Whether you’re already in the cloud or thinking about moving an application or your entire IT infrastructure, security probably comes to mind first. Will your data in the cloud be safe from cybercriminals? And if you store customer data, you’re probably even more concerned.
If you plan to partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, you have made a strong choice. Both do a good job at monitoring network traffic and making sure the hardware and server operating systems are up-to-date with the latest patches. But you also need to be aware of the concept of the Shared Responsibility model offered by AWS and Azure. In a nutshell, both secure the cloud perimeter, but you are responsible for protecting your applications and data running inside the perimeter.
Knowing Where Your Responsibilities Begin
To understand where that security line begins and ends, closely examine your provider’s security documentation. It delineates the security factors you are responsible for and those that they cover.
Your responsibilities include components that leave you the most vulnerable to attacks if not managed properly. These include data encryption, access management, firewalls, and router configurations.
AWS and Azure will provide tools and some assistance, but you are on your own to make sure the necessary security controls are activated to protect your applications and your data. It likely makes sense to work with a cloud consulting partner who can advise you on how to manage the controls or handle the configurations for you. If you need help, both AWS and Azure can refer you to an extensive network of partners you can turn to.
Cloud Security Best-Practices
Whether you take on the task to secure your data and applications in the cloud yourself or decide to work with a partner, here are a few best practices to put into play:
- Implement network firewalls at layers 3, 4 and 7 of the technology stack.
- Utilize a virtual private cloud with access to individual server instances.
- Encrypt all traffic flows between the cloud provider’s data centers if you use another data center for backups.
- Deploy tools to enable intrusion detection, network access control, and denial-of-service attack mitigation.
Another key area to consider is software development. Whether you rely on internal developers or work with an outsource partner, make sure they take into account that your applications will be running in the cloud. Applications developed for on-premises environments will likely need rework to deliver the same security posture in the cloud.
Peace-of-Mind That Your Digital Assets Are Safe
With AWS and Azure as your cloud partner, you benefit from collaborating with two of the leading technology companies in the world. In addition to advanced security technologies, both feature world-class security experts. Compared to most on-premises environments, both AWS and Azure offer far more security for your digital assets—as long as you make sure the proper security controls are in place.
The key is to identify what you are responsible for and then find resources who can fully leverage the security tools that AWS and Azure offer. With the proper advice and ongoing management of your cloud environment, you can have peace-of-mind knowing your digital assets will remain safe.
If you have questions about the security of your cloud environment, contact PulseOne today. We can also schedule an assessment of your environment or discuss what you need to deploy in a future cloud environment.