As our workload shifted to a more online environment, the areas a company should secure got broader. Nowadays, more companies are utilizing cloud-based services and applications such as security as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), etc. Regarding cybersecurity, companies are responsible for protecting their data. Do not solely rely on cloud service providers if you want to build a secure overall network. Adequately securing data, access, and ways of storing and sharing assets is essential to avoid data breaches.
Cloud services certainly provide some security, but not entirely, and depend on the used service. Companies should understand what security service providers offer and what their security organizations handle in the shared responsibility model. Microsoft has stated that the identity and directory infrastructure, network controls, and applications in Paas are handled by both the provider and the customer. Also, it has been stated that the responsibility of data, endpoints, accounts, and access management is on the customer.
As days pass, cyber threats are getting more advanced. Companies need to understand the potential risks, challenges, and further consequences. Knowing the cause of issues and what is being affected in which way it is easier to implement solutions. Every company should take action to improve its cloud security according to its own needs and considerations.
The vulnerabilities in the cloud security infrastructure are being targeted continuously by cyber-attacks. The challenges in monitoring, access management, configurations, and cloud networks might leave an open door for attacks.
Public cloud services host multiple customers under the same cloud infrastructure. So even when the cyberattacks target other companies under the same cloud service, your data might be in danger if you don’t have a tightly secured network. If public cloud services are not accessed through the company’s network, it is harder to track access when a large workforce is present. Another challenge might come from misconfiguring assets like inadequate privacy settings. It may lead to unauthorized access, which brings us to another challenge.
Companies should also consider legal agreements, legislations, data encryption, disposal methods, availability, and cloud service providers’ geolocation in which your data is stored, processed, and managed.
Zero Trust Security
With these things in mind, the Zero Trust cloud security approach might be implemented as it provides complete oversight and identifies used applications along with the user. The zero trust approach establishes a secure network by authenticating identities through a series of services and products.
This approach is a product of the “trusting none and verifying all” philosophy. This method includes restricting all activities and giving access to only authorized and authenticated users. It permits access after it is verified as trusted. So the procedure follows a broker verifying the credentials and identity of the user and then permitting access to the network. Let’s explain the benefits of the Zero Trust framework further.
1. Compliance and Visibility
With micro-segmentation implemented in the Zero trust approach, compliance can be separated into more applicable audits, which makes the process even faster. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) also improves visibility and enables logging behavior throughout the network. This asset makes it easier to understand the potential threats.
2. Better Security
One of the most important aspects of a cloud network is data security. Secure data increases the value of the network. The zero Trust approach includes traffic encryption, VPN, and data prevention capabilities. By using this approach, data and cloud assets are stored, moved, and managed securely.
The Zero Trust security approach enables enhanced visibility. Accessed user, device, location, and reliability information are available. So that access management and control can spot potential vulnerabilities and threats. In accordance, you can control by setting certain limitations in required areas. Since the Zero Trust approach only allows verified access, the access will be denied when a user is unauthorized or unauthenticated.
Broader visibility enables companies to minimize attack surface by limiting authorization. Also, micro-segmentation, location IDs, and multi-factor authentication enhance the security of access management. It makes it even harder for attackers to breach. Additionally, it restricts users roaming into different network segments and only allows restricted functions for the needed job.
3. Cost Reduction
The integrated Zero Trust approach can lower the overall cost by simplifying security strategy, allowing avoidance of damage from a security breach and stolen credentials. Along the way, companies can get a good return on investment rate.
4. Reduced Damage
In the event of a breach, restriction of access in the segmented cloud network mitigate the effects of the attack. So Zero Trust approach prevents the whole network from being affected and the company from taking more damage. Overall, it lessens the damage taken by the company’s financials and reputation.
Zero Trust for SaaS
For public cloud services, security measures should be enforced around cloud-based traffic for users to access it more securely wherever and whenever. So, limiting access to these potential vulnerabilities reduces the attack surface. To ensure security in the cloud, companies should be knowledgeable about the applications and data stored in the cloud, the sensitivity of the data, and the users pertaining.
The Zero Trust security approach deploys extensive capabilities and access control for software-as-a-service applications. By enabling enhanced visibility and giving complete oversight of the network with micro-segmentation, Zero Trust enables the least privileged access to be used. Attack surface on infrastructure is minimized by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and restricting access to the users. So, access levels and authorization might vary for different users on cloud-based applications.
Nowadays, storing and hosting an application in the cloud is more profitable than in a data center. Restricting network traffic is essential in an era where everything is stored in a cloud environment. Cloud infrastructure should be tightly secured to avoid cyberattacks and mitigate the impact in case of a data breach. By implementing the Zero Trust solution, businesses can get complete oversight and visibility for secure access management by trusting none and verifying all philosophies.