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Cloud Infrastructure Security Best Practices

Learn essential security best practices for cloud infrastructure, including access control, encryption, monitoring, and compliance. Discover how to safeguard your cloud platform without compromising agility and innovation.

Zan Faruqui
May 16, 2023

Most organizations would agree that migrating critical data and applications to the cloud introduces new security risks.

By following essential security best practices around access control, encryption, monitoring, and compliance, you can build robust protection for your cloud infrastructure.

In this post, we'll cover key areas to secure in your cloud environment, from identity management to achieving compliance certifications. You'll learn practical steps to safeguard your cloud platform without compromising agility and innovation.

Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Security

Cloud infrastructure refers to the components like servers, storage, networking, and data centers that enable delivery of cloud computing services. As more organizations adopt cloud solutions from providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP, proper security measures are crucial to protect sensitive data and maintain compliance.

Defining Cloud Infrastructure and Its Benefits

Cloud infrastructure allows on-demand access to compute resources, databases, analytics, and more without having to maintain physical hardware.

With the right security strategy, cloud infrastructure enables innovation and business growth.

Cloud Adoption Trends: AWS and Azure Insights

Cloud infrastructure usage continues to accelerate:

As more sensitive data moves to the cloud, security is paramount.

Security Concerns with Cloud Infrastructure

Common threats organizations face include:

Later sections will cover security best practices including encryption, access controls, auditing, and more to mitigate risks. With the right strategy, organizations can harness the cloud securely.

What is cloud infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure refers to the foundational components that enable cloud computing services. This includes:

       ">IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Rather than managing physical data centers, organizations can leverage cloud infrastructure to achieve scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency.

Key elements of cloud infrastructure include:

With the right cloud infrastructure configuration, organizations can develop cloud-native apps, store and analyze data, deliver digital experiences to customers - all at scale. Understanding cloud infrastructure helps set the foundation for leveraging the cloud.

What are the six major components of a cloud infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure consists of six key components that work together to deliver services to end users:


Servers are physical or virtual machines that run applications and workloads. They provide compute power, storage, networking, and other resources.


The network connects servers to each other and to the internet. This includes routers, switches, firewalls, and more. Fast, reliable networks are critical.


From block to object storage, storage infrastructure stores data that applications and workloads generate. Storage can be on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid.

Public Cloud

Public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud offer on-demand access to computing resources. Organizations pay only for what they use.

Private Cloud

Some organizations run their own private cloud software like OpenStack or VMware on their own data centers for greater control.

Hybrid Cloud

Many organizations use a combination of public and private clouds. They can burst into the public cloud when demand spikes while maintaining control with a private cloud.

Which is a type of cloud computing infrastructure?

Cloud computing infrastructure can be categorized into three main deployment models:

Public Cloud

The public cloud refers to computing services offered by third-party providers over the public internet, like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Resources are hosted in the provider's data centers and shared with other customers in a multi-tenant architecture.

Benefits: High scalability, no upfront infrastructure costs, pay-as-you-go pricing.

Use cases: Web apps, e-commerce sites, mobile backends.

Private Cloud

A private cloud consists of computing resources dedicated to a single organization, not shared with others. The infrastructure can be hosted on-premises or at a third-party data center.

Benefits: Increased customization, security and control.

Use cases: Applications with regulatory compliance needs or involving sensitive data.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines both private and public cloud infrastructures. Sensitive applications are hosted privately while other resources run in a public cloud.

Benefits: Flexibility to run each app in the optimal environment.

Use cases: Organizations transitioning partially to the cloud.

Within these deployment models, major cloud computing service types include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).


What is cloud center infrastructure?

Cloud infrastructure refers to the virtualized compute, storage, networking, and security resources offered as on-demand services via the internet. Just like traditional data centers, cloud infrastructure consists of servers, storage systems, networking hardware, and security controls. However, instead of owning and maintaining this physical hardware directly, customers access these resources remotely as flexible and scalable services.

Some key characteristics of cloud infrastructure include:

In summary, cloud infrastructure offers the building blocks of scalable technology platforms without the heavy lifting of procuring and managing data centers directly. The on-demand nature, self-service access, and flexibility help organizations focus on innovation rather than infrastructure.

Establishing Robust Security in Cloud Infrastructure Services

Cloud infrastructure services like AWS and Azure provide highly scalable and flexible environments to host applications and workloads. However, securing these complex, distributed environments requires diligent measures across multiple layers - identity and access, data, applications, networks.

Access Controls and Identity Management in Cloud Services

Role-based access control (RBAC) limits user permissions to only what is needed. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of identity verification. Enabling audit logs monitors user activities for anomaly detection. These measures restrict unauthorized access in cloud infrastructures.

For example, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows granting IAM users only the minimum privileges needed using policies. MFA protects privileged accounts like AWS root. CloudTrail logs user activity for audit purposes.

Ensuring Data Encryption across Cloud Platforms

Encrypting sensitive data in transit and at rest prevents unauthorized access if breached. AWS offers services like S3 server-side encryption, Azure provides encryption for services like SQL and Storage.

Data should be classified and encrypted appropriately based on sensitivity. Encryption keys must also be protected and rotated periodically.

Secure Application Design for Cloud

Building cloud-native applications using microservices architectures allows baking in security early across all layers - user access, app logic, data flows between services, service-to-service communication protocols etc.

AWS and Azure also provide managed services like WAF or Azure App Service Environment to protect public-facing applications.

Network Security within Cloud Environments

Cloud networks should be segmented using VPCs or VNETs to isolate environments. NACLs, Security Groups, Network Security Groups control traffic flows. Web Application Firewall (WAF) protects apps.

Tools like AWS GuardDuty continuously monitor for threats. Third-party firewalls add an extra layer of protection.

Continuous Security Monitoring in the Cloud

Cloud platforms have advanced threat detection capabilities but should be supplemented by tools that continuously monitor for misconfigurations, anomaly detection, suspicious activity etc. across infrastructure and services.

AWS GuardDuty, Macie and tools like Prisma Cloud analyze user behavior and environments to identify potential threats.

Achieving Cloud Compliance in AWS and Azure

Maintaining compliance in the cloud can seem daunting, but with the right strategies it is achievable. AWS and Azure provide frameworks to make attaining major compliance standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOC 2 more seamless across infrastructure.

Understanding Cloud Standards and Regulations

Key regulations to consider when migrating business systems to the cloud include:

Familiarizing your team with these standards will streamline pursuing the appropriate certifications.

After enabling necessary controls and configurations, verification from independent auditors is required to officially confirm compliance. Key steps when undergoing audits include:

Completing certification annually ensures your organization sustains compliance as changes occur.

Leveraging Automated Compliance Checking

Coherence offers real-time compliance monitoring by continuously scanning your AWS and Azure environments against regulatory frameworks, providing visibility into current compliance posture. Benefits include:

With automation, cloud compliance in AWS and Azure doesn’t need to be an obstacle.

Choosing the Right Cloud Security Solutions for Your Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure security is crucial for protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance across cloud environments. When evaluating security solutions for infrastructure hosted on AWS, Azure, or other major cloud providers, focus on three key factors:

Evaluating Key Capabilities for Cloud Security

The security solution should have robust capabilities to suit your specific infrastructure needs, including:

Focus on solutions that provide proactive controls versus just alerts after a breach. Prioritize those offering fine-grained visibility paired with automated policy enforcement.

Assessing Cost and Resource Tradeoffs in Cloud Security

Balance feature sets with budget constraints. Consider:

Evaluate free trials to test performance impact across repsresentative infrastructure.

Determining Vendor Credibility and Support for Cloud Solutions

Opt for established vendors with:

Credibility with cloud providers and involvement in cloud-native alliances also signal product maturity.

Prioritizing these areas will lead to the best security solutions for cloud infrastructure environments. Evaluate tradeoffs between capabilities, costs, and vendor credibility to find the right fit.


Cloud infrastructure security requires a multi-faceted approach across various areas:

Adopting cloud-native security capabilities, automating manual processes, and centralizing the responsibility between provider and customer are key to robust cloud infrastructure security. With comprehensive protection spanning multiple facets, organizations can build secure, compliant environments that take advantage of the cloud's benefits while minimizing risk.


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