensure that the appropriate data points are analyzed for security information, event management, and appropriate correlation algorithms. Regardless of the cloud provider you choose, you should use monitoring and logging features and enable notifications for things like unexpected configuration changes and authentication failures. For industry resources on monitoring and incident response, learn more here:

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