Cloud Computing Outlook

Cloud Control Plane: 4 Ways to Secure It

By Cloud Computing Outlook | Friday, January 10, 2020

As organizations extend using cloud services and resources, they end up with a confounding variety of cloud administrative interfaces and consoles. These are collectively known as the cloud control plane

FREMONT, CA: The incredible benefits of cloud have instigated more and more organizations to adopt it and those who have already adopted it, extended their services. As organizations extend using cloud services and resources, they end up with a confounding variety of cloud administrative interfaces and consoles. These are collectively known as the cloud control plane. These planes could be vulnerable to a wide variety of attacks if not locked down properly. Here we discuss a few incredible tips to secure the cloud plane properly.

Multifactor Authentication 

Multifactor authentication (MFA) must be enabled for all administrative accounts, and everyone must strictly enforce its use. Those users and accounts that need to interact with the cloud control plane should have MFA enabled. This may lead to some interference with automation strategies, but organizations must wisely use the MFA to obtain the best use of it.

Restrict API Access

Every access to any cloud API must be restricted to a small set of users and must be carefully controlled and monitored. Some API access like AWS Command Line Interface, Azure PowerShell, or GCP's gcloud can be easily intruded; hence it is advisable to restrict access to only trusted IP addresses.

Account Inventory

Only the users and the accounts that need administrative access to the cloud environments of their companies to operate must be provided with the account inventory passwords. Security admins must be careful in allotting these inventory passwords. While it may sound easy and basic function of identity ad access management, at times, it could be extremely difficult to ascertain the roles and functions played by different employees in an organization. Each service, like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS has different requirements for access. Creating the least privilege and sustainable model can take time but is extremely helpful while setting up cloud services and also on ongoing operations.

Logging

Another way of securing the cloud control plane is to enable logging for the entire environment. All major IaaS clouds with Azure Activity Log, AWS Cloud Trail, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Stackdriver have accomplished it. Besides focusing on cloud-wide logging, security admins must also monitor and evaluate the logs discussed above.

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