Cloud Security for SaaS



Cloud computing and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications have revolutionized how companies operate. While they've made our life easier, they tend to be vulnerable to cyberattacks and breach attempts. Cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud spend billions each year in making their platform and SaaS products secure. In this article, you will learn how cloud companies bring security to their stacks and ensure safety.


Cloud Access Security Brokers


The cloud usage of today's businesses has gotten complex. On average, an organization utilizes about 1,935 cloud services, according to the McAfee Cloud Adoption and Risk Report 2019. Unfortunately, not all of those services pose the same risk, nor all of them are safe.


Therefore, enterprise companies and governments need to audit their respective network to find vulnerabilities. Tools used for that purpose are Cloud Access Security Brokers or CASB. More specifically, find comprised accounts and unauthorized cloud applications, which are prime targets for hackers.


The CASB tool will analyze the traffic coming in and out of the cloud. Then, it highlights the risk associated with each traffic source and blocks the access if found inappropriate.


Azure has Microsoft Cloud App Security for this purpose. For AWS, you'd need to buy third-party CASB tools from its marketplaces.


It is part of the broader SaaS Security Posture Management services offered by cloud service providers.


Infrastructure Protection


The cloud providers offer several tools to protect your cloud infrastructure. These encompass the control methodologies that govern the regular operation of the cloud.


AWS has several tools like AWS System Manager, AWS Firewall Manager, AWS Direct Connect, and AWS Cloud Formation, among others, to protect the infrastructure.


Azure has Azure Firewall Manager for this purpose. With third-party tools, companies can secure it within Azure VNets.


IAM and PAM


IAM (Identity Access Management) and PAM (Privileged Access Management) are two of the most important security services. They allow enterprise and government organizations to manage and apply risk-based access control.


IAM enables admins to define who is authorized to use what resources in the cloud. Generally, not everyone should have the same privileges. By limiting privileges, you can ensure the accounts do minimal damage to the infrastructure even when they're compromised.


Privileged Access Management helps you manage privileged accounts, i.e., have access to sensitive data. But, first, you need to check if they comply with the regulatory framework and are appropriately configured.


Data Encryption and Protection


Data encryption is central to safeguarding critical information in the cloud. Encrypted data is hard to access and intercept while in transit. So it makes the communication security between the cloud and the users and among cloud applications.


Encryption converts the data into unreadable data, also known as ciphertext, using algorithms. The algorithm itself can only decrypt it.


AWS has the AWS KMS and AWS CloudHSM for this purpose. IT admins can encrypt the data directly or provide protection to other keys that applications use to encrypt data. AWS Encryption SDK is a tool that can be used beyond the AWS platform.


Similarly, Azure allows organizations to enable "encryption at rest" by using Azure Storage Service Encryption.