Cloud security tools have never been more critical to day-to-day operations. With so many organizations moving increasing amounts of their functionality into the cloud and increasing their reliance on cloud-based technologies, these tools are crucial to improving the user experience for everyone involved. Read on to learn which cloud tools to prioritize for your organization.
Four Optimal Cloud Security Tools
Today’s cloud users have a myriad of cloud security monitoring tools at their disposal. While some are aimed at IT professionals and others are meant for general usage, they all can slow hackers and bolster your cloud security. These four are the most fundamental:
- Infrastructure security solutions involving and facilitating connections to the cloud
- Physical security protections focused on restricting physical and proximal access
- Regulatory compliance tools and suites optimized for compliance and certification
- Virtual asset security safeguards for asset inventory and risk lifecycle management
All cloud security tools will work best when paired with sound security programming, especially with the help of a quality managed security service provider (MSSP)—such as RSI Security.
#1 Cloud Infrastructure Security Tools
Comprehensive IT security begins with your architecture and infrastructure. This includes physical hardware, like servers, workstations, and storage devices, alongside the various switches, routers, and wires needed to maintain an active network connection. It also includes software and network infrastructure that connects these access points. Securing this type of hardware is paramount to cloud and general network security. Consider these tools:
- Cloud web security scanners – Network traffic monitors, scanners, and other cloud security monitoring tools that alert you to the early warning signs of potential intruders
- Cloud vulnerability detection – Scans for internal vulnerabilities and external threat actors, along with calculations determining their likelihood and potential impact (i.e., risk)
- Cloud penetration testing – Penetration tests, or simulated attacks focused on identifying weak points in cloud (or any other) infrastructure that can be exploited
- Cloud antivirus and firewalls – Virtual boundaries forming a perimeter around a defined cloud (or other) network, designed to restrict incoming and outgoing traffic
#2 Cloud Physical Security tools
Physical cloud security is meant to protect the locations where cloud-based resources are stored. Unless you’re operating a cloud server of your own, your organization probably isn’t worried about physical cloud security. However, some of the same cloud security tools are useful when trying to protect nearly any on-premises hardware connected to the cloud:
- Biometric identification – Retina scanning and fingerprint or facial recognition tools can authenticate identity to grant or deny access to restricted assets or areas
- RFID chips – Chips to be embedded into ID cards, bracelets, clothing, and other physical access points, to track any individual’s movements through your facilities
- Photo identification – checkpoints requiring (at least) photographic identification for access to protected systems, or locations requiring them, as a baseline protection
#3 Cloud Regulatory Compliance Tools
Although it wasn’t much of a concern with the inception of the cloud, regulatory compliance has since become a topmost priority for any organization using cloud-based services. Thankfully, there are plenty of cloud compliance tools to keep your organization on track. The best include:
- Seamless assessments and reports – Different standards require different assessments and reports at various intervals, making compliance an ongoing activity.
- Even individual frameworks may require different assessment protocols that could change—for example, consider PCI DSS compliance, which establishes different reporting requirements depending on annual transaction volume across different channels.
- File integrity monitoring (FIM) – Many regulations protect specific categories of data and require stringent safeguards to ensure no unauthorized access or changes occur.
- For example, location-based data subject rights standards, such as the CCPA and EU GDPR, call for integrity monitoring for personal data concerning California and European citizens, respectively. FIM tools enable visibility and swift notification regarding changes.
- Data risk monitoring – Other compliance frameworks explicitly require a preventive approach to data security for cloud and other servers, including threat identification and mitigation.
- For example, HIPAA compliance requires that healthcare organizations utilize risk assessments to identify and mitigate threats to protected health information before they materialize into data breaches. Cloud data risk monitoring tools may be required.
#4 Cloud Virtual Asset Security Tools
You’ll also need protection for your virtual assets and resources. These cloud security tools include protections for critical and confidential files, databases, and more. Rather than distinct tools, the best approach is often a suite of managed cloud security services, such as these two:
- Identity and access management – System-wide control over how individuals access sensitive data, such as through servers, endpoints, or accounts. One especially beneficial functionality is multifactor authentication, using something the user knows, owns, or is for access.
- Security information and event management – A system that centralizes and provides visibility into all information concerning your IT and security inventory in one accessible location. Any events that occur, such as new additions or changes, are instantly logged and indexed.
Finding the Right Cloud Tools for the Job
Ultimately, strategies for securing the cloud mirror those for securing any other element of your IT and security environment. Visibility and integration are critical.
However, cloud security tools come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Partnering with an MSSP for their expertise will help you filter through them.
To ensure you’re using the best tools for your organization, or to learn more about the benefits of cloud security in general, contact RSI Security today.