The 7 Pillars of Robust Cloud Security
February 16, 2023

Omer Dembinsky
Check Point Software Technologies

While cloud providers offer many cloud native security features and services, supplementary third-party solutions are essential to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection from breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. The following are some industry best practices recommended:

1. Zero-trust cloud network security controls across logically isolated networks and micro-segments

Deploy business-critical resources and apps in logically isolated sections of the provider's cloud network, such as Virtual Private Clouds (AWS and Google) or vNET (Azure). Use subnets to micro-segment workloads from each other, with granular security policies at subnet gateways. Use dedicated WAN links in hybrid architectures and use static user-defined routing configurations to customize access to virtual devices, virtual networks and their gateways, and public IP addresses.

2. Shift your security left

Incorporate security and compliance protection early into the development lifecycle. With security checks integrated continuously into the deployment pipeline, rather than at the end, DevSecOps are able to find and fix security vulnerabilities early, accelerating an organization's time-to-market.

3. Keep code securely hygenic with vulnerability management

Set guardrails polices ensuring your deployment meets the corporate code hygiene policies. These policies will alert on deviation from the policy and can block deployments of non-compliant artifacts. Build remediation processes by alerting the development team on non- compliant artifacts with appropriate remediation.

Incorporate tools which provide the ability to explore vulnerabilities and SBOM (Software Bill of Materials) to quickly identify resources with critical vulnerabilities.

4. Avoid misconfiguration with continuous posture scanning

Cloud security vendors provide robust Cloud Security Posture Management, consistently applying governance and compliance rules to virtual servers. This helps to ensure they are configured to the best practices and properly segregated with access control rules.

5. Safeguarding all applications (and especially cloud-native distributed apps) with active prevention via IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and next-generation web application firewall

Stop malicious traffic from reaching your web application servers. It automatically updates WAF rules in response to traffic behavior changes and is deployed closer to microservices that are running workloads.

6. Enhanced data protection with multi-layers

Enhanced data protection with encryption at all transport layers, secured file shares and communications, continuous compliance risk management, and maintaining good data storage resource hygiene such as detecting misconfigured buckets and terminating orphan resources will provide that additional security layer for an organization's cloud landscape.

7. Threat intelligence that detects and remediates known and unknown threats in real-time

Third-party cloud security vendors add context to the large and diverse streams of cloud-native logs by intelligently cross-referencing aggregated log data with internal data such as asset and configuration management systems, vulnerability scanners, etc. and external data such as public threat intelligence feeds, geolocation databases, etc. They also provide tools that help visualize and query the threat landscape and promote quicker incident response times. AI-based anomaly detection algorithms are applied to catch unknown threats, which then undergo forensics analysis to determine their risk profile. Real-time alerts on intrusions and policy violations shorten times to remediation, sometimes even triggering auto-remediation workflows.

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software Technologies
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