Securing Your Infrastructure on the AWS Cloud with Managed Security Services | Stratus10

Thu, 08/18/2022 - 16:28

Cloud security is increasingly essential in today’s fast-paced IT environment. As more companies migrate some or all of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, securing cloud-based IT assets remains critical to preventing data breaches and maintaining the trust of customers.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the pain points of implementing cloud security and how you can improve your cloud security posture by outsourcing security to certified AWS experts.
 

Digital Transformation and the Need for Cloud Security

Over the last few years, many companies have embraced technological advancement, investing in sophisticated cloud computing capabilities to drive productivity and meet business demands.

Cloud computing is faster and offers significantly more flexibility than the on-premise alternative. To further accelerate multi-site and remote collaboration, the cloud is a robust infrastructure for developing tools and products and interfacing with customers and colleagues.

In addition, the public cloud often offers greater security, at lower costs, than is possible with only internal cyberdefense safeguards in place. This is due in large part to the Shared Responsibility Model, in which cloud providers ensure security of the cloud.

However, shared responsibility clearly lays out elements that the provider does not protect and that your organization will need to account for. Thus, cloud assets are still prone to rapidly evolving security risks without proper oversight, which, left unaddressed, can compromise your data and system integrity.
 

Outsourcing Cloud Security to Address AWS Security Challenges

Operating computing assets on the cloud means that you have to implement robust security measures to anticipate and mitigate cloud security risks. Necessary aspects to keep in mind include:

  • Regulatory standards and frameworks with requirements for cloud security
  • Access controls and user monitoring to prevent unauthorized use and disclosure
  • Regular updates to systems and protections that come into contact with the cloud

But by partnering with the right team for outsourced cloud security, you can easily optimize your AWS security posture while also reclaiming internal bandwidth.
 

Gaps in Regulatory Compliance

Meeting the requirements of the cloud provider and other regulatory frameworks is critical to closing gaps in security and mitigating security threats. This is because every cloud regulatory framework aims to safeguard data integrity by minimizing exploitable vulnerabilities.

Depending on the cloud provider you choose, you may also be subject to a cloud security framework, methodology, or standard. For AWS, these include but are not limited to:

  • AWS Well-Architected Framework – By providing recommendations and best practices for managing cloud architecture, the AWS Well-Architected Framework enhances security, reliability, performance, and sustainability on and across the cloud.
  • CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark – Driven by industry consensus, the Foundations Benchmark provides a checklist to help companies secure their AWS infrastructure. 

In addition, depending on your industry, location, clientele, or other aspects of your business, you may need to comply with one or more cybersecurity standards that address the cloud:

  • SOC 2 – Many service organizations are subject to the AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria (security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy), which include requirements for securing data processed or stored on cloud infrastructure.
  • GDPR – If your organization processes personal information of European Citizens, it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires safeguards to uphold data privacy rights (e.g., transparency, objection, rectification) on the cloud.
  • PCI DSS – If your organization processes credit card data, it may be subject to Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), which includes requirements for protecting cardholder data (CHD) stored or processed in cloud infrastructure.

By outsourcing security management to an AWS expert versed in various security regulations, you’ll receive guidance and best practices for meeting all requirements efficiently. This makes compliance audits more seamless and reduces overlap in safeguards, where possible.
 

Poorly Implemented Cloud Access Controls

If cloud access controls are not correctly implemented, you risk exposing crucial environments to security threats. Access management is especially critical for customer-facing interfaces where large amounts of data are collected, processed, or stored.

Examples of gaps in cloud access management include:

  • Use of single-factor authentication to access applications
  • Open user access to business-critical files and data
  • Poor handling of cryptographic keys and encryption tools

To address access control risks on the cloud, it helps to implement best practices such as:

  • Deployment of enterprise multi-factor authentication for all users
  • Use of identity and access management solutions to delegate user access
  • Optimization of encryption to industry-recommended standards

Outsourcing access management on the cloud to an expert streamlines intensive efforts and programs such as identity and access management (IAM) or managed detection and response (MDR), reducing instances of unauthorized user access to data environments.
 

The Importance of Cloud Security Architecture

Despite the potential for greater security on the cloud, it is imperative to protect your cloud implementation to prevent risks unique to data stored and processed on cloud infrastructure.

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) projects the following risks as most pressing for 2022:

  • Gaps in identity, credential, access, and key management
  • Lacking protections for user interfaces and APIs
  • Missing, incomplete, or inaccurate change control
  • Poor strategic planning for cloud architecture
  • Unsecured software development processes
  • Poor or lacking third party risk management
  • Internal and external system vulnerabilities
  • Disclosure of data of or pertaining to the cloud
  • Serverless and container workload exploitations
  • Organized cybercrime and advanced persistent threats
  • Exfiltration of cloud storage data

In addition, there are risks specific to the particular cloud provider you choose.

The AWS cloud infrastructure contains multiple moving parts. From sensitive data environments to high-traffic networks, each component of AWS architecture faces unique risks.

To address these risks, AWS provides the Well-Architected Framework and associated tools for securing cloud infrastructure. Working with an AWS expert managing your cloud and cybersecurity, you will effectively secure your architecture in the short and long term—protecting your organization from data breaches.
 

Meet Your Cloud Security Needs with Stratus10’s Services

Stratus10 is an Advanced Tier AWS partner helping companies optimize cloud security and stay ahead of potential cybersecurity threats. Our team of certified cloud experts will implement and manage the security of your cloud infrastructure so you can feel confident about your security posture now and in the future.

Contact us today to get started bringing your AWS security to the next level!

 

About Stratus10 

Stratus10 helps companies migrate their infrastructure and applications to the cloud and implement best practices for continuous innovation. Stratus10 specializes in migration services, DevOps Automation, and Application Modernization to help clients take full advantage of the latest services AWS has to offer. 

Get in touch with a cloud expert today to discuss how Stratus10 can help!
Call us at 619.780.6100
Email us at sales@stratus10.com
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Sources: 

1. AICPA. SOC 2 - SOC for Service Organizations: Trust Services Criteria. https://us.aicpa.org/interestareas/frc/assuranceadvisoryservices/aicpasoc2report

2. Amazon Web Services. AWS Well-Architected Framework. https://aws.amazon.com/architecture/well-architected/?wa-lens-whitepapers.sort-by=item.additionalFields.sortDate&wa-lens-whitepapers.sort-order=desc

3. AWS. Shared Responsibility Model. https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/shared-responsibility-model/

4. AWS. AWS Cloud Security. https://aws.amazon.com/security/?nc=sn&loc=0

5. Center for Internet Security. Securing Amazon Web Services. https://www.cisecurity.org/benchmark/amazon_web_services

6. Cloud Security Alliance. Top Threats to Cloud Computing: Pandemic Eleven. https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/artifacts/top-threats-to-cloud-computing-pandemic-eleven/

7. IBM. What is Cloud Computing? https://www.ibm.com/topics/cloud-security
 

 

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