Information Security in the Cloud Doesn’t Have to Require A New Toolkit

Data security and protection is even more important when your data center is connected to the cloud. While there are entirely new products designed specifically for cloud security, adding them makes it more complicated to monitor your environment. Instead, where possible, leverage your existing tools to protect the cloud as well as your on-premises infrastructure.

Extend Existing Security Tools to the Cloud

Not all security tools can be extended to the cloud, but many of them can be. This should be one of the factors you consider when you make your cloud decision. The existing security tools you may be able to apply in cloud include:

  • Identity and access management. Single sign-on and federated identity allow enable user credentials that work both in house and in the cloud. With fewer identities to manage, you are less likely to make mistakes. There are also fewer identities available to be stolen.
  • Multi-factor authentication. Because cloud is designed to be accessed from anywhere, multi-factor authentication is an important security control. If you’re already using multifactor authentication to protect on premises applications, the same product may be able to protect access to your cloud systems as well.
  • Key management. Encryption is especially important in the cloud. Where possible, you should manage your own keys rather than allow the cloud provider to do so. You can use the same key management software you use for your internal keys to manage your cloud keys.
  • Firewalls. It’s often said the cloud blurs your network perimeter, but that’s not really true; it just means your perimeter consists of multiple non-contiguous borders. The borders of your cloud need to block ports and dangerous traffic the same way your premises border does. There are many firewalls today that work in the cloud, and depending on what you use locally, you may be able to use the same product in both of your environments.
  • Monitoring. Download your cloud logs into your existing analytics tools to identify unusual patterns of behavior and potentially unauthorized activity.

Prescient Solutions’ infrastructure assessments can help you understand your security risks and how you can leverage your existing security tools to protect data in the cloud. We’ve been providing IT consulting and managed services in the Chicago and Schaumburg area for more than 20 years. Contact us to learn how we can help you develop an information security strategy that protects your data wherever it resides.

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