Protecting applications in the cloud – what you should do right now to make them more secure
Follow our must-do steps for staying secure in the cloud - today...
We likely all use cloud storage in some way in our personal and professional lives, and cloud applications play an increasing role in business workflows too – from cloud office apps to storage tools and other software.
Unlike securing on-site storage, or physical devices, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to guaranteeing the security of your data and applications in the cloud. If you’re just getting started or aren’t up to date on best practices, take a look at the pointers below for a rundown of the must-do steps for staying secure in the cloud.
Understanding Cloud Security
The first step towards remaining secure is to fully assess the security measures used by various cloud storage and application providers. Every provider offers something different, competing on price, protection, and other things too – and it pays to make sure that your provider of choice is offering security that suits your needs.
Of course, security should always be managed in-house where possible, with your team having full oversight over your business’s security controls.
Managing access to your applications and data is essential under any security programme.
The first step is to be able to authenticate and secure users. Tools like multi-factor authentication and credential strength rules are tried and tested methods for keeping user accounts secure. Likewise, user roles are important too, giving most users only superficial access to apps to limit damage should a breach occur.
Access controls can be a flexible tool in the fight to stay secure on the cloud too. Particularly through the Microsoft Azure environment, access controls give admins the means to allow or block users based on a range of criteria. From location and network to device model or platform, users can be black or white-listed as needed to maintain the security of your business’s data.
VPNs can be used also to give access to users when away from trusted locations or networks – encrypting data in transfer to allow for a secure connection to your business and any cloud services you may use.
Protecting against threats is obviously much easier if you can either see them coming or react instantaneously to them. Detection tools can give your team the vital heads-up when problems occur, and can also help to protect against things like DDoS attacks in the cloud too.
If you’re interested in threat detection from a mobile standpoint, take a look at this article written by our own Colm Warner – Real-world notes on deploying mobile threat defence.
In a related sense, it’s also important to be prepared for any threats and to have back-ups in place to mitigate the damage. Local data back-ups can be a good idea for securing cloud storage, and vice-versa, while having a restoration plan is a great way to get your business moving again after any successful attack.
Data encryption is an obviously important element of security, protecting your files in storage and transit. Just as VPNs give your staff a secure line to your business’s network, keeping data encrypted keeps your information protected even if it’s intercepted or stolen by a third-party. Again, Microsoft’s Azure tools provide the means to achieve this, keeping data protected until unlocked by authorised people.
For more on this, be sure to check out our guide to Unlocking the D.N.A of Mobile Security.