EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices

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1 EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices A Technical White Paper by Sennovate Inc Jan 2013 EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 1

2 Introduction: Cloud security is an ever evolving subject that is difficult to cover in a short space. With so many different cloud service types and architectures (EAaaS, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, external, internal, and hybrid) it becomes even more complex. However, there are a few cloud security practices that any organization should apply when working on the cloud. Let s look at some of the most important cloud security best practices: Before going to a cloud service provider, make sure that your internal security is up to date first. Your corporate network should not become the weakest link in the chain. Facilities should be hardened with climate control, fire prevention and suppression systems, and uninterruptable power supplies, and have round-the-clock onsite security personnel. Look for a provider that offers biometric capabilities, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, for physical access control, and video cameras for facility monitoring. Virtualized versions of firewalls and intrusion prevention systems should be utilized. Portions of the cloud environment EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 2

3 containing sensitive systems and data should be isolated. Regularly scheduled audits using industry-recognized methods and standards, such as ISO 27001/27002 and the Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix, should be conducted. Nearly all security standards require the ability to monitor and control access to networking, systems, applications and data. A cloud environment, whether in-house or outsourced, must offer the same ability. Virtual machines, or VMs, should be protected by cloud-specific firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and anti-virus applications, as well as consistent patch-management processes. Even if your organization does not use cloud services, your employees will most likely do. IT should evaluate corporate applications, business processes, and data according to their value to the organization and risk when deployed wholly or partially in the cloud, then create a cloud policy that spells out what may be allowed in the cloud and what is not allowed. Create a list of cloud service providers that IT has checked out and certified as acceptable in terms of security. Migrate to cloud with low-risk, non-core functions until your organization is confident on the security landscape. EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 3

4 Make it clear that internal developers cannot test software in the cloud using live or sensitive corporate or customer information. Read the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) contracts and SLA s carefully. Does the CSP take responsibility for your data and provide security guarantees? Does the service offer visibility into security events and responses? Are they willing to provide monitoring tools that hooks into your corporate monitoring tools? Do they provide monthly reports on security events and responses? What happens to your data if you terminate the contract? Anti-virus and anti-malware applications, as well as content filtering should be employed at gateways. Data loss prevention capabilities should be considered when dealing with sensitive information, such as financial and personal data, and proprietary intellectual property. Special attention should be paid to cloud hypervisors, the servers that run multiple operating systems, since they provide the ability to manage an entire cloud environment. Many security and compliance requirements mandate different network and cloud administrators to provide a separation of duties and added level of protection. Access to virtual environment management interfaces should be highly restricted, and application programming interfaces, or APIs, should be locked down or disabled. Two-factor authentication, such as digital authentication, should be used for user names and passwords and are a necessity for remote access and any type of privileged access. Roles of authorized users should be clearly defined and kept to the minimum necessary to complete their assigned tasks. Password encryption is advisable. In addition, authentication, authorization and accounting packages should not be highly customized, as this often leads to weakened security protection. Evaluate your own compliance and security needs carefully before you accept the standard contracts. Get guarantees on data location or use a hybrid model with data stored internally. Applications should utilize dedicated databases wherever possible, and application access to databases should be limited. Many security compliance standards require monitoring and logging of applications and related databases. Enterprises should know the types of data stored in a cloud environment and segregate data types, as appropriate. EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 4

5 Additionally, the physical and logical location of data should be known due to potential security and privacy implications. Encryption of data in a cloud environment can be more complex and requires special attention. Many standards contain requirements for both in-transit and at-rest data. For instance, financial data and personal health information should always be encrypted. Negotiate specific procedures and roles for incident response with the CSP. In many cases users access the cloud through their Web browsers. Make sure you deploy strong client security tools and that your browsers are properly updated and protected from browser exploits. It is highly recommended that change-management policies for network, system, application and data administrators be clearly documented and understood to avoid inadvertent issues and potential data loss. Public, private and hybrid clouds: What you should know: Shared virtualized environment. Public clouds, many using a shared virtualized environment, offer basic security features. This means proper segmentation and isolation of processing resources should be an area of focus. To meet your enterprise's security and compliance requirements, be prudent in choosing the proper cloud environment. EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 5

6 Public cloud providers. While the economics may be attractive, some public cloud providers may not sufficiently support the types of controls required by enterprises to meet security and compliance requirements. Be sure to ask a lot of questions. Prudent security measures. No matter what the cloud model, enterprises should employ segmentation, firewalls, intrusion protection systems, monitoring, logging, access controls and data encryption. Private clouds are a double-edged sword. Private clouds can be hosted on premises or at a service provider's facility. As with traditional environments, security design and controls are critical. When using a service provider's offering, it's important to select the right cloud that meets your requirements. Just because it's a private cloud, doesn't mean it's inherently secure. Hybrid clouds. Hybrid clouds can offer enterprises the best of both of worlds, enabling them to meet a wide range of IT and business objectives. Hybrid clouds offer an enterprise the ability to house applications in the most suitable environment while leveraging the benefits and features of shared and on-premises cloud environments and the ability to move applications and data between the two. The list is endless and the cloud is still an evolving learning experience, but this is a good start. With the right strategies your cloud deployment can be reasonably secure. Sennovate provides you with all your cloud requirement services through a single or multiple Cloud Service Providers. You can avail Sennovate services through a simple subscription. The cost will be the least one in the market as we find the lowest cost for all your requirements using our specialized pricing tool and pass on the benefits to you. Please contact us for free assessment of your cloud requirement at (or) EAaaS Cloud Security Best Practices Page 6

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