By Punit Thakkar, CEO & MD, Shivaami Cloud Solution
Understanding cloud security tools and their built-in protections can help ensure the cloud journey is secure and effective. To successfully protect an organization’s data in the cloud, it’s important to first secure users’ identities. Cloud must help block brute force attacks by employing sophisticated risk models built-in the products to assess whether a login event is legitimate or not. If the risk engine determines that an attempt is suspicious then it must ask the user for additional proof to ensure the right user is logging in.
The proofreading shall be done by offering a set of login challenges to the user and asking them to confirm their identity from a trusted phone or in the way answering a security question.
Cybercriminals launched a wave of cyber-attacks that were not only well-coordinated but also significantly more advanced than before. Simple endpoint attacks evolved into multi-stage operations. Ransomware attacks have affected both small and large businesses. Cryptomining attacks gave cyberattackers an easy way into enterprise networks. There were a lot of big data leaks, costly ransomware payouts; a broad, new and confusing threat landscape. To assure a more secure login into the cloud, two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification (2SV) were given more emphasis.
Here are some of the Cloud Application Security Best Practices that must be followed by every user and organization for a more secure login into the cloud:
1. Build application security skills within your development teams: Security teams will be better equipped to ensure application security with high-quality training and competencies. Users can detect if the information is being handled improperly by internal users by monitoring user behaviour.
2. Pick the right cloud security provider: A cloud security solutions provider must be knowledgeable about current and emerging security threats. To ensure maximum coverage, they must be able to provide the appropriate tools and security strategies.
3. Don’t stop with due diligence: Don’t take cloud security for granted, and don’t connect tools and apps without thinking about the security implications.
4. Audit and optimize: Regular security audits enable you to detect new vulnerabilities and continuously improve user security infrastructure and posture. Audits will reveal where vulnerabilities have emerged, allowing rules and policies to be modified.
5. Follow password best practices: Cloud application security starts at the perimeter, and strong passwords provide the first line of defence. To ensure that employees use strong passwords, users must establish well-defined policies and standards such as password lengths, special characters, and password expiration. Use multi-factor authentication as well, which requires employees to enter another authentication code after entering their password.
6. Eliminate vulnerabilities at the development stage: Building security into practices, processes and tools during the development stage is one way to protect a cloud application. Cloud application developers can view the results of security tests in real-time as they write their code using tools like IDE (Integrated Development Environment) plugins.
7. Focus on architecture, design, and open-source and third-party elements: It’s not enough to limit security scans to bugs in the code or penetration tests against the system. Expand the scope of security testing to include all potential application flaws.
Many organisations employ third-party cloud-based or legacy on-premises SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)-based identity providers for primary user authentication. Security teams will be better suited to ensure application security if they receive high-quality training and competencies. Shivaami, an award-winning Google partnered company, also provides risk-based login challenges and the 2SV stack with your own IdP (Identity Provider). If an organization is using a third-party IdP, users can enable this new feature so they can benefit from Google’s strong risk-based assessments and also help reduce operational costs. This increases the overall account security, by leveraging risk-based challenges for users authenticating on the 3rd-party identity provider. Cloud application security tools and practices will continue to evolve, as will the type and number of security threats. With cloud services changing so rapidly, it is important to continuously review and enhance application security best practices frequently.