Securing Applications in the Cloud: Five Best Practices

August 21, 2017

Building a ‘Cloud-First’ strategy is now a global priority for organizations. US-based organizations, for instance, are budgeting $1.77M for cloud investments in 2017. However, as executives increasingly move their applications to the cloud, building scalable, high-performance and secure cloud applications is a critical imperative for productivity gains. Implementing these five best practices can help you mitigate risk of potential data breaches and protect sensitive business information, monetary transactions and business reputation.  

Banner-Securing the applications in cloud

#1 Deploy cloud-based identity and access management solutions from the start:

Building consistent security approaches while moving applications to the cloud is key to ensuring enhanced application security. One approach you can take is to integrate identity and access management, and update the solution every time employee turnover occurs, as disgruntled employees can be a threat to company’s critical data.

#2 Get the security architecture from your cloud provider:

Enabling application security is not easy without focusing on the design and architecture of the security solution. A good understanding of the detailed security architecture used in the cloud environment is must. It helps ensure deployment of crucial application security aspects such as firewalls segregating environments, antivirus, and intrusion detection solutions.  

#3 Classify applications:  

When you classify applications by levels, it’s easy to determine appropriate protection levels. The trend of classifying security levels based on criticality of applications is catching up, as cloud is incapable of capturing business priorities. As an enterprise, it should be your endeavor to determine which applications require high levels of security and which do not.    

#4 Automate security testing:

For consistent deployment of secure cloud-based applications, it is vital to build security testing into your DevOps environment. This will help you validate that your applications are working accurately and following the outlined specifications.

#5 Understand the compliance requirements in your industry:

Having complete visibility into industry regulations and compliance requirements can help you determine the type of encryption needed.  As a best practice, implementing an identity governance system can enable organizations to maintain a strong regulatory control. This helps prevent retrofitting of compliance policies.

Don’t leave any loose ends for cyber attackers

The cloud has become the new normal and will continue to win the hearts of enterprises as its adoption accelerates in 2017 – 70% of all organizations have at least one application in the cloud today.  Enterprises have no choice but to take stringent security measures such as two-factor authentication, stronger password protection and deploying dual internet pipes. These practices not only cut the lag in application access but prevent the downtime of mission critical applications. In fact, companies looking to plug every security loophole can go a step further and perform penetration test on partner clients your company works with such as contractors and manufacturers.