CommunityDevOps ExchangePartners
Articles
12/20/2022
10 minutes

Top 6 Cloud Security Management Policies and Procedures to Protect Your Business

Written by
Copado Team
Table of contents

Originally published by New Context.

If a single solution to cloud security management existed, we would not need an article like this nor would a company ever need to make the weighty decision of choosing between one service or another. Much like there is no single marketing or business strategy that works for all companies, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud security management policies and procedures.

However, more so than any single technology or service choice, the best approach to cloud security resides in fundamentals that can then be espoused across an organization. Imagine hiring several independent vendors to develop a suite of applications; without a clearly defined set of principles and standards—rules of thumb to guide developers—it is easy to envision a disastrous outcome with respect to security. Who has not worked at companies, from startups to large organizations, where every application, team, and department have a different set of tools to accomplish the same security needs. So, in an effort to guide our community toward a standardized, holistic set of principles and to navigate cloud security management the right way, here are six policies and procedures to consider to deal with the most prevalent threats.

Risks to Guard Against in Cloud Computing

While cloud computing has ushered in an age of innovation, it has come at the cost of the new and emerging security risks. The CIOs most commonly cite, without fail, these six challenges when tackling cloud security management:

COMPLIANCE OVERSIGHTS

Managing the necessary privacy regulations in a cloud environment is often a challenge. Organizations may have limited control over their infrastructure, and they may also have customers covered under different laws, which leads to a multitude of different requirements.The loss or exposure of customer data can be catastrophic. Organizations also stand to lose valuable trade secrets and intellectual property. The average overall cost of a data breach to a company is $8.9 million, along with the invaluable currency of trust between an organization and its clients.Access is vital for workers, but it’s also an area of opportunity for bad actors. It’s easy for access management to get out of hand when accounting for all the different parties needing to interact with a system; vendors, clients, and workers all have different needs, which all require sensible management

DATA BREACHES

The loss or exposure of customer data can be catastrophic. Organizations also stand to lose valuable trade secrets and intellectual property. The average overall cost of a data breach to a company is $8.9 million, along with the invaluable currency of trust between an organization and its clients.

INSUFFICIENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT

Access is vital for workers, but it’s also an area of opportunity for bad actors. It’s easy for access management to get out of hand when accounting for all the different parties needing to interact with a system; vendors, clients, and workers all have different needs, which all require sensible management

VULNERABLE APIS

APIs are an essential tool, but they’re also fraught with hazards. Improper design can put a system’s integrity at risk. On top of that, poor API integration could lead to access delays, information silos, and productivity killers that are as damaging as malicious acts.Shadow—or employees ignoring standards to use their own applications and services—is nothing new. It is, however, growing because of the transition to remote work, which frequently requires staff to supply their own devices. While it can also drive innovation, it’s a clear risk to security, reliability, and monitoring.Misconfiguration is one of the biggest problems for cloud migration and use. In 2019, it was responsible for the loss of more than 1 billion records. It is the primary cause of data breaches and a slew of other problems. A lack of experience and a poorly defined culture of security are to be blamed, in most cases.

SHADOW IT

Shadow—or employees ignoring standards to use their own applications and services—is nothing new. It is, however, growing because of the transition to remote work, which frequently requires staff to supply their own devices. While it can also drive innovation, it’s a clear risk to security, reliability, and monitoring.

MISCONFIGURATION

Misconfiguration is one of the biggest problems for cloud migration and use. In 2019, it was responsible for the loss of more than 1 billion records. It is the primary cause of data breaches and a slew of other problems. A lack of experience and a poorly defined culture of security are to be blamed, in most cases.

 

These aren’t the only prevalent risks, but they’re the most common. While the sheer number and diversity can appear overwhelming, standardized cloud security and management—through policy and procedure—can mitigate these issues and establish a more resilient foundation.

 

Top 6 Cloud Security Management Policies - Copado

6 Cloud Security Policies and Procedures to Mitigate Risk

In our experience, the best solution starts with a paradigm shift for most businesses we work with. Security, often treated as something added on to a tech stack after the fact, must be the top priority; companies that build applications with security front and center from the code level upward are able to adapt to the dynamic security needs that are inherent in a connected world. Here are six methods to get started.

1. Embrace Security as Code

Security as Code seems obvious, but it is so often overlooked because of the mischaracterization of what security actually is. DevOps professionals use it as a building block for compliance automation. Testing, validation, and gating are all part of the application. One might not think that API validation or integration and unit testing as security, but they absolutely are. Through automation, a company can radically reduce the high risk of an oversight—e.g., in a rush to release a hot fix to a recently released feature, a developer decides not to run integration tests to save time. Business rules should be written at the code level and updated as needs change.

2. Implement automated policy enforcement

While establishing a security-first culture is a significant step, it’s not enough to assume all workers will follow requirements. Any live system should ensure automated policy enforcement restricts individuals from making unauthorized changes. This starts by establishing a central policy store that holds all organizational protocols related to audits, regulations, frameworks, standards, and requirements. The central policy store fuels an engine that uses this information to parse the system and ensure compliance. One of the greatest tools we have is the awareness that we, as humans, are inherently unreliable when compared to computers in the context of tedious tasks like policy enforcement. Automating this is both essential and powerful.

3. Use multifactor authentication

Despite all the warnings from security officers over the years, “password” remains on the top ten list of most-used passwords. Hackers load popular options—123456, qwerty, 11111, etc.—into programs that relentlessly attempt to gain access to a system until they inevitably do. While security experts can set password standards, it only takes one weak secret to jeopardize an entire organization. Multifactor authentication, however, eliminates this; adding another checkpoint before individuals can access a program is as extraordinarily effective as it is simple. From the unsophisticated security question to more advanced strategies that use biometric data, adding a second layer of authentication is powerful and necessary.

4. Leverage API management

An API management program incorporates vulnerability intelligence, threat detection, access control, and analytics to monitor an API and increase its resilience. Extra attention at gateways is ideal, as the best opportunities to catch bad actors occur when they enter the system—and there is always an entrance. Administrators have a second chance to see issues as users exit, so a client registry is a useful component for tracing the root causes of problems. Seeing someone that does not belong somewhere is much harder in a room filled with people than when they go for the exit; the same is true of an API. All this can be incorporated into a single streamlined program of which there are many solid options.

5. Follow a zero-trust model

All users should have the minimum level of access needed to complete their necessary tasks. If you were to have someone come to your home to repair the dishwasher, would you also give them the keys to your safe? Strict control of those with privileged access—whether a repairman in your home or a developer at your company is not personal; it is simple commonsense. A zero-trust model cuts weak links in the security chain by requiring users to prove their need and their identities before access.

6. Deploy centralized cloud management

Incorporating management, services, and infrastructure in a single place is necessary for monitoring a network of any size. The cloud management platform (CMP) is the command center for the business to enhance efficiency and control security across assets. Going back to our example of a home, imagine if every light had its own circuit breaker that needed to be connected manually whenever someone wanted to turn it on. Adding new lights and debugging problems would not only be inefficient but also extraordinarily costly to scale. Additionally, standardizing how a light was connected would be impossible; one would need an intimate familiarity with the wiring of each light to be able to use it. The same is true for cloud infrastructure. Centralizing the management and deployment of your infrastructure is one of the easiest and most often overlooked places to vastly improve security due to its relative nascency as a technology.

Working with an Expert Partner to Customize Your Cloud Security Management

Lastly, your organization might not have the human resources to implement one or more of these steps, and, much like when submitting code for review, it is always paramount to have a second set of eyes on a project. A partnership with a third-party—both in the development and assessment of cloud security management policies and procedures—is a final step that can ensure success. As every organization will require a customized solution built on these fundamentals, choosing an experienced consultant —like those at Copado with decades of experience—is both preeminent and consequential. A good third party can integrate security at every level of the system and ensure consistent results in an ever-changing environment.

 

 

Book a demo

About The Author

#1 DevOps Platform for Salesforce

We Build Unstoppable Teams By Equipping DevOps Professionals With The Platform, Tools And Training They Need To Make Release Days Obsolete. Work Smarter, Not Longer.

Copado Launches Copado Explorer to Simplify and Streamline Testing on Salesforce
Exploring Top Cloud Automation Testing Tools
Master Salesforce DevOps with Copado Robotic Testing
Exploratory Testing vs. Automated Testing: Finding the Right Balance
A Guide to Salesforce Source Control
A Guide to DevOps Branching Strategies
Family Time vs. Mobile App Release Days: Can Test Automation Help Us Have Both?
How to Resolve Salesforce Merge Conflicts: A Guide
Copado Expands Beta Access to CopadoGPT for All Customers, Revolutionizing SaaS DevOps with AI
Is Mobile Test Automation Unnecessarily Hard? A Guide to Simplify Mobile Test Automation
From Silos to Streamlined Development: Tarun’s Tale of DevOps Success
Simplified Scaling: 10 Ways to Grow Your Salesforce Development Practice
What is Salesforce Incident Management?
What Is Automated Salesforce Testing? Choosing the Right Automation Tool for Salesforce
Copado Appoints Seasoned Sales Executive Bob Grewal to Chief Revenue Officer
Business Benefits of DevOps: A Guide
Copado Brings Generative AI to Its DevOps Platform to Improve Software Development for Enterprise SaaS
Celebrating 10 Years of Copado: A Decade of DevOps Evolution and Growth
Copado Celebrates 10 Years of DevOps for Enterprise SaaS Solutions
5 Reasons Why Copado = Less Divorces for Developers
What is DevOps? Build a Successful DevOps Ecosystem with Copado’s Best Practices
Scaling App Development While Meeting Security Standards
5 Data Deploy Features You Don’t Want to Miss
Top 5 Reasons I Choose Copado for Salesforce Development
How to Elevate Customer Experiences with Automated Testing
Getting Started With Value Stream Maps
Copado and nCino Partner to Provide Proven DevOps Tools for Financial Institutions
Unlocking Success with Copado: Mission-Critical Tools for Developers
How Automated Testing Enables DevOps Efficiency
How to Keep Salesforce Sandboxes in Sync
How to Switch from Manual to Automated Testing with Robotic Testing
Best Practices to Prevent Merge Conflicts with Copado 1 Platform
Software Bugs: The Three Causes of Programming Errors
How Does Copado Solve Release Readiness Roadblocks?
Why I Choose Copado Robotic Testing for my Test Automation
How to schedule a Function and Job Template in DevOps: A Step-by-Step Guide
Delivering Quality nCino Experiences with Automated Deployments and Testing
Best Practices Matter for Accelerated Salesforce Release Management
Maximize Your Code Quality, Security and performance with Copado Salesforce Code Analyzer
Upgrade Your Test Automation Game: The Benefits of Switching from Selenium to a More Advanced Platform
Three Takeaways From Copa Community Day
Cloud Native Applications: 5 Characteristics to Look for in the Right Tools
Using Salesforce nCino Architecture for Best Testing Results
How To Develop A Salesforce Testing Strategy For Your Enterprise
What Is Multi Cloud: Key Use Cases and Benefits for Enterprise Settings
5 Steps to Building a Salesforce Center of Excellence for Government Agencies
Salesforce UI testing: Benefits to Staying on Top of Updates
Benefits of UI Test Automation and Why You Should Care
Types of Salesforce Testing and When To Use Them
Copado + DataColada: Enabling CI/CD for Developers Across APAC
What is Salesforce API Testing and It Why Should Be Automated
Machine Learning Models: Adapting Data Patterns With Copado For AI Test Automation
Automated Testing Benefits: The Case For As Little Manual Testing As Possible
Beyond Selenium: Low Code Testing To Maximize Speed and Quality
UI Testing Best Practices: From Implementation to Automation
How Agile Test Automation Helps You Develop Better and Faster
Salesforce Test Cases: Knowing When to Test
DevOps Quality Assurance: Major Pitfalls and Challenges
11 Characteristics of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) That Set Them Apart
7 Key Compliance Regulations Relating to Data Storage
7 Ways Digital Transformation Consulting Revolutionizes Your Business
6 Top Cloud Security Trends
API Management Best Practices
Applying a Zero Trust Infrastructure in Kubernetes
Building a Data Pipeline Architecture Based on Best Practices Brings the Biggest Rewards
CI/CD Methodology vs. CI/CD Mentality: How to Meet Your Workflow Goals
DevOps to DevSecOps: How to Build Security into the Development Lifecycle
DevSecOps vs Agile: It’s Not Either/Or
How to Create a Digital Transformation Roadmap to Success
Infrastructure As Code: Overcome the Barriers to Effective Network Automation
Leveraging Compliance Automation Tools to Mitigate Risk
Moving Forward with These CI/CD Best Practices
Top 3 Data Compliance Challenges of Tomorrow and the Solutions You Need Today
Top 6 Cloud Security Management Policies and Procedures to Protect Your Business
What are the Benefits of Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) for My Organization?
You Can’t Measure What You Can’t See: Getting to know the 4 Metrics of Software Delivery Performance
How the Public Sector Can Continue to Accelerate Modernization
Building an Automated Test Framework to Streamline Deployments
How To Implement a Compliance Testing Methodology To Exceed Your Objectives
Cloud Security: Advantages and Disadvantages to Accessibility
Copado Collaborates with IBM to Accelerate Digital Transformation Projects on the Salesforce Platform