With the digital pivot of businesses increasingly moving core applications to the cloud, data protection is more critical than ever. It’s essential to implement strategic security measures to safeguard sensitive information and remain compliant; cloud-native security offers a comprehensive approach to securing data in cloud environments. It focuses on protecting data throughout its entire lifecycle — from creation to storage and transmission.
By leveraging cloud-native security strategies, organizations can ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data without hindering accessibility to authorized parties. These solutions utilize advanced technologies such as encryption, access controls and threat intelligence to mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and cyberattacks.
Let’s explore strategies and best practices for implementing highly effective cloud-native security measures to defend against threats and keep valuable data protected.
Implement a Zero-Trust Approach
A zero-trust security approach assumes by default that everyone is a potential threat. It grants data access on a case-by-case basis, operating with the expectation that a breach will happen or has happened — thus, always on high alert to block attackers. Zero-trust approaches use RBAC (role-based access control) and authorization to determine user and device identities, regardless if they have been verified previously.
The following four core principles form the foundation of the zero-trust security model:
1. Identity Verification
Since zero-trust models view every entry to the system as a threat, it does not assume you are an authorized user just because you have a username and a password. Identity verification techniques require a user to authenticate themselves with an additional verification step in addition to a username and password. This may include methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), a smart card or biometrics. This extra step prevents unauthorized access in the case someone’s password is compromised.
2. Access Control
This refers to data access limitations based on roles and responsibilities within a company, as well as certain permissions. Organizations often enforce strict limits on who can access what data to minimize data breaches and prevent the risk of cyberattacks.
3. Continuous Monitoring
Continuous monitoring allows organizations to stay proactive in their security efforts. Rather than assuming everything is secure because the proper controls are in place, all user behavior and network traffic are regularly monitored to detect anomalies and threats. This enables your team to address security incidents before they become major disasters. Continuous monitoring also provides real-time visibility into all components, including APIs, containers and microservices.
4. The Principle of Least Privilege
Least privilege access is a key practice when it comes to cloud security. This dictates users be granted only the necessary resources and permissions to do their job properly. By limiting access to essentials only, organizations can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
Adopt a DevSecOps Culture
In the past, when software updates were released periodically (every few months or years), it sufficed for security practices to be introduced at the end of the development cycle by a separate security team. However, with the demand for 24/7 real-time software services, digital commerce and smartphones, security can no longer be an afterthought in the development process.
DevSecOps ensures security is carried through at every point of the development cycle, making it a shared responsibility. Continuous testing, integration and security scanning of pipelines enable secure, high-quality application delivery and reduce the number of post-production fixes required.
Since DevSecOps requires all development stages to address security, developers need to have security expertise while coding and operating. Promoting continuous learning and improvement is thus key to an effective cloud-native security strategy, cultivating a high level of collaboration and feedback among developers, operators and security teams. In addition, DevSecOps culture helps protect data and applications in cloud environments by automating security scanning and incorporating strict quality standards.
Leverage Cloud Native Security Tools and Services
Cloud-native security tools provide a comprehensive suite of measures to ensure the security and integrity of cloud-native applications, including identity and access management, encryption, threat detection and vulnerability scanning. They offer features such as network policies, pod security policies and runtime defense mechanisms to ensure only authorized entities can access resources.
In addition, cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools continuously monitor cloud environments for misconfigurations and compliance violations. They provide automated remediation and auditing capabilities to maintain a secure position.
Cloud-native runtime protection tools, on the other hand, detect and respond to runtime threats and irregularities in real time. They employ techniques like behavioral analysis, machine learning, and anomaly detection to identify and mitigate potential security risks.
These tools also facilitate compliance with industry regulations and standards by providing continuous monitoring, auditing and automated remediation capabilities. They support the scalability and flexibility of cloud resources and integrate with cloud platforms and APIs. In addition, they offer real-time insights into cloud activities and performance.
Navigate Secure Cloud Solutions With GAP Advisory Services
Cloud environments are advantageous due to their scalability, flexibility and cost-efficiency; however, they also pose unique security risks. Data security management is a critical but often overwhelming task. To mitigate these risks, it’s important to adopt a comprehensive strategy that covers all aspects of cloud security.
To meet data security compliance standards and safeguard business, employee and customer data, you need an in-depth understanding of the appropriate cloud native security measures. Choosing the wrong cloud service can have disastrous consequences for your business. And in addition to data safety and regulatory compliance, you also need to consider system compatibility and budget alignment, amongst other aspects.
At GAP, we know exactly what to look for when matching cloud services to business needs. Growth Acceleration Partners cloud advisory services provide independent reports that consider your organization’s requirements against current public cloud offerings. Our evaluation focuses on application-specific workloads and prioritizes security, performance and cost. Moreover, our recommendations will always take your unique needs and concerns into account to determine the best fit for your organization.
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