7 Cloud Security Controls You Should Implement Right Now

Did you know that 60% of all workloads were already running through a hosted cloud service in 2019? That number is projected to go up even more. This is a clear indicator that most businesses have already migrated to the cloud and those who have not been planning to do the same very soon.

As more and more businesses jump on the cloud bandwagon, the cloud has also caught the attention of cyberattackers. In the last few years, the number of cybersecurity attacks targeting the cloud has skyrocketed. Even though security and privacy have always been Achilles’ heels of the cloud, lack of security controls, misconfigured cloud have made it easier for hackers to access the data stored in the cloud.

According to Gartner’s prediction, By 2022, a vast majority (95%) of cloud security failures will occur due to customer’s fault. Two of the main reason for all these cloud security failures are:

  • Cloud misconfiguration
  • Cloud mismanagement 

So how can we make the cloud more secure? By enforcing policies and cloud security controls.  In this article, you will learn about seven cloud security controls, you need to implement today. 

  1. Access Control

One of the biggest strengths of the cloud is accessibility which can also lead to its downfall when it comes to security and privacy. With cloud providers giving anyone access to their cloud storage, organizations are struggling to control access.

Did you know that more than half (51%) of businesses have publicly exposed one cloud service by accident? Since most people use public subnets to give access to give global permissions, This gives anyone with an internet-enabled device able to access your data.

The best way to resolve this issue is to implement role-based access control. This will not only help you control who has permission and access your cloud data but also enable you to form different policies and apply restrictions. This way, only those people who have access to your data need it to complete their tasks.

  1. Data Protection

There is nothing worse than storing your data unencrypted in the cloud. Since your data is exposed, it can easily be stolen. Even if you want to store your business data in the cloud, make sure you encrypt it and implement security controls to prevent unauthorized access. Ensure that you have complete control over encryption keys and make sure you store these keys in a safe place so you can easily find them when you need them

  1. Identity Management

Cloud access keys can easily land in the wrong hands. It can be leaked via unprotected Kubernetes, source code repositories, and even on public websites. As a business, you need to be extra cautious about it and educate developers to prevent them from accidentally leaking these keys.

Another great way to protect those keys is to use different keys for each platform and restrict access to it. Define identity and access management roles in such a way that you can assign specific privileges for every request. Create a key rotation policy to prevent hackers from intercepting these keys and use them to access your cloud data. Avoid using the root user account and keep it locked. Only use it for creating new users and giving them access. Disable accounts that are no longer in use because cybercriminals can easily compromise those accounts and use them as a ladder to access more sensitive business data and accounts.

  1. Logging and Monitoring

Lack of visibility is another common problem that plagues cloud-based systems. That is why you always find your IT and cybersecurity team complain about it. Most cloud providers if not all, give you access to some type of logging and monitoring tools and DDoS protection. Sadly, most businesses rarely or never take advantage of these tools and services. As a result, they fail to detect any unauthorized activity taking place on their system. They came to know about it when the damage has already been done.

It is highly recommended that you take advantage of these logging and monitoring tools and constantly monitor your log files for suspicious activity. You can even track all the API calls and caller’s details. In addition to this, these tools can come in handy when it comes to resource management, compliance audits, and even cybersecurity analysis.

  1. Process Integration

Have you ever heard about the shift-left approach to cybersecurity? I can bet most of you might not be familiar with it. This approach encourages businesses to incorporate security considerations throughout the process from start to finish instead of implementing them at the end. Pass the code through the rigorous testing process to ensure no malicious piece of code ends up in your repository. They can identify and exploit vulnerabilities and leads to data breaches.

  1. Request Management

Creating API requests and managing API responses can become extremely challenging in today’s multi-cloud environment. When you have visibility into your cloud environment and understand how things work, it would be much easier for you to devise a mechanism to handle API calls, permission, and other requests. Additionally, it can also help you in detecting issues such as cloud misconfiguration which can lead to security and privacy issues.

  1. Vulnerability Scanning

According to Sam Bisbee, Chief Security Officer at Threat Stack, “You should scan code and perform configuration checks before going into production, but too often, people forget to check that the workloads are compliant once they’re put into production.” 

He further adds, “If I scan and then deploy my code, it may be OK based on what I knew at the time. But workloads stay in production for months and years, new vulnerabilities are discovered, and over time, the risk in your code increases. If you’re not continuously monitoring, you won’t be protected.” This is a clear indicator that you need a vulnerability scanning tool to identify and fix loopholes before they can be exploited by hackers.

Which cloud security controls do you use to protect your cloud data and why? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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