Top 10 Cloud Security Best Practices to Look for in 2024-2025

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Cloud Security Best Practices

With the rapid advancement of technology, cloud security best practices have emerged as paramount for businesses. In today’s digital landscape, the escalating threat of cyber attacks has heightened concerns among companies across various industries. Safeguarding data storage and infrastructure has become imperative as organizations grapple with the risks associated with third-party internet exposure.

Enterprises are switching to cloud security practices to protect their data and infrastructure. Though it doesn’t offer a complete guarantee to prevent the attacks, it considerably shields digital assets by providing better defense which is ensured by implementing strong cloud security practices. It is a more straightforward strategic approach that a company implements.

One of the points to remember is that to improve cloud security; you must ensure that users and devices are appropriately connected to the cloud apps. Further, let’s know the cloud security best practices you must know in 2024.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security safeguards client sources, applications, infrastructure, and architecture stored in cloud computing platforms from digital threats. The core intent is to protect it from cyber attacks, data breaches, unauthorized access, and data loss, ensuring the company’s cloud infrastructure, networks, and systems accessing cloud resources are all well-protected & safe.

Cloud Security Best Practices: Top 10 Considerations for 2024 & Beyond

Explore the best practices for cloud security with our comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of safeguarding your data and infrastructure in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

  • Know better about the shared responsibility model
  • Least benefit strategy to limit user access
  • Cloud security policies
  • Prepare a list of security-related queries
  • Use Cloud Intelligence, Forensics, and Threat Hunting
  • Upskill your employees
  • Ensure the safety of your endpoints
  • Comprehends and reduces misconfigurations
  • Execute multiple testing
  • Recommends utilizing intrusion detection and prevention technology

1) Know better about the shared responsibility model

The shared responsibility model is an essential component of cloud security. It determines how the cloud service providers and users share the responsibility of security duties. In this sense, the cloud service provider focuses more on protecting the infrastructure system, whereas the users protect their database and storage.

A simple example of a shared responsibility model is SaaS (Software as a Service)- Here, the cloud service provider is accountable for everything, including infrastructure, security, and application, which the customers generally use.

Yet, the user is liable for his data and how they manage using the software.

2) Least benefit strategy to limit the user access

Cloud service providers authorize the application access to their customers (users). On the contrary, it is within the hands of the user to operate, maintain, and uphold an eye on who can leverage the data and resources.

Cloud security ensures that only allowed users can access cloud services and perform certain actions. This mitigates the chance of wrong access to organizational data and holds users from hurting the system by error or on purpose. This least benefit strategy gives access to only users who need it to perform their job.

3) Cloud security policies

Cloud security policies entail rules and guidelines for the organization to keep the data and resources secure. These policies include access controls, data encryption, and incident response to security challenges.

Cloud security policies allow the organization to maintain integrity. On the other hand, it ensures that everyone in the organization observes the appropriate measures and is in the right place to shield the data and system. These well-defined set policies can establish a particular alignment with the business goals and objectives.

4) Prepare a list of security-related queries

Smart approach always yields good results; organizations must prepare a list of questions for the public cloud service providers about the security measures and processes they have in place. No doubt about assuming that leading vendors might have the security handles, but also keep in mind that it might differ from vendor to vendor.

Organizations must ask certain questions to understand how a particular vendor compares:

a) Where are the cloud service provider’s servers located geographically?
b) What is the protocol for security challenges?
c) What is the disaster recovery plan?
d) What measures do they have to protect various access components?
e) What technical support are they ready to provide?
f) What are the results of the most recent penetration test?
g) Do the providers encrypt the data?
h) Who all have access from the service provider?
i) What are the authentication methods they facilitate?
j) What are the compliance requirements they provide?

5) Use Cloud Intelligence, Forensics, and Threat Hunting

The three best practices to protect the data and resources in the cloud are cloud intelligence, forensics, and threat hunting.

a) Cloud Intelligence
It includes collecting and analyzing information to detect possible threats or vulnerabilities in the cloud. Cloud intelligence helps to identify the risks and mitigate them.

b) Forensics
It involves collecting and analyzing the evident data to investigate the cause of the incident.

c) Threat Hunting
It aggressively suspects the security threat signals to detect and protect before any digital attack occurs. It helps organizations understand the root cause of security incidents and find evidence that can be further used to hold individuals accountable.

6) Upskill your employees

To prevent unwanted security attacks, you must upskill your employees to give them a better idea about suspecting and responding to cyber threats.

Conduct cybersecurity awareness training for the staff to upskill the issues by addressing issues like identifying cybersecurity threats, using strong passwords, identifying social engineering attacks, and risk management.

Consider giving special attention to security professionals to be informed about emerging cybersecurity challenges or threats. Discuss the probable risks of shadow IT, which mainly occurs due to the usage of illegal tools and applications resulting in vulnerabilities.

7) Ensure the safety of your endpoints

It is necessary to ensure that the robust endpoints are connected to the cloud. New cloud projects propose an option to reassess security methods and manage occurring threats, offering a defense-in-depth approach, including firewalls, anti-malware software, intrusion detection systems, and access control measures.

8) Comprehends and reduces misconfiguration

There are likely chances of misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure; this presents the gateway to malicious actors:

  • Cloud bucket appropriations lead to data vulnerabilities
  • Moving lateral sideways primed with necessary credentials leads toward the storage infrastructure, underscoring the security parameters.

On the other hand, improper account permissions further escalate the odds of attackers stealing potential credentials and administrator access. Addressing such challenges is time-consuming and is a concern for your organization’s IT, storage, and security teams.

  • Customized bucket configuration that maximizes security integrity
  • Fosters collaboration with the development of web cloud address setups to combat potential threats
  • Mitigate the default access of permissions
  • Determine user access levels and tailor permissions according to each bucket

9) Execute multiple testing

Whether you are partnering with an outside security firm or managing security functions in-house, you are essentially recommended to implement the following security practices. Embracing such a comprehensive testing strategy brings vigilance to your security practices.

  • Penetration tests
  • Vulnerability
  • Regular security audits
  • Access log audits

10) Recommends utilizing intrusion detection and prevention technology

Intrusion detection and prevention systems are marked as suitable security tools to monitor, analyze, and respond to network traffic in real time. It helps to secure a network like a firewall.

Major cloud services, including Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud, offer IDPS and firewall services. This service helps to enhance the ability to detect and prevent unauthorized access and potential security breaches. A strong and secure infrastructural system strengthens a forward-thinking approach to cyber security.

What to look for in Cloud Security?

– Data encryption
It protects the data from misuse, and cloud encryption addresses other critical security issues, including compliance with regulatory data privacy and protection standards. Protects against unauthorized data access from other public cloud tenants.

– Identity and access management
It manages remote teams and cloud computing to prevent identity-based attacks and data breaches due to privilege escalations.

– Network security
It minimizes risks, ensures compliance, and promotes safe and efficient operations.

– Logging and monitoring
It enhances observability and minimizes time spent on identifying performance issues in log files for optimal application performance.

– Compliance and auditing
It safeguards applications and data from unauthorized access and theft, enhancing the security of cloud-hosted data.

– Security groups and access control
Security groups function like firewalls, filtering traffic entering and leaving EC2 instances. They are associated with EC2 instances and protect at the ports and protocol access level.

– Data backup and recovery
The data backup and recovery function creates a backup copy of data that can be recovered in case of primary data failure, hardware or software failure, data corruption, or human-caused events.

– Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
Regular penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and risk assessments prevent malicious cybercrimes and enhance network security.

– Security policies and training
An extensive Network Security Policy protects network infrastructure from various threats, safeguarding its data and applications in the cloud.

– Secure APIs
API security secures cloud apps, as they are the primary entry point for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and are data transporters for all cloud-based applications.

– Data loss prevention (DLP)
Data Loss Prevention solutions prevent accidental data leaks from cloud-based services.

– Incident response plan
An effective incident response plan can minimize the damage caused by a security breach and expedite the recovery of systems.

– Third-party services
Third-party cloud services offer cost savings and innovation by eliminating the need for expensive hardware, software, maintenance, or security investments.

– Insider threat monitoring
Security teams must detect insider threats by identifying suspicious activity and preventing data loss or damage from such attacks.

– Continuous security assessment
Continuous security assessment constantly examines cloud deployment, identifies infrastructure weaknesses, and safeguards assets from security threats.

How to evaluate cloud service provider security?

It is necessary to evaluate cloud service provider security for the data that is stored and processed in the cloud platform.

1) Figure out the data you want to migrate to the cloud

You must identify the data you want to migrate to the cloud to achieve this criterion. In this sense, the type of data may vary. It will depend on the type of system, application, or service you engage with.

Below are a few sets of examples of data that can be migrated to the cloud:-
a) Customer data from the CRM system
b) If adding staff data into the HR cloud platform
c) Email data if you engage with the email cloud service provider

2) Conduct a risk assessment

A risk assessment is conducted after compiling data types, focusing on security risks associated with data loss and the data processed and stored by the cloud service provider. This assessment should include unique risks to the cloud and identify potential threats from other organizations, such as help desk staff, software developers, and hardware support personnel facilitating the service.

3) Consider a penetration test

A penetration test is a procedure used to evaluate the security of an application by cybersecurity professionals. These tests mimic how hackers can attack or break into systems, revealing potential security bottlenecks. However, it’s essential to note that cloud service providers may object to user penetration testing.

To avoid this, it’s crucial to contact the cloud service provider to select the data and time for the test. If this isn’t possible, wait for a third-party team to conduct the testing. Although the cloud service provider may not provide a testing report due to security concerns, they will likely provide you with highlighting findings.

4) Run a security assessment

Right after the penetration testing, you must evaluate the security assessment of the technical controls of the cloud platform. Cybersecurity experts practice this inspection to ensure your service is well-configured and acclimated to your security and compliance.

Final Note: Opt for Cloud Security Best Practices

This article maps the best cloud security best practices. Massive cybersecurity threats are expected if you do not focus on security concerns. All the data, architecture, and resources can be kept safe by opting for cloud management services. Putting all the best practices in the right place and applying certain security tools will ensure the security of the organizational data.

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Deepali Medchal
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Articulate & piquant content creator committed to her passion for writing.

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