Companies using cloud-based resources are faced with the challenge of protecting their solution against unauthorised access. The way to go often depends on the type of service they source from the cloud, such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, or Software as a Service. While cloud providers may offer certain security features as part of the package, they still need to be configured and rarely cover all the bases.
A security-aware cloud strategy has to take all of the following issues and solutions into account:
Automation is key as any need for manual operation of the solution makes it impossible to scale to current needs. Users may tap into cloud services on a daily basis as required. This means that resources must be provisioned automatically and in a highly flexible and user-aware manner, from access to invoice. This is true for end-user services such as Office 365 just as it is for security services such as encryption or infrastructure security from the cloud.
Software and Hardware as a Service mean infrastructure operation happens out of the customers’ sight and mind, and customers should be able to expect the underlying architecture including security to scale in line with their needs. As their own corporate network effectively reaches into the cloud, the cloud solution’s perimeter, too, must be protected in the same way as a traditional on-site network, including a firewall, anti-virus and content filters.
Companies working with the cloud must realise that they are using someone else’s network and infrastructure. Consequently, appropriate safeguards must be in place to protect any applications and data residing in the cloud, as well as how they are accessed. To this end, digital signatures should always be managed on company turf and kept under physical lock and key using hardware security modules (HSM).
In a corporate environment, user experience is just as important a factor as it is in consumer electronics where downloading apps or accessing cloud services has become second nature. Younger people, in particular, have come to expect the same simplicity and convenience from their employers, as well, who have to accommodate this need for automated, always-on access to data and applications and ensure flexible provisioning and invoicing if they want to stay attractive for up-and-coming professionals.
Bechtle customers can benefit from an extensive hybrid cloud offering complete with expert advice to ensure a secure transition to the cloud.