Cloud Native Tools Series Part 2: Understand Your Responsibilities

As I mentioned in my first blog: traditional security just doesn’t work in the cloud. Businesses dependent on the cloud can make up for this by choosing native cloud security tools.

But, they can’t do so unless they understand what aspects of cloud security they’re responsible for.

The AWS Shared Security Model as a Guide

Luckily, you don’t have to guess which types of security functions you need to keep an eye on. Enterprises can simply turn to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud security shared responsibility model. This model tells enterprises that they can’t control every facet of their cloud defense — not if they’re working with a cloud service provider (CSP), at least. At a minimum, the CSP will always be on the hook for defense of the cloud, or putting defensive controls in place to prevent a malicious actor from physically tampering with the underlying infrastructure. It’s, therefore, up to the cloud customer to remain secure in the cloud, that is, applying the common sense defense measures to protect what they’re actually storing there.

Those duties vary depending on the type of cloud deployment model and cloud native tools in use. For example, if you’re running an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, you’re using an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud deployment model. The CSP takes care of the physical controls, as well as some network controls, and the steps needed to secure the host infrastructure. But it’s up to the customer to keep network controls and the host infrastructure in mind along with app-level controls, Identity and Access Management (IAM), client and endpoint protection, as well as data classification and accountability.

An IaaS model is more flexible and open than a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) setup. As explained by AWS, a PaaS deployment has the CSP take on more of the work so customers can spend more time building, maintaining and securing their apps — not allotting resources for them. SaaS takes this a step further by allowing customers to account only for their cloud-based data.

How Cloud Native Tools Fit With AWS Cloud Security

It’s one thing for CSPs to explain what their customers need to do to uphold their end. It’s another to give them what they need to fulfill those duties. Cloud native tools can be a part of that. 

Take AWS, for instance. The CSP doesn’t assume that all entities are already customers just looking to stay safe in the cloud. On the contrary, AWS partnered with other cloud-based defense providers to serve entities that haven’t migrated to the cloud yet. Those cloud migration partnerships help give organizations the visibility they need to handle cloud migration security for their apps and data to the cloud. Handling cloud migration data security in this way can make things less complex, scales well and saves money.

It’s then that AWS looks to help customers that have already migrated to the cloud. Yes, it has created its own managed services. Customers can use the AWS Network Firewall to easily set up and scale their network protections for their Amazon virtual private cloud. But it’s also partnered with hundreds of other solutions providers with cloud native tools. Together, they make sure businesses and other users have all they need to secure the host and encrypt their data. Partnerships like this also make it easier to comply with regulatory frameworks.

Teamwork Makes Cloud Native Tools Work

Teamwork between CSPs and solutions providers are essential for enterprise to defend against evolving threats in the cloud. We’ll explore this topic further by looking at one partnership in particular. Look for that in the final installment of this cloud native tools blog series.

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