8 pointer guide to secure data and applications on cloud

There has been an enormous increase in cyber-attacks in the recent past. The need for security of applications and data privacy is growing day by day. Enterprises need to be aware of the security of applications on the cloud. 

This guide provides a set of guidelines to protect data and applications on the cloud spread across SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and Private Cloud.

8 Pointer Guide to Protect & Safeguard Data and Applications on Cloud

1.    Strong Security Policy with defined protocols and process
2.    Restricted Privileged Access
3.    Protection of High-Value Cloud Assets
4.    Strong Multifactor Authentication
5.    Secure Application Development 
6.    Best in class Network Security 
7.    Middleware and Operating System Security
8.    Physical Security

Strong Security Policy with defined protocols and process
There must be a strong security policy that aligns with goals, objectives, risk and culture fit within the organization. 
•    Document the policies
•    Continuous threat management and risk management
•    Proactively assume the breach and develop risk containment plan
•    Establish a strong security control team
•    Constantly review the security policy and security governance structure

Restricted Privileged Access
•    Provide least privileges to administrators
•    Use just in time privilege option
•    In House administrators must be enabled to perform tasks than outsourcing the admin activities
•    Usage of dedicated privileged access to mission-critical cloud assets
•    Monitor the admin accounts
•    Security training to Cloud Administrators 

Protection of High Valued Cloud Assets
•    Identify what to protect in terms of value
•    Enhance security to sensitive data and applications
•    Enable information protection standards
•    Adopt the encryption of data techniques

Strong Multifactor Authentication
•    Usage of credentials secured by hardware for all identities
•    Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for all applications
•    Applying security compliance to trusted devices
•    Update the security tools especially authentication patches

Secure Application Development
•    Develop applications complying to OWASP standards
•    Follow security standards and frameworks
•    Implement a Secure Software Development Lifecycle Model
•    Apply security updates and patches
•    Decommission the applications that are no longer supported 

Best in class Network Security
•    Adopt CSA framework and align the network security architecture
•    Select the best topology suited for the enterprise
•    Secure the inbound and outbound network communication
•    Secure the connection between virtual machines
•    Secure the connection between third-party vendors, subscriptions and subscribers
•    Secure the remote hosts
•    Secure the on-premises network
•    Install highly powerful cloud firewalls
•    Closely monitor the alerts and threats on the network
•    Optimize the network security with built-in cloud tools

Middleware and Operating System Security
•    Secure the Virtual Operating System
•    Installation of Antivirus and End point Protection Tools
•    Installing Host Firewall and Configuration of IPsec
•    Event log configuration and Management
•    Secure software and patch updates of OS

Physical Security
•    Validate the firmware update as it is prone to attacks
•    Database security is very crucial
•    Storage device operating system and device firmware is very critical
•    Server hardware security
•    Storage device security
•    Network device security

Authored By - Vishnu Charan Venkatasubramanian
TCS Cyber Security Practice

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