The six pillars of cloud security strategy

January 10, 2024
Chris Munoz
VP & Principal Cloud Practice

Aiming for zero trust

A key driver of cloud security strategy is the move toward zero trust. Zero trust is a framework that guides how networks handle user traffic, devices, and requests by assuming all network operations are malicious until proven benevolent with proper authentication and verification.

The goalposts and strategies behind cloud security are constantly changing and responding to emerging threats. However, zero trust principles are still driving the steps organizations take in security operations. If zero trust is a roof, then it is supported by six pillars: security assessments and testing, cloud monitoring and management, managed backup (BaaS), disaster recovery (DRaaS), patch management, and cloud security posture management (CPSM).

Each pillar supports the ultimate goal of zero trust. Every individual pillar can be approached as a step in the process or pursued simultaneously. This post outlines the strategies and tools behind each pillar.

The pillars of cloud security strategy

1. Security assessments

Moving operations, applications, and systems to the Cloud grants many benefits to your organization: higher scalability, organizational agility, and improved customer service, among others. However, with benefits also come security risks due to the expanded attack surface. Every user identification, application, and device endangers the health and safety of your network by providing a potential entry point for cybercriminals. IT teams often need help knowing where to start.

Fortunately, security assessments from CBTS provide a valuable tool in prioritizing security efforts. CBTS evaluates any “as a Service” product (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, etc.) with a cloud security assessment that leads customers through sixteen categories, including

  • Identity access management (IAM).
  • Data center security.
  • Change control procedures and configuration monitoring.
  • Data security.
  • Infrastructure management.
  • Vulnerability management.
  • Supply chain security.
  • Interoperability.
  • Governance and compliance.
  • Business continuity.
  • Key management and encryption.

Additionally, CBTS offers cloud-specific penetration testing that simulates a malicious attack. Unlike regular penetration testing, cloud penetration testing requires expertise. Penetration tests identify weak points in a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud environment and provide feedback for hardening the defense posture and budget justifications for increasing security spending. Testing can be scheduled as a one-time event or regularly recurring.

2. Cloud monitoring and management

CBTS Managed Cloud services monitor, fix, and optimize any aspect of your cloud operations, including:

  • Compute.
  • Voice.
  • Security.
  • Networking.
  • Backup (see next section).

Get help with one area of your operations, or completely outsource cloud management. Either way, CBTS has the expertise to guide, monitor, and protect your IT infrastructure.

Read more: Nine compelling benefits of a CBTS managed cloud environment

3. Managed backup

With the increased speed and access that the Cloud provides also comes an increase in customer demand. Organizations cannot afford to lose sensitive data or have extended service outages. Managed backup provides secondary storage in an offsite IT environment. Meticulously monitored and tested, managed backup helps your organization maintain customer service standards and business continuity.

Learn more: Why your backup solution is crucial to defending your organization from ransomware

4. Disaster recovery

Traditional data recovery has several disadvantages—potential duplicate costs, physical storage and space concerns, and slow deployment speeds. In contrast, DRaaS is a flexible, quickly deployed service that allows your organization to recover as soon as possible in the case of a malware attack, data leak, natural disaster, or other service interruptions.

Learn more: Best practices for disaster recovery success

5. Patch Management

It’s easy to see why patching sometimes falls by the wayside: it’s a time suck for small IT teams and causes fear of system downtime—additionally, the sheer number of patches to be applied monthly is overwhelming. According to a Ponemon Institute report, “40% of IT security respondents say a remote workforce has made it difficult to deliver necessary security updates and patches”.

CBTS offers patch management for both cloud and on-premises IT environments. Beyond applications, our security teams install updates for databases, containers, virtual machines, microservices, and other cloud systems. Our team also provides patch testing in a duplicate environment and phased patch installation to minimize the risk of system downtime. Our security experts offer up-to-date advice on governance and compliance issues, helping you to patch smarter, not harder.

6. Cloud security posture management (CSPM)

Misconfigurations and limited visibility are two of the most significant obstacles to a hardened security posture. Cloud security posture management from CBTS addresses both issues by utilizing best-in-class solutions tailored to your organization’s unique security needs. Additionally, CSPM deploys automation for continuous monitoring and increased visibility.

Other benefits of posture management include:

  • Unified dashboard into multi-cloud environments.
  • Automated remediation.
  • Pre-built compliance packs for leading governance frameworks.
  • Weekly reports and comparisons to industry benchmarks.

Putting together the pieces of cloud security

CBTS employs some of the best security professionals in the industry. Expertly designed cloud security strategy—paired with deep partnerships with leading vendors—uniquely positions CBTS to help your organization on the road to zero trust. Rather than promoting any one vendor or solution, CBTS follows a vendor-agnostic, best-of-breed approach that matches the right tool with the right situation.

Our team can guide you no matter what stage of the security journey to zero trust your organization is at. Contact one of our experts to learn more about integrating the pillars of cloud security strategy into a robust defensive posture.

Subscribe to our blog