As more businesses rely on cloud technology to store their sensitive information, it’s critical to ensure that your cloud security posture is up to par. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect cloud security when developing their overall cybersecurity strategy, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches and other attacks.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of improving your cloud security posture and outline some of the steps you can take to do so.
1. Identify what to protect
The first step in improving the cloud security posture of your business is to understand exactly what resources exist in your cloud environment and what type of data they hold. Depending on the size of your organization, you might rely on dozens or even hundreds of cloud resources to keep your business running smoothly. Which of these applications store Personal Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), or other types of sensitive data?
As the first step in any security strategy, data classification helps you prioritize your security efforts for your most sensitive data.
2. Establish a cloud governance program
One of the most effective ways of bolstering your cloud security posture is to implement a cloud governance program that clearly defines security best practices and potential actions to be taken if security policies are violated.
In addition to defining best practices, an effective cloud governance program should include processes for regularly assessing and updating security policies as needed, along with an incident response plan and recommended procedures for notification, investigation, and remediation.
Finally, it would be wise to keep the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS’s) list of cloud security controls in mind, as well as the target environments they apply to, along with any foreseeable exceptions.
3. Make monitoring and logging a habit
In addition to making troubleshooting easier, regularly monitoring and logging activity in your cloud environment can help you proactively identify threats and respond to them before they become catastrophic problems.
Take the opportunity to create targeted alerts for suspicious activity or misconfiguration issues, as this is often the best way to spot vulnerabilities or impending attacks early enough to prevent them entirely.
It’s also a smart way to demonstrate compliance with international standards such as ISO 27001, and it provides a data trail that can be used in the event of a successful breach or other malicious activity.
4. Take a proactive approach with CSPM
If you’re wondering how you can effectively implement all of these recommendations, a cloud security posture management (CSPM) tool might be the answer. Just like SaaS security posture management (SSPM), CSPM evaluates security posture, but instead of assessing SaaS applications, this solution monitors services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and other Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments.
The role of CSPM and the tools involved is to identify and mitigate any potential vulnerabilities, proactively monitor for emerging threats, and implement the necessary controls to prevent unauthorized access to data.
Getting ahead of potential incidents is far less costly than dealing with the financial and reputational fallout of a data breach or the remediation that follows, and integrating CSPM tools into your cybersecurity strategy is an important step toward minimizing data exposure and potential vulnerabilities stemming from cloud misconfigurations.
5. Protect critical data with Own
While CSPM tools can help across all cloud services, Software as a Service (SaaS) continues to gain dominance as the preferred method of enterprise applications delivery. According to Better Cloud, organizations with more than 1,000 employees use more than 150 SaaS applications. So, as your SaaS data and users scale, you must take a proactive approach to manage risk across your most critical SaaS apps for comprehensive data protection.
Each SaaS application is different and has its own needs when it comes to data protection. This includes three of the largest SaaS ecosystems—Salesforce, Microsoft, and ServiceNow—all of which Own supports.
Unlike other SaaS security vendors, which offer a broad approach, Own's tailored security solution understands the nuances of these core applications and can support an infinite number of configuration possibilities.
Learn more about why you need SaaS data security and protection and how Own can help.