The 5 things every IT professional should know about cloud network security

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Cloud migrations across every industry have led to a massive shift in the way we think about security. As businesses move their data and applications to the cloud, the traditional, perimeter-based approach to security is no longer enough. Security experts should be familiar with the unique challenges that come with cloud network security in order to keep their organization’s data safe. 

What are the most crucial, Security 101 areas that you should know about when developing your Cloud Security strategy? We’re glad you asked.

1. Shared Responsibility Model and Shared Fate

Shared responsibility means that while the cloud provider is responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure, you’re responsible for securing the data and applications you put in the cloud. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides a range of security services to help customers secure their data, including Cloud IAM, Cloud KMS, and Cloud HSM.

This model helps to clarify who is responsible for what. Without a clear understanding of this division of responsibility, your team may mistakenly assume that the cloud provider is responsible for all aspects of security, leaving your systems vulnerable to attacks and data breaches.

By understanding the Shared Responsibility Model, you can take appropriate steps to secure your cloud assets and data. This may include implementing access controls and encryption, regularly monitoring cloud activity, and maintaining up-to-date security patches and configurations.

The Shared Responsibility Model can also help you understand your compliance obligations. Depending on the nature of their business and the data you’re storing or processing, you may be subject to various regulatory requirements, such as GDPR or HIPAA. Understanding your responsibilities under the Shared Responsibility Model can help ensure that you’re meeting these requirements.

Unique to GCP is the addition of Shared Fate. Shared Fate involves more collaboration and support from Google Cloud to help customers achieve better security outcomes. Some of the components and benefits of Shared Fate are things such as secure blueprints, the Google risk protection program, assured workloads, and confidential computing. Shared fate includes opinionated recommendations from Google that provide a secure foundation for all of your cloud workloads.

2. Identity and Access Management (IAM) 

With more users accessing cloud-based applications from different devices and locations, identity and access management has become a critical element of cloud network security. Google Cloud IAM allows you to manage access to cloud resources by creating and managing Google accounts, setting permissions for specific resources, and creating service accounts.

IAM also helps protect your business against various types of threats, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and insider threats. Most importantly, you can use IAM to implement strong authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized users can access your cloud resources, and service account only deployments to your cloud environments to protect systems from unauthorized changes and cost overruns. Additionally, IAM allows you to monitor user activity and detect anomalous behavior, which can help to identify and mitigate insider threats.

3. Secure Cloud Networks and Cloud Load Balancing

Google Cloud Platform provides a range of network security features, including VPCs, firewall rules, Cloud CDN, and Cloud Load Balancing to help you secure your network and protect your applications and data from attacks.

Cloud Load Balancing is a technique used in cloud computing to distribute incoming network traffic across multiple servers or resources to improve performance, reliability, and availability. It works by intelligently routing traffic to the most optimal resource based on factors such as server capacity, location, and user proximity. This helps to ensure that resources are utilized efficiently, and that users receive fast and responsive service. Cloud Load Balancing can be implemented at various levels of the network stack, including application-level, network-level, and global load balancing, depending on the needs of your organization. Integrating Cloud Load Balancing as an element of your overall network design allows you to layer on security services that are key to protecting your network data..

4. Compliance with Cloud Security Command Center

Compliance is a major concern for many organizations when it comes to cloud network security. Google Cloud Platform provides a range of compliance certifications, including ISO 27001, SOC 2, and HIPAA, which can help your organization meet your compliance requirements. GCP also provides tools like Cloud Security Command Center, which helps you monitor your compliance status and identify potential compliance issues.

Cloud SCC is a security management platform that provides a centralized view of your organization’s security posture across their Google Cloud Platform (GCP) environment. It offers various benefits, including:

  • Visibility: a comprehensive view of all the assets, services, and data across an organization’s GCP environment, allowing for better visibility into potential security risks.
  • Threat Detection: Cloud SCC uses various threat detection technologies, such as machine learning, to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities in real-time.
  • Compliance: meet regulatory compliance requirements, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA, with automated compliance checks and reports.
  • Collaboration: your security teams can easily share information, improving the speed and effectiveness of your incident response.
  • Integration: Cloud SCC integrates with various third-party security tools and services, empowering you to fortify your organization’s existing security infrastructure.

5. Hybrid and Multicloud Security 

Many organizations will use a hybrid or multicloud approach to IT, which can add complexity to cloud network security. Google Cloud Platform provides tools like Anthos, built on Kubernetes, which allows you to manage applications across different cloud providers and on-premises infrastructure. GCP also provides a range of security features that can help you secure your hybrid or multi-cloud environment, including Cloud Armor, which provides centralized protection against DDoS attacks, and Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy, which provides secure access to applications running on Google Cloud or other clouds.

By understanding the shared responsibility model, identity and access management, network security, compliance, and hybrid and multi-cloud security considerations, you can make the most of the cloud while keeping your data and applications secure. For a comprehensive examination of your security posture, contact us for a SADA Cloud Security Assessment today. The assessment provides you with a Cloud Security Confidence score measuring your security profile against industry standards, as well as detailed recommendations for next steps, all provided by SADA’s security experts.

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