What is cloud network security?
Cloud network security refers to cybersecurity that aims to minimize the possibility of malicious actors accessing, changing, or destroying information in a public or private cloud network. While the security principles for cloud networks are similar to that for on-premises networks and are very similar, there are unique elements that cloud environments require different strategies.
What is the importance of cloud network security?
Organizations of all sizes are moving from on-premises networks into cloud networks. This means that more sensitive information is stored in the cloud. This sensitive information must be secured, but cloud computing also presents new security challenges.
What are the challenges facing cloud network security?
It is also difficult to secure the cloud because of its power. It is easy to deploy new assets within a cloud network. The IT and security teams are responsible for monitoring all infrastructure changes in an on-premises network. Expanding a network can be slow and tedious, but security experts will ensure that the new infrastructure is properly configured.
Cloud networks allow anyone with the right credentials to add new infrastructure without the need for IT staff or security personnel. It is much easier to expand the network but it also increases the risk that the new infrastructure is not configured securely and is therefore vulnerable to attack.
The speed at which cloud environments change is another challenge in securing cloud networks. Cloud networks are subject to constant change due to technologies like serverless computing and autoscaling. Because a vulnerability might only be present for a few seconds, traditional security measures such as vulnerability scans may not be sufficient. However, this is enough time for malicious actors to exploit it and it’s not enough time to run a weekly or daily scan to identify it.
Security teams find it difficult to keep a comprehensive view of the cloud environment due to its ease of deployment and rapid rate of change. Hybrid environments (IT environments that combine on-premises as well as cloud networks) make this even more difficult. Different information is stored in different systems and protected with different security tools.
These environments require security teams to move back and forth between different systems in order to manage their security efforts. It is difficult, if not impossible, to gain a complete picture of an organization’s security posture and track malicious actors who move between on-premises and cloud networks.
Last, but not least: When dealing with a network that is hosted on AWS or Azure’s public cloud service provider, The network owner is responsible for its security with the provider. The details of this shared responsibility model will vary from provider to provider.
However, they share responsibility for the security of the cloud itself. This includes maintenance and updates of hardware, physical security, and data center security. On the other hand, the network owner is responsible for protecting any content they place on the cloud environment. While many people are concerned about losing control over the security of their data centers and hardware, established cloud service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google can dedicate more resources to physical security.
The greatest risk of the shared responsibility model is the confusion that it can cause within an organization. There have been many security incidents that occurred because people mistakenly believed they don’t need cloud security as it is in the cloud. Their cloud provider would take care.
Cloud network security: Strategies to reduce risk
Beyond embracing DevSecOps, and educating employees about it How to use a cloud network securely The best way for an organization to reduce risk in its cloud network environment is to establish a security baseline. This baseline should be established before any organization uses a cloud network. However, it is never too late to create one.
This baseline shows what the cloud network should look like from a security standpoint. It is important that everyone, including security, IT, and engineering are satisfied.DevOps etc. are aligned on the needs of maintaining a secure network on an ongoing basis. A well-defined baseline can address many challenges in cloud network security including speed of change and ease of deployment.
To establish this baseline, there are some cloud network security best practices that organizations can use. The baseline should first define the architecture of the cloud environment. It should also specify how assets should be configured and who should have access to each area. To help you define the baseline, guides such as the CIS Benchmarks or the AWS Well-Architected Framework are also recommended.
Be sure to ensure that the baseline applies to both pre-production environments and test environments. These environments are often used as entry points for attacks. The baseline should include policies and controls that will allow testing to be done, including which production databases (if any) can be used for testing.
Also, the baseline should include an incident response plan. It is important to clearly identify who within the organization is responsible for cloud security on an ongoing basis. The baseline should be reviewed and updated frequently to reflect new threats and best practices.
Once the baseline is created or updated, it must be communicated to all those who will use the cloud network. DevOps should also be involved in creating and implementing ways to enforce the baseline. This involves creating templates for cloud infrastructure (using an infrastructure-as-code solution from a cloud provider or a vendor such as Terraform), where everything is correctly configured.
This also includes continuous monitoring in order to detect when something is outdated or changed after deployment. An embedded agent should be included in virtual machine templates to enable continuous monitoring and vulnerability detection starting from the moment it is deployed.
The challenges of visibility into cloud networks are the most difficult. Security teams should ensure that they have read-only access to all cloud accounts within the organization. Security teams should ensure that one team is responsible for all aspects of IT security in order to maintain visibility into hybrid and multi-cloud environments. One team is responsible for security on-premises, another for cloud security, and yet another for cloud security can lead to silos and blind spots and make it difficult to track malicious actors who move between the networks.
Security teams that work in multi-cloud or hybrid environments need to reevaluate the tools they are using. Many security tools that were designed for legacy networks are not compatible with cloud networks. Teams may use different tools to protect their cloud and on-premise environments. Instead, they should search for tools that allow them to manage security across the entire IT infrastructure of the company.
These tools will be of great benefit to most teams:
- A vulnerability management tool that can constantly monitor and detect potential vulnerabilities in cloud networks and on-premises networks containers, and remote endpoints. Also, the solution must be able to detect and immediately fix misconfigured cloud assets.
- A modern SIEM or threat detection and response system can aggregate data from all organization’s on-premises and cloud networks/systems. The solution must also detect potential threats automatically You can help the security team respond immediately to an incident by using features such as A visual incident timeline, and Automatic quarantining of compromised accounts/assets.
To help secure cloud networks, security teams should consider, a security automation tool. Automating can assist the team in keeping up with cloud network changes, enhancing visibility through sharing data between systems, working more efficiently by eliminating unnecessary work, and minimizing the impact of an incident by responding immediately to threats.
Automating cloud infrastructure template deployments (from your security baseline) is one way to leverage automation. This can be done using tools like Chef and Puppet. This will make it easier to create complex architectures and reduce the chance of human error. Security orchestration automation, response, and (SOAR), solution is another way to harness automation. This tool allows the team to exchange data easily between systems, without the need to use APIs. A SOAR solution can also automate many manual processes that can slow down or take up security analysts’ time.
This is in addition to all that has been discussed so far. There are some additional best practices that organizations can use to build and deploy web apps on their cloud network. These companies should “shift left”, and include security as soon as possible in their software-development lifecycle (SDLC). This means that security issues should be assessed as part of the pre-deployment testing code.
It not only ensures deployed code is free of security flaws but developers can identify security flaws in their code during testing and learn how to avoid them. Modern web apps are often quite complex and are being deployed on cloud networks. Organizations looking to test these types of apps need to ensure that the IAST, DAST, or SAST solution they are considering can handle their codebase.