Cloud Security Monitoring combines automated and manual processes for reviewing, managing, and observing operational workflows in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Security experts look for various vulnerabilities and analyze sensitive data continuously to keep accounts and users protected.
This guide will provide an overview of what Cloud Security Monitoring is and its benefits.
Table of Contents:
- What is Cloud Security?
- What is Cloud Security Monitoring?
- How Cloud Security Monitoring Works?
- Why Is Cloud Security Monitoring Important?
- What are the Benefits of Cloud Security Monitoring?
- What are the Challenges of Cloud Security Monitoring?
- What are the Best Practices for Cloud Security Monitoring?
- How PingSafe helps in Cloud Security Monitoring?
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud security encompasses using various tools and measures to protect cloud-based infrastructure components, services, applications, and assets. The cloud provides a global platform for effective collaboration and allows users to share resources seamlessly. However, it is prone to a variety of cyber-attacks and digital threats. Cloud security is essential, and it keeps data safe and users protected.
Cloud security, also known as cloud computing security, involves maintaining continuous regulatory data compliance. Companies use a variety of cloud security solutions to protect their infrastructures from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, malware, hacking, and unauthorized data access.
What is Cloud Security Monitoring?
To optimize and enhance security, cloud security monitoring measures data, applications, and infrastructure behaviors across cloud infrastructures and platform functions. Its goal is to prevent security breaches, minimize operational delays, and eliminate downtimes, thus ensuring business continuity. Many organizations suffer revenue losses or reputational damages when their perimeters get breached, and cloud security monitoring protects the integrity and standing of these companies.
Customers are concerned about loss of control in data management, and cloud security monitoring decreases security risks by enhancing data privacy, safety, and protection. It also improves data accessibility and enables customers to enjoy increased transparency without hindering business operations.
How Cloud Security Monitoring Works?
Cloud security monitoring supervises both physical and virtual servers in cloud environments. It continuously analyzes data and infrastructures to spot vulnerabilities and remediate threats. Cloud security monitoring relies on automation tools and services to provide organizations with ongoing support and assessment capabilities. It adds security features to existing infrastructures and leverages SIEM tools for active threat alerting and notifications. Cloud security monitoring may use third-party security management tools to reduce risks and eliminate costly data breaches. It collects log data across servers for analysis and alerts administrators about security management configurations.
Advanced cloud security monitoring solutions provide enhanced visibility into organizations, conduct zero-day vulnerability assessments, and can analyze large volumes of data in real time. They can provide regular updates, integrate with different servers and applications, and do audits. Most modern cloud security solutions can strengthen the cloud security posture of organizations, generate comprehensive reports, monitor databases, log files, source code, and servers, and deliver valuable insights to organizations about emerging threats, including helping them to design effective threat mitigation strategies.
Why Is Cloud Security Monitoring Important?
Cloud security monitoring is essential because it enables organizations to scan for security threats and bolster their defenses proactively. The cybercrime landscape is evolving quickly, and companies are not doing enough to keep up. Neglecting cloud security can lead to financial, reputational, and other losses. A single breach could jeopardize the company’s integrity and impact its business reputation in the future.
Cloud security monitoring analyzes processes and looks at user behaviors, workflows, and how third-party applications interact with an organization’s cloud assets. It maps global relationships, ensures continuous compliance, and secures user data privacy.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Security Monitoring?
The following are the benefits of cloud security monitoring workflows for organizations:
- Modern cloud security monitoring solutions provide comprehensive threat protection and enhanced visibility into cloud architectures. Cloud security monitoring gives proactive responses, minimizes attack surfaces, and enforces data accountability and responsibility.
- Robust cloud security monitoring can improve critical data security, facilitate backups, and provide effective disaster recovery and planning for data breaches. Cloud security monitoring tools enforce security policies and apply limitations in data access by implementing the principle of least privilege access.
- Top-tier cloud security monitoring can respond to fluctuations in demand when monitoring and managing network traffic. It provides adequate cloud coverage, reduces costs, and optimizes server performance to manage workloads and lower charges. High availability and access to resources are another unique feature of cloud security. These tools provide a holistic overview of cloud security in real-time and offer 24/7/365 live monitoring.
- Cloud security monitoring provides continuous and ongoing support to organizations, performs regular audits, and helps identify compromised hosts. It prevents privilege escalations, spots indicators of comprise (IoCs) and quickly addresses them. Automated cloud security monitoring solutions can actively scan and detect vulnerabilities, protect sensitive information, and deliver valuable insights regarding keeping assets safe from hackers and malicious threat actors.
What are the Challenges of Cloud Security Monitoring?
The biggest cloud security monitoring challenges endanger organizations and put them at risk of serious data breaches. A single data breach can negatively impact companies, and once a data breach occurs, the organization’s reputation is at stake. Reputational damages are much harder to recover from than financial losses. The threat landscape constantly evolves, meaning users must dial down on cloud security monitoring practices and adapt to changing environments.
The following are the top challenges of cloud security monitoring in 2023:
1. Data Breaches
Data breaches rank at the top of cloud security monitoring challenges and for good reasons. Data may fall into the wrong hands, and cloud accounts can get hijacked. Implementing proper protocols to handle data appropriately and have penalties for data breaches is imperative. Customers and employers share responsibility and accountability for taking care of their data, and this should be made very clear in all organizations. The cloud model follows a shared approach and commitment to security, regardless of what existing Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) state.
2. Compliance Violations
Policy and regulatory compliance violations are another unique challenge in the cloud security landscape. Many international and domestic regulations apply to data that is transmitted. Examples include the EU Data Protection Act, FISMA, PCI-DSS, NIST, FERPA, and HIPAA. The right cloud security monitoring solution needs to eliminate regulatory oversights and ensure that data storage, transmission, and security standards adhere to these mandates’ requirements.
3. Insecure APIs
Cloud environments have multiple entry points, which means the possibilities of exploiting security vulnerabilities are endless for attackers. Insecure APIs are a gateway to cloud attacks and are an increasing trend around serverless functions. Every cloud ecosystem uses APIs, and attackers can overload them and cause them to malfunction by sending too many requests. API misconfigurations are common, and many organizations do not change the default settings, which puts them at risk.
4. Insider Threats
It is challenging to detect insider threats since organizations trust and verify employees before onboarding and hiring. Unfortunately, disgruntled employees can leak sensitive information as revenge or spite. Nobody should be given unrestricted access to data to cloud applications and databases inside the organization for that reason, and privileges should be granted on a need-only basis, automatically removed once the job is done.
What are the Best Practices for Cloud Security Monitoring?
The following are the Best Practices for Cloud Security Monitoring in 2023:
- Enforce Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Train Staff
- Use SIEM for Cloud Security Monitoring
- Encrypt Data At Rest and In Motion
- Use Intrusion Detection and Prevention Technologies
- Conduct Regular Penetration Testing and Security Audits
1. Enforce Identity and Access Management (IAM)
High-quality identity and access management solutions can enforce proper security policies and implement role-based access controls. Experts recommend restricting account permissions, using password vaults, and rotating encrypted keys regularly so that malicious actors don’t get the chance to breach. Enabling multifactor authentication can also restrict access to sensitive information and is a good security monitoring measure.
2. Train Staff
Organizations should train their staff to recognize threats and know how to deal with them if they encounter them. Employees should understand the importance of taking personal accountability for protecting their data and be aware of the latest social engineering trends. Shadow IT practices are notoriously standard, and employees should learn how to use tools and systems to mitigate them. Proper knowledge makes it possible to prevent security breaches in combination with the best tools and solutions. Organizations should also invest in regularly testing their employees, enforcing continuous learning, and implementing potential countermeasures to stay ready to tackle emerging cyber threats.
3. Use SIEM for Cloud Security Monitoring
Modern SIEM solutions can simplify real-time cloud security monitoring and provide comprehensive visibility into infrastructures and cloud-based services. SIEM tools can continuously collect and analyze forensics data, create incident response and prevention plans, and implement workflows that automatically detect and remediate suspicious cloud behaviors. They also enable security teams to gather intelligence, address compromised assets, and mitigate cloud security risks across all endpoints. Good SIEM tools prevent data loss and provide adequate data backup and recovery planning.
4. Encrypt Data At Rest and In Motion
Encryption is a big part of cloud security, and all organizations should encrypt their data in motion and at rest. Some cloud vendors offer exclusive encryption services, and organizations can implement many encryption policies with these encryption products.
5. Use Intrusion Detection and Prevention Technologies
Intrusion detection and prevention technologies ensure consistent monitoring and analysis of data, network traffic, and even secure networks by implementing firewalling. Amazon, Google, and other major cloud service providers include IDPS workflows at an additional cost, and modern CSPM tools incorporate them.
6. Conduct Regular Penetration Testing and Security Audits
Organizations should conduct regular penetration tests and security audits to ensure that security functions perform as intended. Cloud vulnerability scanning protects cloud assets, finds misconfigurations, and remediates them. Additionally, organizations should audit access logs and correct security flaws identified through log analysis.
How PingSafe helps in Cloud Security Monitoring?
PingSafe improves Cloud Security Monitoring for organizations by leveraging a comprehensive Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) for effective threat remediation and compliance management. It offers features such as Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM), Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP), Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) tools, and enables real-time secret scanning for more than 800+ secret types in BitBucket, GitHub, and GitLab.
PingSafe delivers agentless vulnerability management for securing cloud workloads and offers continuous compliance monitoring for over 20+ industry standards and regulations like ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, NIST, etc.
It also allows customers to write custom security policies and provides event analyzer capabilities for running queries, searches, and filtering events as needed for investigations. The platform can validate credentials to avoid false positives, generate SBOM from code, and export compliance reports. Users can implement role-based access control, single sign-off capabilities and get multi-tenancy support. PingSafe monitors domain names and embedded secrets and supports native integrations, including detecting security issues for third-party credentials such as Slack tokens, Google workspaces, payment gateway tokens, and other items across public and private repositories.
The key to effective Cloud Security Monitoring is a proactive and layered approach to cloud security. Cloud security monitoring platforms like PingSafe allow organizations to strengthen their security posture and implement automated workflows for continuous threat monitoring, detection, and remediation. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and every organization is different.
Some companies get the best results by combining tools and approaches to enhance cloud security instead of just sticking to one solution. The best way to find out what works is to test different features. Most modern cloud security monitoring solutions offer a free trial period so that users can see if it works for them before they purchase a subscription and start using them long-term.