Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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What should you think about when you address security in the cloud?

Enterprise IT security has traditionally been difficult, with the amount of planning, strategy, and process development that is required. Not to mention testing, reevaluating your plans, and adding additional processes as necessary. On top of that, your ability to go back and change a security implementation is limited—by what you’re operating on, by the frequency of your deployments, and by the controllability of your infrastructure. When designing on cloud environments these programs need to be able to adapt to the agility of cloud platforms like AWS.

What it boils down to is that in enterprise security, mistakes are easy to make and hard to correct – often due to a lack of visibility within the infrastructure and a low degree of automation. It may seem like an overwhelming experience, but security is perhaps the most important thing for an enterprise, and implementing security doesn’t have to introduce complexity, or add inconvenience. We’ve been partners with AWS since 2010, and we’ve seen a steady increase in the controls and tools available to help customers improve security. There are simple steps enterprises can take to ensure they’re being as secure as possible. If you’re planning on switching to an AWS environment, here are a few things to consider.

Less Is More

The old adage of “keep it simple” rings true for cloud architectures, as well. Simplicity of design, interfaces, APIs, and data flow not only lead to a secure system, it will improve scalability.

Sometimes problems are complex and require complex solutions, particularly if you’re dealing with a lot of use cases. But even in complex situations, a focus on simplicity is the key. Asking yourself “how do I keep this simple?” or “how do I keep things minimal?” while you’re designing a security implementation will go a long way.

Automating For Success

Humans make mistakes. It’s been true since the dawn of time, and will continue to occur. They’re rarely intentional, and unfortunately, even if 99.9% of what we do is accurate, do you really want to risk an entire application crashing – or perhaps, something even much worse – because of a possible 0.1% error?

This is why you should automate whenever possible. If you get the program right, it will do the security configurations correctly every single time. Test and troubleshoot often, do rapid prototyping, and implement fully automated, API-driven deployment methods.

Culture of Ownership

Companies often establish responsibility and accountability as part of implementing a security program. However, that must be paired with promoting a culture of everyone as an owner for security, which is a key step that’s often neglected. Establishing this necessity creates easier and smoother communication, and clear communications is crucial in implementing and maintaining secure environments. Make ownership of security part of the DNA of your company and the implementation of the security program.

Be Visible

Logs are your best friends within the cloud. It’s very inexpensive to keep a log within an AWS environment – if you’re not doing so, the best time to start is now, not after a crisis. If your security is visible, you can see who is accessing the resources, who took what action, when they did it, and where the breach occurred. With this information, the likelihood of success is much higher.

In addition, properly configured resources are crucial to security. If you’re able to continuously monitor the configurations of your resources, you can then evaluate the configurations for any potential security weaknesses. Again, being proactive here goes a long way. Know what’s normal in your environment. If a security issue arises, you want to be prepared.

With high visibility, agility, and controllability, you can make sure your transition is both a successful and secure one. To learn more, please visit the AWS Security Blog, and keep an eye on our Datapipe blog for additional security and AWS insights

About David Lucky

David Lucky
As Datapipe’s Director of Product Management, David has unique insight into the latest product developments for private, public, and hybrid cloud platforms and a keen understanding of industry trends and their impact on business development. David writes about a wide variety of topics including security and compliance, AWS, Microsoft, and business strategy.

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