Three Important Building Blocks for a Secure Cloud Foundation

Building your organisation’s cloud migration strategy can be complex. Most organisations need to overcome challenges like security and compliance concerns, potential escalating costs, and the complexity in building and managing cloud infrastructures. These concerns can be addressed at an early stage by building a cloud landing zone within your chosen cloud infrastructure, which provides the foundations for a secure, cost-effective, and flexible cloud platform that will scale alongside your organisation and adapt to your specific requirements, now and in the future.   

What is a Cloud Landing Zone? 

A Cloud Landing Zone provides a framework for your cloud foundations, delivering a well-architected baseline environment that can help you get started with multi-account architecture, identity and access management, governance, data security, network design, audit logging and compliance. It’s a starting point and a best-practice approach from that allows your organisation to quickly launch and deploy secure and scalable workloads and applications with confidence in your infrastructure.  

Moreover, your organisation can save time by building a cloud landing zone template. The template can be used to set up consistent environments for running scalable workloads that implement a security baseline through the creation of core accounts and resources. 

Building a cloud landing zone is often the first step of a successful cloud migration strategy and is delivered through building blocks including security and compliance, identity and access management, and networks and connectivity.  

Building Block 1: A Secure and Compliant Cloud Landing Zone

A study by the IDC found that nearly 80% of the companies surveyed had suffered at least one cloud breach over the past 18 months. CISOs identified the top three threats as: 

  • Security misconfiguration (67%) 
  • Lack of adequate visibility into access settings and activities (64%) 
  • Identity and access management (IAM) permission errors (61%) 

Implementing security and compliance into your cloud landing zone can help your organisation align with industry best-practices, regulations and standards, not only at the start of your cloud migration journey but also as your organisation grows.  

Guardrails are built into your cloud landing zone to provide ongoing governance through controls, which help you govern your resources and monitor compliance groups across your overall environment. Guardrails are split into preventive (ensure that accounts maintain compliance as these disallow actions that lead to policy violations) and detective (detects noncompliance of resources such as policy violations and alerts the organisation) behaviours. 

Therefore, organisations within highly regulated industries such as financial services and legal will benefit hugely from implementing these measures as they will need to demonstrate security and compliance controls to internal and external stakeholders. 

Building Block 2: Identity and Access Management (IAM) 

To protect your cloud foundations, building identity and access management measures into your cloud landing zone enables you to securely manage permissions and access to your cloud services and resources. According to Gartner, IAM is the discipline that enables the right individuals access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.  

Embedding IAM into your cloud landing zone starts with building and defining user configurations and access levels by creating roles and policies to enforce access controls, which minimises risks from accidental or malicious misconfigurations. As part of the measure, you can incorporate Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) as an additional security measure to protect your cloud infrastructure. 

IAM can help analyse access across cloud infrastructures through audit trails that allow administrators and security professionals to determine the actions that users have taken within accounts and the resources that were used, which includes log files showing the date and time, the source IP, actions that failed due to inadequate permissions and more. 

Building Block 3: Networks and Connectivity 

When building a cloud landing zone, it is important to consider how you structure your networks, security groups and connectivity requirements, which ensures that your networks are secure, resilient, and scalable.  

Building your network architecture can have a significant effect on cloud performance as it offers a way for resources to interact. You will need to implement ways to optimise traffic over the networks to prioritise connections based on the resource type. You also need to consider how your cloud infrastructure networks interact externally with the internet and other important endpoints.   

Your approach to building your network architecture will be dependent on your cloud approach – for instance, in a hybrid cloud approach where resources and workloads may move between platforms, you’ll need to think about the security of those connections.  

Build Secure Cloud Foundations with Brightsolid. 

There are many factors to consider when implementing a cloud landing zone and at Brightsolid, we can help you to accelerate your cloud strategies through Cloud Foundations.  

 Cloud Foundations is delivered by a team of experienced and certified cloud experts who provide your organisation with a secure AWS environment with pre-configured network, security, access and compliance guardrails. Cloud Foundations can help you realise the benefits of the cloud through a secure, robust and well-configured cloud infrastructure.  

Find out more about Cloud Foundations here.