Cloud Security Best Practices: Advice from Forrester

Avatar for Trevor ParksBy Trevor Parks|Sep 6, 2022|7:30 am CDT

Security for hybrid multi-cloud environments is arguably the most important business challenge this year. According to Forrester Research, cloud platform adoption was the most common network upgrade initiative in 2021, which necessitates a security posture strong enough to move some or all of the company’s workloads, data, and infrastructure to the cloud.

Today’s work-from-anywhere business models pressure companies across every industry to lift and shift assets to the cloud, giving them the flexibility to deliver digital services to every user everywhere. But before migration can happen, cloud security must be in place. Without a proactive security approach, executives quickly are “pumping the breaks” on their cloud-based innovation.

What do you need to be confident that your company can migrate safely? Analyst firm Forrester has the answers in their cloud security best practices report, which compiles the lessons learned in speaking with their robust client base of security professionals. So, if you’re looking to learn the top advice from analysts and peers, this research report is for you.

Here is my quick summary, distilling Forrester’s four critical tips for cloud migration security.

Guidelines for cloud migration security

1. Principles for cloud data migration
Forrester indicates that data protection, especially in the cloud, is the most important pillar of defense.

    • Data discovery
    • Revoking data access
    • Prioritizing data
    • Bring your own encryption keys — at least for critical data encryption

2. Building Zero Trust for the cloud
Identity and access management (IAM) is an important support pillar for cloud workloads.

    • For SaaS apps, use identity federation—don’t duplicate user identities
    • For IaaS and PaaS applications, create cloud directory instances
    • For Cloud Services Provider (CSP) console management, use cloud identity governance tools

3. Paving the way for secure cloud networking
Cloud networking is a form of IT infrastructure wherein some or all of an organization’s network resources are hosted on cloud platforms. These cloud platforms may be public, private, or a hybrid combination of both. Security for network communications and interconnectivity requirements are a staple throughout the cloud migration process.

    • Move customer-facing traffic to the cloud — do not create loops
    • When using a single vendor’s cloud, use IaaS platform-native security services
    • When using multi-cloud, consider using Zero Trust edge security

4. Configuring Infrastructure as a Service platforms
According to Forrester’s research, cloud platform adoption was the most common network upgrade initiative in 2021. But IaaS/PaaS configurations are error-prone, requiring extra attention for effective security.

    • Use build pipeline scripts with version control for all (security) configuration and setup
    • Add cloud workload protection (CWP) agents during configuration
    • Add configuration posture management for every platform you use
    • Cloud identity governance helps untangle complex access paths between resources

Forrester unpacks all of this advice in their Best Practices Report, “The Security Best Practices Of Cloud Migrations.” Get your free copy.

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