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Cloud Security Challenges and Solutions

Why is cloud computing important?

Cloud computing is perhaps the most sophisticated technological innovation of the 21st century. This is because it has seen faster adaptation to the mainstream than any other technology in the domain. Cloud is a computing model that permits servers, networks, storage, development tools, and even applications combined over the internet where organization do not need to invest heavily in purchasing equipment, training staff, and providing continuous maintenance instead Some or all of these requirements are handled by the cloud service provider.


Pooled computing resources available through cloud computing have been proven to offer tremendous benefits to business organizations. To cope up with the numerous business problems that encountered in today’s competitive business arena, organizations need to move forward with cloud computing implementations. These problems range from acquiring and maintaining expensive hardware and software resources that the organization use indaily operations to streamlining these resources in the most efficient manner for the benefit of the organization and the for the benefit of the society at large. In handling these challenges, cloud computing offers numerous



benefits that have surpassed expectations and delivered more than anyone can thought. These benefits can briefly describe as below

Since the beginning of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis most of the businesses start accelerating their digital transformation to navigate human and business impact with Cloud computing where it has become new normal practice and made life easier for business owners to maintain business continuity with working from home concept.


Why Cloud Security?

Cloud security refers to the technologies, policies, controls, and services that protect cloud data, applications, and infrastructure from threats.


Cloud security is a responsibility that is shared between the cloud provider and the customer. There are basically three categories of responsibilities in the Shared Responsibility Model:

Even though, cloud providers assured with list of security measures as a major benefit of cloud services, they are just providing some basic protections against specific security threats. However, as with modern cyber security concerns, these measures are not enough for the organization to fight back with critical cyberattacks. As mentioned before, with the popularity of remote work has introduced new cybersecurity threats to cloud based environments. Malicious actors are taking advantage of the increased opportunities for attack due to the increased usage of remote work protocols.

Top Cloud Security Challenges

While there are no doubt benefits to the cloud, this blog will highlight some key cloud computing security issues and challenges that businesses should consider.


Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration of the cloud infrastructure is a major contributor to data breaches. If an organization's cloud environment is not properly configured, critical business data and applications may become vulnerable to an attack.

Since cloud infrastructure is easily accessible and designed to promote data exchange, it can be difficult for organizations to ensure that their data is accessible only to authorized users. This problem can be exacerbated by the lack of visibility or control over the infrastructure of their cloud hosting environment.

Therefore, Misconfiguration raises serious cloud security issues for businesses, and crashes can adversely affect day-to-day operations. To prevent misconfiguration, those responsible for overseeing their organization's cloud resolution should be familiar with the security controls provided by their cloud service provider.


Data Leakage

One of the major benefits of cloud computing is the ease of data exchange and the ability to collaborate seamlessly with colleagues and outsiders. However, since data transfer in the cloud is usually done by direct email invitations or by distributing a public link to a specific group of users, this can cause potential security issues and challenges in cloud computing.

Anyone with knowledge of the link can access the information stored in it, either by sharing public links or by changing the settings of a cloud-based file to "public". In addition, hackers use tools to actively search the Internet for such insecure cloud applications. These resources contain company data or sensitive information and, if misused, pose an immediate threat of serious data breach that could affect an organization.


Lack of Visibility

In a cloud environment, this lack of visibility can lead to cloud security issues that put organizations at risk, including malicious internal threats and cyber-attacks. Partnerships with a managed cloud service provider can alleviate these problems by assuming that the provider has strict and effective security controls in place to meet the business's compliance requirements.

It is essential for organizations that have comprehensive visibility into their cloud environment on a continuous basis. Managed cloud service providers can provide business leaders with real-time reports on networks and user activity to ensure prompt detection and response in the event of a threat.


Social engineering and other cyberattacks

Threat criminals have increased their efforts to tap into any unintended holes in cloud architecture to profit or disrupt organizations, even at such a sensitive time such as Pandemics.

§ Phishing scams involve attackers pretending to be trusted individuals or authorities and appealing victims to gain access to valuables or personal belongings. This term is generally applied to the theft of account credentials or money online. Such social engineering methods have become an attractive way to gain cloud system access from employees and individuals.


§ Phishing with malware the attacker pretending to be trusted parties and calling victims to open infected files or links. Employees can be targeted to infect enterprise cloud storage, databases, and other networking structures. Once infected, this type of malware can spread to cause all sorts of disruptions, or more generally, data breaks throughout the organization.


§ Brute force attacks involve Cloud invasion and filling credentials, which involve inserting credentials stolen from other accounts into various services. Attackers try to take advantage of reusable password-usernames across multiple accounts. Typically, they will acquire stolen credentials from existing account breaches, and the credentials will be sold on the Dark Web. Fast-track access to many remote locations for this activity can be a red flag.


§ Distributed Service Rejection (DDoS) attacks the cloud server or the framework around it. Attackers gain access to a system, and these can be based on botnet-based and phishing threats used by remote computer "armies" assembled before the attack is launched. The ease of implementation and the number of interruptions to web-based operations make DDoS attacks very attractive. With random infrastructure setup, many organizations in cloud systems are even more vulnerable.


BYOD work from home policies

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have been implemented by most of the organizations today, to ease the conveniences and flexibility that remote work demands. While this allows companies to offload hardware costs and maintenance onto employees, this creates many potential breach points for corporate IT systems.

As personal and work activities are integrated through the use of devices, cloud systems are more likely to be exposed to malware that goes astray from insecure devices. In many workplaces, personal use is intended to be separate from enterprise devices, and the end point has the added benefit of reducing contact with a user's unsecure accounts and files.

Onsite networks are secured by firewalls, Wi-Fi routers are safeguarded, and even employer-provided phones are managed by your IT team. They systematically ensure that any surface of possible attack has the most current security protocols and software updates.

The new remote connectivity environment has made many organizations blind, with few or no remote-ready enterprise computers and phones to offer their employees. Existing malware infections are one of the many problems associated with the use of unsecured personal devices. Outdated operating systems and other devices can be easily abused by malicious criminals. Other family members' devices on the employee's home network can also be vectors for malware. Even with secure IT-tested hardware, most of the previous location security is not applicable without any process to check the network security of each user's home.


Our Cloud Security Solutions

CASB solution design and implementation

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is an on-premises or cloud-based security policy enforcement point that is placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as cloud-based resources are accessed.

CASB solution design lies down on four foundational pillars including Visibility, Compliance , Data security and Threat protection. With CASB solution implementation, you can

ü Govern your organization’s cloud usage with granular visibility and control

ü Protect and prevent the loss of sensitive data across all the cloud services in your environment

ü Guard against cloud-based threats such as malware and ransomware


CASB SIEM integration solution design and implementation

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offer real-time monitoring and analysis of events as well as tracking and logging of security data for compliance or auditing purposes. Or in other word, SIEM is a security solution that helps organizations recognize potential security threats and vulnerabilities before they have a chance to disrupt business operations.

SIEM mainly deals with the internal part of the operations where CASB Cloud Access Security Broker, on the other hand, is a system that covers it for the cloud region, and CASB is a kind of blanket over any existing SIEM system. When considering the integrated solution of CASB and SIEM, can be considered as the leaders in the stack of security. SIEM System mainly deals with the Networking lot where CASB deals with CloudCodes and Cloud Security.


Azure Security Centre Management

Azure Security Center by Microsoft is a solution that provides unified security management across hybrid cloud workloads. It offers threat protection for data centers within both cloud workloads and on-premises. The platform also works with hybrid clouds that are not part of the Azure ecosystem.

The Azure Security Center is designed to resolve a pressing problem when your organization migrates to the cloud. The cloud customer has to take more responsibilities when upgrading to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as compared to cloud solutions like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), where the cloud service providers take care of most tasks related to securing the network and the services.

The platform helps organization by:

ü Enabling your team to have a clear view of the status of your resources after assessing your environment. Such an assessment gives you an insight into whether your resources are secure

ü Generating security alerts and providing threat prevention recommendations. Security Center consciously monitors your workloads to detect security rules violations

ü Provisioning services automatically since the Security Center is a native part of the overall Azure solution. This way, you can deploy Security Center seamlessly within your Azure-powered environments

ü With Azure Security Center, organizations can control the security of an ever-growing number of services under constant threat by a growing number of sophisticated malwares.


AWS Security Portal Management

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a host of dedicated security services that organization can use across the environments. The AWS cloud provides a shared responsibility model. AWS manages cloud security for its own infrastructure, while the organization is responsible for securing its own data and workloads. Amazon provides a range of security services and features,

§ Data protection

§ Identity and access management

§ Infrastructure protection

§ Threat detection and continuous monitoring

§ Compliance and data privacy

Using AWS, organization can

ü Gain the control and confidence need to securely run the business with the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment

ü to protect information, identities, applications, and devices with AWS data centres and a network architecture

ü Improve your ability to meet core security and compliance requirements, such as data locality, protection, and confidentiality with our comprehensive services and features.

ü Automate manual security tasks and shift focus to scaling and innovating business


DLP Solution design and deployment

A cloud-deployed (or cloud-hosted) data loss prevention (DLP) solution which is deployed using various cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), characterized by the fact that it does not require the user to have dedicated IT infrastructure to run or be managed, or A DLP solution used for protecting the data stored by third-party providers, such as cloud storage providers or collaborative tools. With the DLP solution design and deployment overcloud will helps to

ü Scans and audits data in the cloud to automatically detect and encrypt sensitive information before it is admitted to and stored in the cloud

ü Maintains a list of authorized cloud applications and users that can access sensitive data

ü Alerts the infosec team to policy violations or anomalous activity

ü Maintains a log of when confidential, cloud-based data is accessed and the user’s identify

ü Establishes end-to-end visibility for all data in the cloud


Key Vaults and other secrets management for cloud apps and services

Key Vault is a cloud service for securely storing and accessing secrets. A secret is anything that organization want to tightly control access to, such as API keys, passwords, certificates, or cryptographic keys. Sensitive information can readily be leaked, and out-of-date credentials are apt to rainbow table attacks if organization neglect to adopt proper secret management solutions.

API Gateway and Web Application Firewall configuration management for cloud apps

API Gateway allows for exposing direct, programmatic access to your application. A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is able to discern fraudulent interactions from legitimate traffic and take appropriate actions. The WAF stands between the public and the web application, it is able to decouple the traffic between the web server and the internet. Therefore WAF is considered an API security best practice and should be implemented whenever possible. By having a full inventory of all your API endpoints in all regions as well as all accounts can help you stay compliant with the NIST framework.

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