4 Protocols That Eliminate the Security Risks of Cloud Migration

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Enterprises are increasingly moving their applications to the cloud. Migrating applications and data to the public cloud has many benefits, but it introduces many cybersecurity challenges that disrupt legacy models.

Many organizations fail to take this disruption into account when designing their security protocols.

Consumers demand security as a design feature these days. To fully extract the performance capabilities of the cloud, your organization has to rethink its cybersecurity protocols.

Here are four processes that can help you cope with the demands of the public cloud.

Adapt to New Modes of Working

Cloud applications call for the implementation of dynamic security models. With agile releases becoming a standard feature these days, your organization needs to rethink its DevOps cycle and align it with security best practices. Changing the culture around security and making it a key part of development work is the best place to start.

Most developers don’t have security backgrounds. To this end, implement collaborative training programs that allow for increased interaction between security and development teams. Embed security leads into scrum teams and develop code templates that are pre-validated for security.

Many organizations make the mistake of trying to build a cloud security incident event management plan from the ground up instead of leveraging third-party expertise. During the early stages of your cloud migration process, you should collaborate heavily with your cloud service provider (CSP) to integrate their abilities with your needs.

You should also stay up to date with regards to compliance requirements and create a plan to stay abreast of the latest changes. Many CSPs offer regulatory compliance assistance as a standard feature, but it’s best to create your own plan.

Insist on Security and Privacy by Design

Legacy cybersecurity protocols function as an add-on to applications and data. Failing to revamp this structure leads to a clunky and inefficient work process. Identity management lies at the heart of a successful public cloud security protocol.

Many CSPs offer identity management services with automated authorization schemes. Leverage the use of analytics to secure your user and customer journeys. For example, you can use analytics to build baselines for user behavior. Create models that learn from this behavior and monitor for any excursions. Integrating analytics directly into your apps and leveraging the data they track is a great way to leverage the data you collect in multiple ways.

Data democratization is a necessity these days to react to fast-changing business conditions. Create protocols that clearly define access based on employee needs and risks. A common mistake that organizations make is to grant write permissions to upper management by default. Basing access on seniority can lead to redundant accounts that can be vulnerable to a targeted attack.

While you want to provide access to data as much as possible, you should adopt encryption protocols as standard. Data, whether in rest or motion, must be encrypted at the source, as opposed to encrypting it when it enters your network perimeter. Decide on a robust key management protocol. Some companies choose to store keys on-premises while others choose to rely on CSPs to store them.

The method you choose depends on your compliance requirements. Often storing keys with the CSP improves application performance since they need the keys to decrypt data. Conduct a thorough audit of your needs and work with your CSP to create a protocol that suits you best.

Expand the Scope of Your Coverage

While designing robust internal security protocols is one thing, securing your network and applications from third-party vendor data is another. You cannot control their security protocols beyond providing recommendations and hoping they’re implemented. So how can you ensure your safety?

Begin by creating SLAs that require your vendors to adhere to minimum security standards. This is especially relevant when governing the data that enters your system. Define encryption protocols and validate the data for any malicious behavior. Use permissions and identity management protocols to strictly govern vendor access to your network.

Conduct regular audits with your vendors to make sure SLA terms are being upheld at all times. Define your network’s perimeter clearly. Many organizations are currently directing traffic through on-site data centers combined with VPNs to securely access public cloud data. However, the complexity of this task virtually guarantees that third-party perimeter controls will be used eventually.

Begin evaluating your infrastructure needs to support these third-party perimeter services. You might need multiple applications that cover your web gateways, firewalls, and network monitoring needs. Switch to a continuous security validation protocol that regularly scans your network for vulnerabilities instead of relying solely on pentests.

Embrace Industry Initiatives

Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field thanks to the nature of threats.

Embrace industry-wide initiatives or create a working group to develop and define security standards in your industry.

Collaborating with peers in your industry is a great way to enforce standards on CSPs and ensures that these standards will trickle down to suppliers and vendors as well.

New Cloud, New Protocols

Cloud migration is a great way of enhancing your applications’ usability but making sure it remains secure is no easy task. With these processes, you’ll create a safe and secure environment for your employees and customers.

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