NSA Releases Top Ten Best Practices For Cloud Environments

Threat actors aim at Cloud environments because of their wide acceptance and one-stop storage of important information. 

Exploiting shortcomings in cloud security may enable unauthorized access to sensitive data, interruptions in infrastructure, or earning money.

The fact that the systems are highly scalable and interconnected makes them good targets for cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity analysts at the NSA recently released the top ten best security practices for cloud environments.

Top Ten Best Practices For Cloud Environments

NSA researchers recently released cloud security mitigation strategies in an attempt to educate cloud users about important security practices. Threat actors mostly target cloud users while they shift their data to cloud environments.

The document has 10 Cybersecurity Information Sheets (CSIs), every one focusing on a distinct approach.

For six of the 10 strategies, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) collaborates with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Here below, we have mentioned all the top ten best security practices for cloud environments provided by the NSA:-

  • Uphold the cloud shared responsibility model: This CSI educates on a cloud framework by clarifying the security responsibilities for both CSP and customers in securing their chosen cloud instance.
  • Use secure cloud identity and access management practices (Joint with CISA): This CSI clarifies cloud identity management threats and suggests best practices to mitigate them for organizations in the cloud.
  • Use secure cloud key management practices (Joint with CISA): This CSI suggests key management options and best practices for their use. It emphasizes the importance of understanding shared security responsibilities with cloud KMS.
  • Implement network segmentation and encryption in cloud environments (Joint with CISA): This CSI advises on applying principles in cloud environments that are distinct from on-prem networks. Cloud tech offers an infrastructure for ZT without specialized appliances. It primarily highlights the best practices using common cloud features.
  • Secure data in the cloud (Joint with CISA): Securing cloud data is crucial as organizations migrate. Understanding data sensitivity, choosing proper storage, and applying security measures are the key factors. This CSI gives an overview and practices for securing and auditing cloud storage.
  • Defending continuous integration/continuous delivery environments (Joint with CISA): NSA and CISA offer this CSI to enhance cloud DevSecOps defenses. It guides integrating security into DevOps CI/CD environments, leveraging government guidance for robust CI/CD cloud deployments.
  • Enforce secure automated deployment practices through infrastructure such as code: IaC, baselines, and golden images, which are templates for deploying resources across on-premises and in the cloud. IaC automates deployment using code, including security policies. Baselines and golden images provide secure starting points. 
  • Account for complexities introduced by hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments: This CSI tackles challenges in implementing hybrid and multi-cloud by offering solutions to mitigate increased complexity.
  • Mitigate risks from managed service providers in cloud environments (Joint with CISA): MSPs manage IT services in the cloud, offering backup, infrastructure, and security. They provide tailored solutions, but using them increases cybersecurity risks.
  • Manage cloud logs for effective threat hunting: Cloud tenant access is complex due to virtualization, as the security relies on unmodifiable logs. So, the access policies, logs, and audits must be monitored. Organizations must manage logs for threat hunting and compliance.

Cloud computing boosts IT efficacy and security if deployed correctly.

However, data concentration attracts the threat actors, so these guidelines will allow them to safeguard their cloud environment.

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