Protecting your Cloud Resources

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Cloud Computing, Data, DevOps & Engineering | 0 comments

Technology is in a continual conflict between evolution and interruption. We progress only to have hackers and cyber security threatening our infrastructure. If you’re not In the digital frontier, you’re at higher risk, even some of our most secure banking & financial institutes are unable to protect their resources and data.

Join us as we discuss ways you can protect your cloud resources. If you’re looking for a quick read, below are the five ways you can support your cloud environment:

  1. Enforce the law in your Cloud environment
  2. Mind the (security) gap
  3. Control and audit who has access
  4. Adopt a shift-left approach to security
  5. Focus on optimisation

Enforce the law in your Cloud environment

In addition to extending your existing policies to the cloud at the server level, be sure that your solution will continually audit and monitor your cloud servers in real time.

If those policies are violated by a system administrator doing something outside of policy or an infiltrator to your network, you should remediate security policies at all levels within your systems, services, and applications.

Your Active Directory bridge software (a mechanism that allows users to log on to non-Windows systems using Active Directory login credentials) should identify an unauthorised change in the violation of policy, immediately end the session, and revert system and application configurations and services to a desired state. The bridge should also kick off an event in your Security information and event management (SIEM) system for further investigation by the security team.

To better manage security and configuration in the cloud, your Active Directory bridge should extend to cloud-based resources. This allows security teams to not only identify a breach, but also prevent it from happening in the first place.

Mind the (Security) Gap

There are significant challenges when it comes to managing perimeter firewalls and VPNs for cloud-based services such as AWS and Azure.

Public cloud services have invested significantly in perimeter security and resource management, but often these management tools require system-level security controls to be configured or even disabled. This leaves a chink in the armour of security if not managed effectively through proper access and configuration policies.

If you maintain your Active Directory bridge, you can implement extensive security measures through a Group Policy, such as personalised controls, disabling use of DNS for non-approved services, and disabling the creation of directories and files for non-approved applications. As your technology evolves, so do the efforts to breach your defenses and access your critical data.

Control and Audit who has Access

Managing control of your cloud services gets progressively harder as your company continues to grow. Enterprises struggle with maintaining security with over 

All major cloud providers offer identity and access control tools. These should be used in conjunction with additional security efforts and monitoring systems, like internal audits and compliance. 

Where do you begin when it comes to internal cloud audits?

Creating an audit requires highlighting the complexities and challenges surrounding your cloud infrastructure. Let’s begin by understanding the scope of your cloud computing environment. A few points to consider below:

  • Do you use the same matrix for public clouds as for private clouds?
  • Can your current risk assessment capture these risks correctly? 
  • What is the universal population from which to pick a sample from?
  • What would your sample selection methodology be in a highly dynamic environment?
  • Audit trails – How are you testing historical data if there was no audit trail? 
  • Are you educating the audit committee? – Overcoming internal barriers restricting the early involvement of internal audit as a ‘risk advisor’ to the business and IT

Adopt a shift-left approach to security

What is the shift-left movement?

The shift-left movement advocates incorporating security considerations early into the development process instead of adding security in the final stages of development. 

So… why the shift-left approach?

In the traditional software development model, requirements are kept on the left side of the plan, and the delivery and testing requirements on the right. The problem is that these practices do not handle changing expectations and requirements, resulting in negative outcomes for the business. This includes increased costs, longer time to market, and unexpected errors.

Cost optimisation is an important incentive to making the ‘shift’ left due to the effective resolution of defects. Here at Crystal Delta, we manage projects using the shift-left approach. This supports our customers to heavily reduce defects during production, reducing long-term costs and increasing extended satisfaction.

Focus on Optimisation

Optimising your Cloud environment is an ongoing process. Security is merely one pillar in creating an environment that is truly effective and optimal to run. We pride ourselves on cloud optimisation and find passion in supporting our customers to reduce cost and optimise performance efficiently and effectively. Contact us today to begin your cloud optimisation journey. Crystal Delta is a global software engineering practice specialising in banking & finance, manufacturing, and education.