Building a Resilient World:
The ISAGCA Blog

Welcome to the official blog of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA).

This blog covers topics on automation cybersecurity such as risk assessment, compliance, educational resources, and how to leverage the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISAGCA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the cybersecurity community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

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Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity: Everything You Need to Know

The drive to cloud-native architectures and innovation creates new forms of complexity that IT organizations may not be prepared to address. The complexity can create significant blind spots if not managed well upfront. Let’s explore factors driving this complexity and options to strengthen your cyber posture in the cloud.

What’s Driving This New Complexity 

We’ve Always Done It This Way

Traditional application security approaches can have difficulty keeping up with the pace and differences in application and infrastructure design. 

The Pace of Innovation

Application developers now race to deploy software potentially hourly in a 24/7 environment.

The Way We Work Has Changed

Distributed teams working remotely and organized to focus and deliver their pieces of the application or its components independently has made it more difficult to detect and manage software vulnerabilities.

The Design of Applications and What They Depend on Has Changed

There is a balance of the code written by a company’s software developers while relying on cloud-managed services that you must constantly monitor in the cloud-native world.

Infrastructure Design and Management Have Changed

Application developers and IT departments must depend on the cloud provider’s capabilities. The peculiarities of each of their infrastructure design requirements are far different from those in a data center managed by the application developer.

Automation and Monitoring Evolution

The move to DevOps and SecoOps had to evolve its patch and infrastructure management and monitoring that previously didn’t exist or was difficult to acquire at a reasonable price point.

Multicloud

The dynamic nature of multicloud deployments and integration compounds the need to utilize infrastructure internally networked with different cloud providers.

Considerations to Strengthen Your Cloud-Based Cybersecurity

Cloud cybersecurity requires tools, data, and infrastructure that protects cloud applications and infrastructure from cyber predators. These cybersecurity capabilities must be used together to prevent attacks, manage your identity, and secure applications and infrastructure within your company.

Multi-Factor Authentication

It’s important to invest in multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires the user to provide two or more verification methods to access a resource for an account, application, or network access. MFA is vital for a strong identity and access management (IAM) policy.

Fully Automated Traffic Monitoring

Investing in managed detection and response solutions can monitor traffic internally to your solution, including your source and the data you share in real-time alerting. These solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to analyze massive amounts of data from many sources to identify and alert you of issues in your environment. This pace of deployment requires a level of real-time traffic and vulnerability capabilities to reduce your mean time to discover problems.

Automated Vulnerability Scanning

DevOps and SecOps must invest in fully automated run-time security and vulnerability management. To increase mean time to remediation, it is essential to automate the ability to detect issues and rollout remediation quickly, efficiently, and reliably. Solutions are available to help IT teams to address some of the monitoring and security patch management.

Leverage AI Solutions to Respond Rapidly

AI is a critical tool to help detect cloud-best practice violations, combat attacks, and reduce the burden of SecOps teams. Almost 75% of IT Security executives indicated that deploying AI improves the efficiency and accuracy of security analysts while allowing them to respond faster to incidents. It is critical to implement solutions that have reduced complexity and higher ROI. Success is predicated on the AI’s ability to have complete access to your application, infrastructure, and data storage. This access must be kept current to increase the AI’s output.

Monitor User Access

Continuously monitoring your network endpoints, the internal and external users, and the activity across them are integral to cloud cybersecurity. Leverage cloud computing consulting to help you identify and monitor all the methods cyber predators can attack you and alert you to suspicious activity.

Protect Your Databases

Key components to protect your databases include upgrading your firewall, deploying email security gateways, and monitoring all your access risk categories. Machine learning solutions exist to help filter and analyze network risks and alert you to nefarious activity.

Threat Hunter Tools

According to CompTIA, Threat Hunters identify security threats and then track and mitigate them before attacking systems. Leveraging simple to use rich-featured management tools can increase a threat hunter’s ability to detect and remediate issues in your environment proactively and continuously by visualizing how data is stored and how applications are accessed.

Leverage Automation Tools for Patch Management

DevOps and SecOps must work in tandem to develop patch management policies. They must leverage tools to automate the tracking, control, and management of applying patches to software and infrastructure.

Encrypt Data in Motion and at Rest

Another layer of protection is to leverage secure protocols to protect data coming from the internet and moving through your infrastructure. This protection makes it difficult for attackers to gain access to your secure transmission of data. It is also critical to encrypt data stored on a disk or in your backup media.

Conclusion

Building, operating, and maintaining cloud-based applications is a different paradigm. By leveraging the tools, technologies, and techniques we discussed, your organization will be better prepared to prevent issues and proactively respond to cyber-attacks.

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.

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