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Community Blog 10 Key Security Considerations for Successful Cloud Deployments in 2021

10 Key Security Considerations for Successful Cloud Deployments in 2021

In this article, guest author, Nikhil Agarwal, shares his thoughts on the top 10 security considerations for successful cloud deployments in 2021.

By Nikhil Agarwal, Guest Author

Embrace and Adopt the Cloud Shared Security Model

In general, organizations are less concerned about how safe the cloud is these days, and this shift in attitude has increased cloud adoption. Defining the boundaries of security obligation can lead to a greater degree in a hazy situation rather than here and there whenever it shows up.

Suppliers, such as Alibaba Cloud, have gone to considerable lengths to systematize and define a shared responsibility model that explains the scope and bounds of obligation. Customers are gradually coming to believe that CSP is a collection of great players with a security center brimming with them.

It can feel like a burden when you first start moving toward the shared responsibility model. In any event, like with many other aspects of life, increased responsibility can lead to greater strength. When it comes to the cloud, the more security risks you can take, the better prepared you'll be when the next attack hits.

However, even as the cloud is proven to be extremely secure and faith in it grows, security and DevOps teams must exercise caution in their work. Organizations must fulfill their part of the shared responsibility agreement — and sometimes go above and beyond what is necessary. As a result, here is what current enterprises need to know to do so effectively and continue to benefit from everything the cloud has to offer without severe security concerns impeding progress.

Adopt a Cloud-Centric Strategy

A cloud-first strategy may appear to be a significant departure from traditional methods. One of the benefits of a crossover or on-premise system is that you feel in command. You and your team are aware of the locations of your basic laborers. You can get in touch with them. Your team is aware of your security cycles, and you can rest assured that security personnel adheres to them. These are all significant advantages.

Cloud-first strategies are procedures in which organizations migrate all or a large portion of their framework to distributed computing platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. They store assets (even strategic and secure assets) on the cloud rather than using physical assets like labor groups.

There are a plethora of reasons why businesses choose cloud-first approaches. We won't be able to address each one individually here. Regardless, we can talk about the features. The significance balance will change depending on the organization. Some businesses value the low cost of cloud-first strategies, while others value agility. Whether those benefits make a difference in your organization will be a question for you and your team to consider. You must understand the many advantages to make an informed decision.

Initiate Early Collaboration Between Business Groups and DevOps

DevOps isn't a tool, a framework, or an innovation. When all else is equal, it's a set of procedures that aid in resolving any difficulties that arise in a project's improvement and activities groups. DevOps removes communication barriers and simplifies collaboration by overcoming any obstacles.

DevOps makes an endeavor programming environment incredibly proficient by enabling faster collaboration, improved cooperation, and mechanization. Without a solid plan, DevOps would fail miserably. It's pointless to streamline enhancement and speed up form procedures if the new code won't reach clients till the next massive release.

All business groups involved in the interaction should be aware of their roles and responsibilities and ready to collaborate to make DevOps a way of life for the organization. DevOps cannot succeed without the support of the organization's DevOps program and their participation in driving the DevOps culture.

Identify Your Potential Exposure Points

The threats faced in cloud environments are similar to the threats faced in traditional data center environments on a significant level. Cloud computing runs software, the software has weaknesses, and bad actors attempt to take advantage of those weaknesses. Nonetheless, unlike IT systems in a traditional data center, in cloud computing, obligation regarding moderating the risks stemming from these software weaknesses is divided among the CSP and the cloud consumer. Therefore, consumers should comprehend the division of obligations and trust that the CSP meets their obligations. The rundown of cloud-centric and shared cloud/on-premise weaknesses and threats were recognized. High-level security concerns, such as unauthorized data exposure and leaks, weak access controls, susceptibility to attacks, and availability disruptions, affect traditional IT and cloud systems alike.

Understand the Bad Actors

Bad actors and regular customers benefit from cloud computing's decreased latency, more broad accessibility, elasticity, versatility, flexibility, and lower costs.

Trust cyberattack bad guys to take advantage of a pandemic. They know for a fact that anytime people need to be the best they can be, they will go to any length to attain it; they have seen it before. This means that whether it's a spear phishing attack or simply URLs tainted with malware from news sites, they're relying on fear to drive people to their sites.

Refined risks are anything that has a negative influence on contemporary computing, which includes the cloud. Advanced malware and other attacks, such as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), are designed to get beyond network defenses by exploiting weaknesses in the computer stack. Unauthorized data disclosure and data alteration can occur as a result of data breaches. There is no unambiguous response to these dangers; nonetheless, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the evolving cloud security procedures to stay on top of emerging hazards.

Assess Your Current Security Options

Rather than always looking for known dangers, as many cybersecurity specialists have been trained to do, you should try to understand your company's infrastructure and what's running on it.

This can be difficult in today's increasingly complicated multi-cloud systems. Regardless, it's considerably easier to observe how something should act and notice when it changes than it is to play Whack-a-Mole constantly with gate crashers. If you have a complete picture of your current situation and know what's ahead, you'll be able to see threats like misconfigurations and take proactive steps to mitigate the risks.

Finally, security is about perceivability rather than control. Cloud computing frameworks are dynamic, agile, and convenient, just like the data they handle. Cloud security measures must respond to environmental conditions and travel with responsibilities and data while being extremely still and on the move as integral parts of the job (for example, encryption) or gradually through a cloud management system and APIs. This aids in the protection of cloud environments from framework contamination and data loss.

Security teams must incorporate perceivability into their cloud infrastructure To mitigate these vulnerabilities.

Embrace Automation to Eliminate Bottlenecks

Automating security may help shape the future of the entire cyber team since it makes it easier to identify and disclose any gaps with accurate metrics, which helps the business avoid guesswork.

Automation enables a test once, conform many approach in a complex regulatory compliance environment, with automated controls resulting in automated reporting.

However, currently, there is no authorized help for integrating security into DevOps, particularly on the cloud, so cyber is a little behind the game.

Since the cloud makes it possible to introduce controls reliably, businesses and their teams should figure out how to automate and which technologies are required.

It's critical that automation doesn't increase complexity— many ventures fail because they're half-baked and incoherent, with a variety of uncoordinated inventions. CISOs should use their place at the C-suite table to form a partnership with the CTO so that they can play a larger role in a more comprehensive, organization-wide digital automation strategy that leverages shared capabilities.

Serverless Is the Future

Currently, the industry is on a path with containers and cloud-hosted applications, which are driving the need for programs to be made up of more, smaller portions that can be treated differently, including running in different locations. After service-oriented design and microservices architecture, serverless is the next step in the evolution of solid application architecture. Serverless was named one of the top five fastest-growing PaaS cloud administrations of 2020. Serverless computing is a legitimate cloud computing trend, and it's tough to overstate how it will influence how much cloud is consumed in the future.

It's a particularly compelling concept in which applications will be planned and built in the future to operate with serverless, rather than serverless being built to work with how we currently foster applications.

Put Stock in Pro-Active Security Measures Rather Reactive

As attackers continue to develop new cyberattack techniques, gaining access to your network is a never-ending loop. Give them a rude awakening by implementing reactive and proactive security solutions in your firm, as needed.

There will be no room for attackers to break into your network once the two approaches are in place.

Traditional cybersecurity approaches take reactive steps, but proactive security goes beyond that. In any case, being proactive gives you more influence over the atmosphere. Being proactive necessitates a thorough understanding of your company's IT infrastructure, client base, and cybersecurity risks. A 360-degree approach to cybersecurity reaps benefits in the real world, where cybersecurity continues to challenge businesses and provides an organization with a working technique to minimize cyberthreats.

Implement Data Sovereignty/Residence/Control Governance on Policy Consistency through Centralized Management

According to organizations that handle global data , data protection should not be jeopardized when data is exchanged across borders. Understanding the legal requirements for storing data in a certain country is also critical to complying with data protection and security laws.

Data residency refers to when a company, industry group, or government decides to store data in a specific geological location, usually for administrative or strategic reasons. Data sovereignty differs from data residency in that the data is not only stored in a certain location but is also subject to the laws of the country in which it is genuinely stored.

This distinction is critical because personal data (any individual whose personal data is being obtained, retained, or managed) will have different security and security insurances depending on where their data is stored. Data localization requires that data created inside defined boundaries remain within those constraints. In contrast to the two phrases above, it is frequently used to refer to the creation and storage of personal data, with some exceptions such as tax, accounting, and betting regulations in a few countries.

Regardless of the practice conversations, businesses need to better understand the relevance of the distinctions between these three terminologies frequently. The frequency with which these words are used in a contradictory manner among the organizations we work with and unexpectedly among other industry reporters reveals a dangerously widespread misunderstanding. Attending to any disarray in your corporation will help you distinguish between the precise commitments that concern you and examine your cloud service provider's capabilities thoroughly.

About the Guest Author – Nikhil Agarwal

Nikhil Agarwal is ranked 18th in Cyber Security, 10th in Emerging Technologies, and 3rd in Cloud Security Leaders globally amongst the top 25 consulting leaders by Onalytica.

As a noted technology expert, who passionately shares knowledge with the community, Nikhil has a proven ability to work across cultures and serve clients globally while working in Europe (Germany), Africa, Middle East Asia, the Asia Pacific, and Southeast Asia, among various client industries.

Nikhil has expertise in traditional cyber security practices (penetration testing, DevSecOps, cloud security, architecture review, cyber forensics, etc.) and Next-Gen cyber security practices (Red Teaming, K8s & Container Security, IaC Code Review, Shadow IT, Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI), Operational Security (OPSEC), Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Darknet Monitoring, etc.)

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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