A Guide to the Best Practices for Cloud Security

Keep your business safe by understanding the importance of the security measures you should be taking when using cloud services.

7 Min Read

Cloud security can be challenging at the best of times. Malicious actors, hackers, and breaches occur every day. Often, we don’t even know about them until they happen. The number of data breaches involving cloud systems is increasing every year, with at least 60% of small to midsize businesses being affected. And it’s only going to get worse from there. You should follow several best practices and protocols to keep your business safe. It’s not just about having a remarkable security team. You must know how to use that security team effectively and what resources are required to keep your business secure. When it comes to cloud security, many things can go wrong. But a set of best practices, single sign on solutions, and security procedures can help your business remain safe while working within the cloud. Here’s a guide to cloud security best practices to get you started.

Introduction to Cloud Security

Cloud security and information security systems go hand in hand with one another. Cloud security itself is a subset of the other. In cloud computing, companies use a series of remote computing resources to host, store, transmit, and use data. Clouds come in different forms, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. They also exist in various frameworks like infrastructure as a service, software as a service, and platform as a service. Each of these is used in different capacities by businesses every day. Clouds are cost-effective and scalable and make most of what modern companies do possible. But despite their fantastic utility, threat actors continuously seek to circumvent security measures and attack cloud security. Keeping a cloud secure involves setting up security and information systems to protect sensitive data. This might mean changing authentication protocols to counter passwords, using data encryption, and instituting active monitoring protocols. It can also involve setting up a security operations center to maintain security within your cloud.

Using A Security Operations Center

Part of keeping your cloud operations safe and secure is using a security operations center (SOC). Businesses must use a SOC to not only safeguard themselves against cyber threats but also manage any potential security threats. And SOC is a way to maintain visibility in a central location. Want to improve threat detection? How about increasing efficiency in your incident responses? What about compliance standards for the payment card industry or privacy? How about protecting sensitive dataAAn SOC can do all these things and more. It essentially streamlines operations and provides proactive protection against malicious activity on your network. A SOC can be either internal or external to your company. Any good SOC should have access to all aspects of the cloud system. It should also be able to monitor everything from endpoints to infrastructure and should always be staffed by highly trained individuals.

Overview of Best Practices for Cloud Security

Establishing a security operations center is the first step to maintaining cloud security. You must also set up a series of security operations center best practices. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Enable end-to-end network control to keep an eye out for possible third-party threats
  • Watch out for too much hardware appearing on your network
  • Keep and protect logs for your SOC
  • Backup everything and make a contingency plan
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Take a top-down approach
  • Choose which sites are allowed accessing which ones aren’t

By implementing a series of best practices (and basic cybersecurity measures) and following them to the proper standard, you can ensure your SOC is operating as designed and doing what it’s supposed to do.

Guidelines for Establishing and Maintaining a Security Operations Center

Establishing and maintaining your SOC is relatively simple and takes a common sense approach. Security operations center personnel should be responsible for developing, strategizing, and maintaining their SOC. As such, reviewing standard operating procedures and ensuring standards are up to date is a vital function in their role. The security operations center (SOC) should be responsible for developing and maintaining SOPs. The SOC should review the SOPs periodically to ensure they are up-to-date and reflect the current environment. If the security environment changes (due to new technology, changes in the organization, updates, etc.), the SOC personnel can update operating procedures quickly. Furthermore,  the SOC should also have policies that include detailed instructions for responding to security incidents (this includes using a process involving identification, notification, containment, eradication, and recovery of critical systems) and a plan for monitoring/mitigating threats in the future.

Challenges of Ensuring an Effective Security Operations Center

Setting up an effective SOC isn’t without its unique challenges. Part of this comes in choosing the right people for your team. A mix of technical and non-technical staff members who communicate effectively is critical for this type of work. Communication is the key to success when it comes to preventing problems. It can also help generate solutions when times get rough. In addition to finding the right people, you must establish clear goals and objectives at your SOC. What type of information do you want it to provide? How frequently do you want it to be updated? What do you consider a success? What about failure? What sort of metrics are you going to use to determine if you’re receiving false alarms or missed alerts? This is integral to ensuring your SOC does its job well, so your data remains safe at all times.

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