More businesses are looking towards investing in operating on the cloud. The benefits are too good to pass on. From increased security, streamlined pipelines, and easier deployment and control.
There is one new innovation in the cloud that is taking businesses by storm, Amazon Web Services. Whilst it is growing in popularity – companies are still trying to figure out it’s best practices.
The good news is through this article, we will be going over the most important aspect of implementing any new system in your business – the security.
So, are you ready to get cracking?
Prioritizing Your Security Over Controls And Tools
The biggest concern with AWS being the new “hot topic” in businesses, is people don’t know how to go about things such as implementing security protocols to protect the business from malicious practices.
In fact, with a huge demand on businesses for figuring out exactly what tools and controls they need for there operations, security often takes the backseat. Which, as you can imagine is never a good thing.
However, have you ever tried to go on a road trip with your family, without owning a vehicle?
My guess is that you haven’t even considered it. Think of your strategy for security as your vehicle for AWS. The majority of the time, this strategy is the first and most important time investment you need to make before implementing AWS into your business.
Coming up with a strategy has tons of variables though. For example, what management systems will you be using? How will you be automating processes? What third-party integrations do you plan on implementing? All of this will impact your strategy.
For a 100% foolproof security strategy for AWS, you can check out this guide.
There Is A Lack Of Security Visibility On The Cloud – And You Need To Overcome It
The cloud is huge. Not as in GB, or TB. But as in the sheer number of tasks, and tools that are used on a daily basis. Nevermind AWS applications.
Imagine trying to monitor every single login attempt, across every platform 24/7. That would be like trying to find a toothpick on the frigid mountaintops of the Himalayas. What we are trying to say, is that it’s impossible. This conundrum is known as a lack of security visibility. Not having a strategy to overcome this only makes it worse.
Here are two important pillars you need to consider when trying to overcome this barrier.
Keep Things Tidy Internally
As many incentives, rewards, and satisfaction programmes you launch to keep employees happy, internal malicious attempts are still not avoidable.
Which is why you need to keep your algorithm’s on the lookout for red flags. For example, unusual network activity, crazy login attempts, shifty installs, or key file changes.
Logs Are A Narrow View Of The Bigger Picture
Let’s say you have a camera on your front porch. You can see who enters and leaves the premises. But, how on Earth are you supposed to know what they are doing once they are inside?
Luckily for businesses worldwide, a security system was developed to help handle this problem in particular. Known as Host-Based-Intrusion-Detection systems, they will alert you what the host is doing, why they are there, and how long they have been active, giving you a chance to act before any harm is done.
Why Do Opportunists Look Towards The Cloud?
When it comes to any form of security, the first step to setting up an impenetrable wall is to understand your attackers. What do they stand to gain through the cloud? Why would they be interested in targetting your business in particular?
This will help you pinpoint probable ways that your cloud may be breached, and what critical data will be at risk.
For example, accounting firms may be targetted for financial gains. Whereas general B2C stores will be targetted for business-critical information on customers, which can then be used for other crimes through identity theft.
I know you may be thinking, “Well, I get that’s bad, but why is it so bad for my business?”
Well, what if I were to tell you that cyber-attacks result in over 60-percent of small businesses closing within 6-months of the crime. Kind of crazy when put into perspective, right?
So, How To Protect Your Business Further?
The good news is that there are tons of different security settings, protocols, and procedures for you to implement to ensure that your business does not become another statistic.
From multifactor authentication tools to secure logins, to algorithms which monitor logins and throw out red flags with any strange or autonomous seeming behavior.
General Cloud Security – Have Strong Offboarding Procedures
Our last tip is a bit of a generalist one. However, it does not reduce the importance that it has on your entire plan.
Would you let your crazy-ex keep the keys to your car? The details to your bank? Probably, not – right? Well, the same thinking needs to be applied when / if you ever let employees go.
Chances are, they might harbor some resentment for being fired, which can quickly turn to thoughts of revenge and greed. Both of which are bad for your business.
To prevent former employees doing anything that can pose a risk to your business, you need to have a set-in-stone strategy for offboarding. This needs to encompass everything from revoking logins, to removing access rights to the business property.
Tom is a contracted Outreach Specialist for Cloud Conformity. He strives to build relationships and share AWS compliance knowledge with small-medium business owners