Cloud Security

Cloud Security Principles: A Comprehensive Guide 101

As businesses continue to digitize their operations, it is becoming increasingly apparent that security must be a continuous process rather than a stage applied after the operations and development lifecycles. Security technology, in particular security ideas and practices, is developing concurrently. Organizations know that protecting their data after it has been secured is crucial. It […]

Sharon R.

Written by Sharon R.

August 11, 2023 | 6 min read

As businesses continue to digitize their operations, it is becoming increasingly apparent that security must be a continuous process rather than a stage applied after the operations and development lifecycles. Security technology, in particular security ideas and practices, is developing concurrently. Organizations know that protecting their data after it has been secured is crucial.

It can be challenging to follow security standards while navigating the range of cloud security in a regulatory environment that is constantly changing. Maintaining compliance as regulations change is more challenging the more complicated an organization’s infrastructure is. Organizations must strike a balance between their need to secure data and the adaptability of the cloud. In this article, we will discuss the top 15 Cloud Security Principles.

Table of Contents:

  1. Top 15 Cloud Security Principles
    1. #1 Protect Data in Transit
    2. #2 Protect Data at Rest
    3. #3 Asset Protection and Service Resilience
    4. #4 Separate Customers from each other
    5. #5 Security Governance Framework
    6. #6 Secure your Operations
    7. #7 Secure your Personnel
    8. #8 Development Security
    9. #9 Secure the Supply Chain
    10. #10 User Management Security
    11. #11 Authorized Identity and Authentication
    12. #12 Protection of External Interface
    13. #13 Service Administration Security
    14. #14 Issue Security Alerts and Audit Information
    15. #15 Secure use of the Service
  2. Conclusion

Top 15 Cloud Security Principles

Organizations can more effectively plan their approach to cloud security by being open and honest about their security procedures. The cloud security roadmap should take the following cloud security principles into account while building and implementing it.

#1 Protect Data in Transit.

The first one in the list of cloud security principles is protecting data in transit. The networks that transfer user data must have strong anti-eavesdropping and anti-tampering safeguards. Organizations can accomplish this with the use of network protection and encryption. It enables them to stop the attacker’s access to data and data reading.

#2 Protect Data at Rest.

The next cloud security principle to follow is protecting data at rest. It is essential to guarantee that the data is not accessible to unauthorized persons with access to the infrastructure. Whatever the storage medium, user data must be protected. If the right safeguards aren’t implemented, accidental disclosure or data loss could be dangerous.

#3 Asset Protection and Service Resilience

Credentials, configuration data, derived information, and logs are among the data kinds that are frequently ignored. These must also be adequately safeguarded.

You should feel secure in knowing your data’s location and authorized users. This should also apply to data derivatives, such as verbose logs and machine learning models unless sensitive information has been purposefully left out or removed.

#4 Separate Customers from each other

Separation strategies guarantee that one customer’s service cannot access or impact another customer’s service (or data). It is a crucial step in cloud security principles to follow.

You depend on the security measures put in place by your cloud provider to make sure that:

You have control over who has access to your data, and the service is strong enough to protect you from malicious code used by another client to access your account.

Like cloud platforms, extensive cloud services might provide a wide range of services. 

#5 Security Governance Framework

A governance framework is essential to coordinate and guide the service’s management.

A strong governance structure will guarantee that operational, procedural, people, physical, and technical controls are maintained throughout service. Additionally, it must adapt to service modifications, technology advancements, and the emergence of fresh dangers.

#6 Secure your Operations

To recognize, mitigate, or avoid assaults, the operations and management must be highly secure. Solid operational security does not require a complicated, lengthy procedure. Change management, configuration, proactive monitoring, incident management, and vulnerability management are important factors.

#7 Secure your personnel

Check and limit the staff members of service providers. It is a crucial step in cloud security principles to follow. When service provider employees have access to your data and systems, you must have enough faith in their reliability and the technology controls to monitor and restrain their behavior.

Balanced personnel controls are necessary for effectiveness.

  • The service provider showcases how they develop enough faith in their employees.
  • Technical safeguards that lessen the possibility and effects of service provider employees’ unintentional or malicious compromise

#8 Development Security

The next in cloud security principles is development security. Cloud services’ design, development, and deployment should minimize and mitigate security vulnerabilities.

If cloud services aren’t created, developed, and deployed safely, security problems may arise that endanger your data, result in service interruptions, or facilitate other criminal behavior.

Throughout the service’s development and design process, security should be taken into account. Consider the evaluation of potential threats and the construction of efficient mitigations throughout the development of new features. It’s essential to balance usefulness, cost, and security.

#9 Secure the Supply Chain.

Third-party supply chains should support the service’s claimed implementation of all security criteria.

Cloud services rely on goods and services from outside sources. Therefore, if this concept is not implemented, a supply chain breach could jeopardize the service’s security and interfere with the application of other security principles.

#10 User Management Security

The next in cloud security principles is user management security. Tools for managing your use of a service securely should be made available by the provider.

Your service provider should give you the tools to control your access to their service securely, prohibiting unauthorized access to and alteration of your data, applications, and resources.

As with role-based access control (RBAC), access control should be based on specific permissions applied to a human or machine identity. In this model, each fine-grained authorization is scoped to one or more resources and granted to a role (the identity). This makes creating roles with only access to the resources needed to fulfill their intended function is possible.

#11 Authorized Identity and Authentication

Only authenticated and authorized users should be able to access service interfaces.

Only an authenticated and authorized identity, whether a user or a service identity, should have access to services and data.

You must have faith in the authentication process used to establish the identity of the person performing the access in order to implement effective access control as outlined in Principle 9: secure user management.

Weak authentication to these interfaces may allow unauthorized access to your systems, leading to data theft or alteration, service changes, or denial of service attacks.

#12 Protection of External Interface

All external or less reliable service interfaces need to be located and protected. This is an essential point in cloud security principles.

Defensive measures include application programming interfaces (APIs), web consoles, command line interfaces (CLIs), and direct connect services. Additionally, any interfaces to your services are created on top of the cloud service and the administration interfaces used by the cloud provider and you to access the service.

The impact of a compromise may be more significant if any open interfaces are private (such as management interfaces). You can connect to cloud services using various methods, exposing your corporate systems to differing degrees of risk.

#13 Service administration security

Cloud service providers ought to appreciate the importance of administrative systems.

While keeping in mind their high value to attackers, the design, deployment, and management of the administration systems utilized by your cloud provider should adhere to business best practices.

Highly privileged systems used by the vendor for cloud service administration will have access to that service. Their compromise would have a big impact, allowing someone to get beyond security measures and steal or tamper with huge amounts of data.

#14 Issue Security Alerts and Audit Information

The next in cloud security principles is issuing security alerts and audit information. Providers should provide the logs required to track user access to your service and the data stored there.

You should be able to recognize security issues and have the knowledge required to establish how and when they took place.

The audit information required to investigate occurrences involving your usage of the service and the data stored within should be made available. Your capacity to react to inappropriate or malicious conduct in a timely manner will directly depend on the sort of audit information you can access.

The cloud provider should immediately deliver security alerts in formats that suit your requirements. A written form for operations staff and a structured, machine-readable format for automated analysis should be included.

To enable you to routinely test your alert processing without waiting for an actual event, the cloud provider should provide a way to simulate alerts and record every alert type they can send.

#15 Secure use of the Service

Your cloud service provider should make it simple to fulfill your obligation to adequately protect your data.

Even if your provider adopts a secure-by-default policy, you must still configure your cloud services. You should use our guide to using cloud services safely to determine whether their recommendations satisfy your security requirements. Audit your configuration on a regular basis as part of a penetration test or comprehensive security review.

Conclusion

Cloud security faces various difficulties and potential growth areas, and security principles can assist enterprises in bridging these gaps. All users and businesses must adequately understand the threats in the cloud security landscape and follow the Cloud Security Principles. The funding and efforts an organization allocates to cloud security must be balanced with user convenience and time-to-market.