1. Perimeters defenses
Perimeter defenses remain a cornerstone of most organization’s technical security controls. Perimeter defense protect against both directed and opportunistic attacks by controlling access to corporate assets and services and access to external resources (by internal users). Even if an organization intends to move significant portions of their published services to the cloud, perimeter defenses are necessary for controlling interactions between assets that remain under the control of the organization.
Consider the advances offered by most modern firewalls (unified threat management, next generation firewalls, and integrated threat monitoring). Significant advances have also been made in firewall maintenance, management and migration tools, making it easier than ever to build new, or replace aging solutions. Logging, alerting and reporting features are more advanced and make it easier for technology personnel to report meaningful information to senior management. Several products are now available that make it possible for even small-to-medium business to consider implementation of firewalls for internal networks as well.
2. Secure build
Published technical and security standards underscore why secure builds are required and why end-users or admins should not modify required security settings. This is a critical consideration for those moving to cloud solutions, especially IaaS (Infrastructure) or PaaS (Platform) cloud offerings. Beyond a standard image, a secure build focuses on security configurations specific to the type of host (server or workstation) and the services or function necessary for its use.
Dedicated use hosts should have specific secure build requirements. These should be documented and maintained as part of a standard change management and change control process. Maintenance of a secure build must be supported by the build process. It is best practice to integrate as much centralized control as possible into the secure build process. This includes patch management, inventory management, and log monitoring and centralization. Again, if an organization is moving to cloud-based solutions, there should be a plan in place for dealing with the secure build and build maintenance process.
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