Skip to content

Cloud Infrastructure Security: 18 Best Practices


Cloud infrastructure has become the backbone of modern business operations. But as cloud services grow more common, it becomes ever more important to secure the sensitive data and applications housed within these virtual environments. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into best practices for cloud infrastructure security, arming you with important information to safeguard your organization’s digital assets.

Why is Cloud Infrastructure Security Important?

Businesses are increasingly shifting towards cloud infrastructure due to its useful scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness; however, this migration also introduces certain security challenges that need to be carefully addressed to protect sensitive corporate data and maintain customer trust. With cyber threats becoming more common and sophisticated than ever, a breach can have devastating consequences like financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal repercussions. For IT decision-makers, investing in robust cloud infrastructure security is not just a compliance requirement, but a strategic imperative.

Cloud infrastructure security is paramount, as it ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of business-critical information stored in the cloud. It also safeguards the intellectual property and competitive edge of a business. By understanding the practical implementation of cloud infrastructure security, businesses can make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and foster a resilient and secure operational environment, ensuring long-term success and customer confidence.

How to Secure Cloud Infrastructure Data: Best Practices

Here are key best practices for infrastructure security in cloud computing:

1. Select a Dependable Cloud Provider

First and foremost, choosing a suitable cloud service provider is essential. Look beyond the surface and rigorously evaluate their security protocols, data storage practices, and access control mechanisms. Ensure they comply with industry standards and have a transparent track record in data security. You can also request references or case studies to make sure their commitment to data protection aligns with your company’s security objectives. A thorough evaluation process now can save you from potential security issues in the future.

2. Clearly Define Security Obligations

When your organization utilizes the cloud, security is a shared responsibility. While the provider is tasked with securing the infrastructure, protecting the data stored within is your responsibility. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of these obligations to close any potential security gaps. Take full advantage of the security tools and functionalities offered by your cloud provider and ensure you have the necessary measures in place to protect your data.

3. Implement Robust User Authentication

Strong user authentication is a must. Beyond simply using passwords, implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance security. Consider advanced methods like biometrics or token-based authentication to further secure access to your cloud environment, and uniformly apply these methods across your organization to maintain a consistent security posture.

4. Enforce Data Encryption

Data encryption is a fundamental aspect of cloud security. Ensure that data is encrypted during transit and while it’s stored and use strong encryption protocols. Evaluate your cloud provider’s encryption practices, and don’t hesitate to implement additional measures whenever necessary to make sure your data is always protected.

5. Secure Data Regardless of Location

Data is often spread across various locations, making its protection even more crucial. Use tools to locate and categorize sensitive data across different environments and apply consistent security measures. Regularly update these policies to adapt to new security challenges, ensuring that your data is protected wherever it is stored.

6. Consider Proper Access Control and Permission Management

Maintain strict access control to protect sensitive data. Implement the least privilege principle, granting users only the access they need to perform their jobs. Utilize role-based access control to assign roles and permissions based on job responsibilities, and regularly review and update these access rights to reflect current responsibilities.

7. Continuously Conduct Cloud Activity Surveillance

Monitoring cloud activity in real-time is essential for identifying and mitigating potential security threats promptly. Utilize the monitoring solutions provided by your cloud provider and consider additional security tools as necessary. Regularly check logs and audit trails and set up alerts for any unusual activities to maintain a proactive security posture.

8. Fortify API Security

APIs are crucial for accessing cloud services, but they must be properly secured to stop unauthorized access. Ensure that all APIs are implemented with strong authentication and encryption, and regularly review access permissions to prevent potential vulnerabilities. Monitor API usage and set up alerts for any unusual or unauthorized activities to protect these vital communication channels.

9. Complete Routine Security Audits

Conduct regular security audits to uncover vulnerabilities and assess the effectiveness of your security measures. These assessments can be carried out internally or by external experts, providing valuable insights for ongoing security improvement. Make sure these audits cover all aspects of your cloud infrastructure, from data protection to access controls, to ensure comprehensive security.

10. Educate and Empower Your Workforce

Your employees play an important part in maintaining cloud security. Educate them about the risks associated with cloud services and reinforce security best practices through regular training sessions. You should also establish clear protocols for reporting any suspicious activities. Be sure to cultivate a culture of security awareness within your organization.

11. Adopt a Zero Trust Security Framework

One of the most critical steps in cloud security is to implement a Zero Trust security model. This approach requires verifying every access request, regardless of its origin, ensuring that your security measures are robust and comprehensive. Apply Zero Trust principles across all digital touchpoints, from identity verification to network security, to create a resilient security framework.

12. Implement an Incident Response Plan

Having a solid incident response plan in place is a crucial element of cloud security. This plan should outline the steps to take in the event of a security breach or data loss incident, ensuring a swift and coordinated response. It should involve all relevant stakeholders, including IT, legal, communications, and external cybersecurity experts, providing clear guidance on their roles and responsibilities. Regularly test and update the plan to reflect the evolving threat landscape and ensure your team is well-prepared to handle any security incident.

13. Utilize Security Automation and Orchestration Where Possible 

Leveraging security automation and orchestration tools can significantly enhance your cloud security posture. These tools can automate repetitive security tasks, ensuring they are executed with precision and speed. They can also orchestrate complex security workflows, ensuring all security components work together seamlessly. This not only improves efficiency but also helps in swiftly mitigating threats, reducing the potential impact on your operations.

14. Consider Using Network Segmentation and Microsegmentation

Network segmentation splits the network into smaller, isolated segments to contain potential breaches and limit their impact. Similarly, microsegmentation focuses on isolating workloads, ensuring that if one is compromised, it doesn’t affect others. These practices can help minimize the attack surface while also stopping lateral movement within your network, significantly enhancing your cloud infrastructure’s security.

15. Maintain Software and Keep Systems Up to Date

As you already know, keeping all software and systems up to date is fundamental to security. This applies to operating systems and applications, as well as firmware and any other software components. Regularly apply patches and updates to address known vulnerabilities. Consider using a patch management system or service to automate this process, ensuring timely updates, and reducing the risk of gaps in security.

16. Use Risk Assessments to Pinpoint Issues

Regularly conducting risk assessments helps in identifying potential vulnerabilities and assessing their potential impact on your cloud infrastructure. This should involve evaluating both internal and external risks, considering everything from user behavior to potential external threats. Based on these assessments, implement risk management strategies to mitigate risks and improve your cloud security.

17. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Data Backup and Recovery

In the event of a security incident, you must be able to easily recover updated backups of your organization’s data. An effective data backup and recovery strategy ensures that backups are stored securely, and the recovery process should be regularly tested to confirm it works as expected. This both mitigates the impact of data loss incidents and supports business continuity.

18. Remember Vendor and Third-Party Security

If your cloud infrastructure relies on third-party services or vendors, you should carefully manage these relationships and ensure they meet your security standards. Conduct thorough security assessments of all third-party vendors, ensuring they comply with your security policies and standards. Routinely review these relationships and update them as necessary to maintain a secure cloud environment.

Continuous Vigilance: Adapting Cloud Security Over Time

As you consider and follow the best practices listed above, it is also crucial to understand that securing cloud infrastructure is an ongoing, evolving challenge, not simply a one-time task. As technological advancements continue and the threat landscape shifts, it is imperative for businesses to remain vigilant and proactive in adapting their security practices. The cloud environment is dynamic, with resources being added, modified, and removed constantly. This necessitates a continuous security mindset, ensuring that every aspect of the cloud infrastructure is consistently monitored, assessed, and fortified against emerging threats.

Businesses must frequently review and update their security policies, tools, and practices in response to new vulnerabilities and threat vectors. Engaging in regular security training for all personnel, performing consistent security audits, and employing advanced threat detection tools are crucial steps in maintaining a robust security posture.

By following the best practices shown above and understanding that cloud infrastructure security is a continual journey of adaptation and improvement, your organization will be able to better position itself to protect its assets, maintain customer trust, and ensure long-term resilience in an ever-evolving digital world.

I hope you found this information helpful. As always, contact us anytime about your technology needs.

Until next time,


Meet the Author
Tim Burke is the President and CEO of Quest. He has been at the helm for over 30 years.
Contact Quest Today  ˄
close slider