“Our world is way more online these days. Twenty years ago, you could live perfectly well without a computer or mobile phone,” says Sergey Kozhevnikov, Solutions Architect at Idea 11.
While many companies have enjoyed the obvious benefits of rapid digitisation, driven in part by the Covid-19 pandemic, hackers and bad actors quickly took advantage of the broader digital landscape.
According to Forbes, cyber security topped the list of global business concerns in 2022—and it doesn’t look like things are going to change as we kick off 2023. As more and more companies migrate to cloud services, so too does the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks grow.
Thankfully, in this blog, we'll walk through the fundamentals of cloud security, tips for establishing AWS cloud security best practices and how partnering with a leading Australian cloud consulting business can fortify your software and data protection.
What is cloud security?
“Making sure resources are protected from malicious actors inside and outside,’” says Sergey.
Cloud security refers to the resources, strategies, policies and systems in place to maintain and protect your cloud data and supporting systems.
What cloud security means for your business will depend on your needs as well as cloud provider.
What are the challenges of establishing AWS cloud security best practices?
“The cloud provider takes care of a portion of the environment security configuration and management but you are also responsible for part of it—which is one of the biggest challenges for customers,” notes Sergey.
Who does what?
Understanding the breakdown of responsibilities in a cloud model can be challenging for businesses.
Cloud service providers are responsible for protecting the services infrastructure in the cloud, and internal IT teams are responsible for everything else. This is known as the shared responsibility model.
For example, while you may not need to worry about the security of hardware and storage, as an IT professional, you are still responsible for securing cloud solutions such as applications, third-party integration, systems and data. Due to this, it’s common for there to be compliance issues or internal security steps that are being overlooked. This is especially true when working with an unfamiliar cloud environment—which is why it’s essential to engage cloud consulting services companies such as Idea 11, which know the AWS cloud inside and out.
To make things even more challenging, depending on your cloud model, these responsibilities may differ and businesses may be confused as to which features they require for optimal security.
“What the cloud provider is responsible for and what you are responsible for also differs depending on the services you use,” adds Sergey.
Internal operational security
“The cloud is all software-defined; you can't shut down things and pull a virtual cable,” says Sergey.
Staff may need more training to properly execute security best practices and protect their authorizations, as bad actors can leverage compromised credentials to attack a poorly configured security framework.
Human error is the leading cause of data breaches — where one wrong click can lead to reputational damage and company-wide security concerns.
Establishing an internal cloud security framework can help employees better understand their role in cloud security and develop the necessary skills in this growing field.
Cloud networks and cloud security are informed by governmental guidelines and while data storage is a hot topic, today’s businesses are expected to uphold it to the highest possible standards.
With the regulatory landscape growing, full compliance is an ongoing and ever-changing challenge for IT professionals.
What are the benefits of the AWS cloud framework for security?
Flexible security features
Amazon Web Services offers a range of cloud security solutions such as automatic data encryption, DoS prevention and secure network traffic as a baseline for their cloud data security offerings. However, these must be configured either in house or by third party cloud security companies.
The AWS cloud infrastructure has tools, products and features on top of a clearly defined shared security model helping users to understand their role in maintaining security standards. Enterprises are responsible for the security of everything they upload to the cloud, whether that is data, apps, or something else.
“You spend more time doing valuable stuff rather than fixing things—the same applies to security because a cloud provider takes care of so much you can concentrate on more valuable stuff like patching servers” says Sergey.
Rather than wasting time on routine security and data maintenance, IT teams can analyse data to better build out their company’s offering and develop customer insights.
Instead of pouring cash and resources into a time sink of powering and maintaining servers, employees and business leaders are empowered to focus on high-priority tasks in the knowledge that a global leader is hosting their data.
There's a big difference between having your data work for you and working for your data.
What is zero trust?
“Whatever request is made, you can't assume that this request is trusted and can be allowed,” says Sergey.
Zero Trust is a fundamental cyber security strategy in which every interaction is considered untrustworthy until evaluated through established verification protocols. For example, an unknown user may be verified through identity checks such as IP address verification, passwords, or other multi-factor verification methods.
“It's a way to check the security context, making sure the request is legitimate,” he adds.
Idea 11 AWS cloud security services
Idea 11 is driven by an overriding security-first principle as outlined by Sergey “whatever we do, security is part of it.”
A solid foundation
At Idea 11 we start with the base infrastructure of the world-class AWS cloud and follow AWS cloud security best practices. As an advanced AWS partner, we have intricate knowledge of this globally leading cloud platform, which means we know how to configure the perfect combination of security features for your business.
Building upon the foundation
The AWS cloud is world-class and offers an extensive range of security options; however, this doesn't mean it covers everything.
“For example, the service does not include identity, so our people go in and set it up for our customers,” says Sergey. “We also implement patching configuration, data protection configuration, and more,” he adds.
We partner with businesses ready to unlock the full potential of AWS cloud security services.
The essential eight
“Customers can be overwhelmed by cloud security and security in general. Sometimes they ask: Where do we start?” says Sergey.
A recommended starting point and a protocol that we follow at Idea 11 is the Australian Cyber Security Centre guideline known as the Essential Eight.
“The Australian government ASD put together a framework, and that's what it is, the eight essential pillars you want to implement to ensure your environment is secure,' says Sergey.
Don’t leave your cloud security up to chance
Cloud security is not an afterthought nor an add-on but the fundamental building block of all successful data management, storage, and usage. It’s less a matter of whether to have it and more a question around how to get the best out of it. Different models, a range of growing services, and responsibilities, make it challenging for businesses to know how best to approach cloud security.
At Idea 11, we offer a uniquely secure cloud option through our security-first approach and additional protocols built into the fortified AWS cloud. Security is at the foundation of everything we do, from our AWS Landing Zone through to our TechOps Managed Services that include operational IT security as standard. In addition, our flexible strategy means we can move quickly in this rapidly growing landscape and offer unparalleled data services beyond security.
To learn more about how Idea 11 can take charge of your cloud security reach out to a team member today!