As for a fact we know that it’s impossible for certain cloud-hosted applications to not share resources, but considering the vulnerabilities that such connections expose us to, we are bound to make isolation strategies as they have become the need of the hour.
Yes, resource sharing and virtualization create direct channels between cloud-based applications but it can also accidentally interfere with another application’s operations and open it up to deliberate attacks. That’s just scary and totally damaging to any business. But it’s possible to protect applications using dedicated cloud servers rather than plain VMs or cloud-based containers. However, considering that scalability depends on pooling resources, the dedicated cloud approach will most likely not make the cut, performance-wise.
So, the way to secure these applications is by implementing specific isolation strategies, particularly between hosts and the network. But we must keep in mind that while internal governance and security practices define exactly what needs to be kept separate and how separated things need to be, your isolation strategies will help ensure that you follow those guidelines efficiently.
Without any further ado, let’s take you through some of the best practices involved with setting up a strategy for isolation in cloud computing scenarios. But first, make sure to select a cloud hosting approach that provides you with the isolation needed for particular types of applications and components. From thereon, teams will add protections that revolve around network connectivity, API access and database sharing.
Set Your Cloud Hosting Strategy
Sharing resources across a cloud can be risky if another application that shares the server misuses resources. This particular situation is often difficult to detect because a team may assume the problem stems from a workload bottleneck or some other common cause. To limit such issues you must ensure that you choose the right hosting model that consists of:
Agree or don’t, IaaS offers the strongest inherent isolation. For applications with critical security and performance needs, you should always select IaaS solutions.
– Container services
The isolation capabilities of containers are steadily improving and are more than enough for typical business applications. So, it is the best solution for organizations with limited staff or container management skills.
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Isolate Your Apps At The Network Level
What leaves applications vulnerable and open to software attacks is an improper network setup. To prevent this, you must isolate your applications right at the network level and use a single address space per application group. This will do the trick. Even with public cloud services that typically operate inside a private IP address space, you must deploy related applications as a group and keep them within a common address space.
Measure Your API Exposure
Public APIs are a necessity only if you intend to have external systems access an internal application. But you can make sure not to accidentally expose APIs that aren’t intended for outside use. It’s also preferable to expose APIs via dedicated company VPNs rather than the general web. So, keep that in mind too. For more detailed control over your network, you could consider implementing a virtual network or an SD-WAN that are available from both network vendors and cloud software companies.
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