Posture and Vulnerability Management focuses on controls for assessing and improving cloud security posture, including vulnerability scanning, penetration testing and remediation, as well as security configuration tracking, reporting, and correction in cloud resources.
Security principle: Define the security configuration baselines for different resource types in the cloud. Alternatively, use configuration management tools to establish the configuration baseline automatically before or during resource deployment so the environment can be compliant by default after the deployment.
Azure guidance: Use the Microsoft Cloud Security Benchmark and service baseline to define your configuration baseline for each respective Azure offering or service. Refer to Azure reference architecture and Cloud Adoption Framework landing zone architecture to understand the critical security controls and configurations that may be needed across Azure resources.
AWS guidance: Use the Microsot Cloud Security Benchmark - multi-cloud guidance for AWS and other input to define your configuration baseline for each respective AWS offering or service. Refer to the Security and other pillars in the AWS Well-Architectured Framework to understand the critical security controls and configurations that may be needed across AWS resources.
Use Azure Automation Update Management or a third-party solution to ensure that the most recent security updates are installed on your Windows and Linux VMs. For Windows VMs, ensure Windows Update has been enabled and set to update automatically.
AWS guidance: Use AWS Systems Manager - Patch Manager to ensure that the most recent security updates are installed on your operating systems and applications. Patch Manager supports patch baselines to allow you to define a list of approved and rejected patches for your systems.
Because the public cloud does not have clear perimeters, it presents a fundamentally different security reality. This becomes even more challenging when adopting modern cloud approaches such as automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) methods, distributed serverless architectures, and ephemeral assets like Functions as a Service and containers.
In addition, Zero Trust networks utilize micro-segmentation to make cloud network security far more granular. Micro-segmentation creates secure zones in data centers and cloud deployments thereby segmenting workloads from each other, securing everything inside the zone, and applying policies to secure traffic between zones.
While cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offer many cloud native security features and services, supplementary third-party solutions are essential to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection from breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. Only an integrated cloud-native/third-party security stack provides the centralized visibility and policy-based granular control necessary to deliver the following industry best practices:
In order to test the effectiveness of whatever cloud security solutions they have in place, businesses conduct cloud security assessments in the hopes of revealing any gaps or vulnerabilities in their security posture that they can then correct.
During a cloud security risk assessment, businesses will test their current security solutions and configurations to see if they are able to adequately protect against potential threats. This process will help businesses identify any gaps or vulnerabilities in their cloud infrastructure so they can take steps to resolve them.
As mentioned before, the recent shift to remote work has seen a massive increase in the number of businesses having migrated to the cloud and using cloud-based infrastructure. Because of this, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to effectively protect their data across multiple cloud environments with network security measures alone.
A cloud security assessment will help businesses understand how their sensitive data is accessed and shared, which is one of the major benefits of said assessment. But another equally important benefit is that it allows a business to test their existing cloud security configurations.
Whether you use popular third-party cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or your own proprietary technology, a cloud security assessment will identify vulnerabilities in technology and processes that could compromise sensitive information or put you out of step with compliance requirements.
So as you see, by conducting a cloud security assessment, businesses can test their current security solutions and configurations to see if they are able to adequately protect against cyber threats, thereby helping them avoid damages in the form of regulatory fines, as well as protecting their sensitive data..
The first step in performing a cloud security assessment is identifying all of the assets that are stored in your cloud environment. This includes everything from customer data and financial records to employee credentials and trade secrets.
By following these five steps, you can perform a thorough cloud security assessment of your environment and identify any potential risks, vulnerabilities and security challenges. From there, you can take steps to correct them and ensure that your data is properly protected.
Orca Security is the industry-leading Cloud Security Platform that identifies, prioritizes, and remediates security risks and compliance issues across your cloud estate spanning AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud and Kubernetes.
Orca brings together core cloud security capabilities, including vulnerability management, multi-cloud compliance and posture management, cloud workload protection, container security, and more in a single, purpose-built solution.
Protect cloud VMs, containers and Kubernetes applications, and serverless functions across clouds. Prioritize risks and compliance issues, manage workload and application vulnerabilities, identify malware, and integrate security across the full application lifecycle from a single, agentless platform.
With the proliferation and widespread adoption of cloud computing solutions, HIPAA covered entities and business associates are questioning whether and how they can take advantage of cloud computing while complying with regulations protecting the privacy and security of electronic protected health information (ePHI). This guidance assists such entities, including cloud services providers (CSPs), in understanding their HIPAA obligations.
A covered entity (or business associate) that engages a CSP should understand the cloud computing environment or solution offered by a particular CSP so that the covered entity (or business associate) can appropriately conduct its own risk analysis and establish risk management policies, as well as enter into appropriate BAAs. See 45 CFR §§ 164.308(a)(1)(ii)(A); 164.308(a)(1)(ii)(B); and 164.502. Both covered entities and business associates must conduct risk analyses to identify and assess potential threats and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all ePHI they create, receive, maintain, or transmit. For example, while a covered entity or business associate may use cloud-based services of any configuration (public, hybrid, private, etc.), provided it enters into a BAA with the CSP, the type of cloud configuration to be used may affect the risk analysis and risk management plans of all parties and the resultant provisions of the BAA.
All CSPs that are business associates must comply with the applicable standards and implementation specifications of the Security Rule with respect to ePHI. However, in cases where a CSP is providing only no-view services to a covered entity (or business associate) customer, certain Security Rule requirements that apply to the ePHI maintained by the CSP may be satisfied for both parties through the actions of one of the parties. In particular, where only the customer controls who is able to view the ePHI maintained by the CSP, certain access controls, such as authentication or unique user identification, may be the responsibility of the customer, while others, such as encryption, may be the responsibility of the CSP business associate. Which access controls are to be implemented by the customer and which are to be implemented by the CSP may depend on the respective security risk management plans of the parties as well as the terms of the BAA. For example, if a customer implements its own reasonable and appropriate user authentication controls and agrees that the CSP providing no-view services need not implement additional procedures to authenticate (verify the identity of) a person or entity seeking access to ePHI, these Security Rule access control responsibilities would be met for both parties by the action of the customer.
Note that where the contractual agreements between a CSP and customer provide that the customer will control and implement certain security features of the cloud service consistent with the Security Rule, and the customer fails to do so, OCR will consider this factor as important and relevant during any investigation into compliance of either the customer or the CSP. A CSP is not responsible for the compliance failures that are attributable solely to the actions or inactions of the customer, as determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
Generally, no. CSPs that provide cloud services to a covered entity or business associate that involve creating, receiving, or maintaining (e.g., to process and/or store) electronic protected health information (ePHI) meet the definition of a business associate, even if the CSP cannot view the ePHI because it is encrypted and the CSP does not have the decryption key.
If a covered entity (or business associate) uses a CSP to maintain (e.g., to process or store) electronic protected health information (ePHI) without entering into a BAA with the CSP, the covered entity (or business associate) is in violation of the HIPAA Rules. 45 C.F.R §§164.308(b)(1) and §164.502(e). OCR has entered into a resolution agreement and corrective action plan with a covered entity that OCR determined stored ePHI of over 3,000 individuals on a cloud-based server without entering into a BAA with the CSP. 2b1af7f3a8