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Enterprise Cloud Security: inSync Cloud Deployment Learnings

At Druva, we’re currently going through an ISAE 3402 Type-I/II audit. It caused me to step back to understand what the findings of this audit have taught us. It reinforces that safeguarding our customers data is critical.

Cloud security can be broken down into the following categories :

  • Network access and security
  • Authentication and access control
  • Data storage security
  • Cloud administrator access
  • Physical infrastructure security

Network Access

As for the outermost layer, it’s fairly straight forward. We applied three simple rules, ennabling security robust enough for any network intrusion :

  • Strong (preferably 256 bit) SSL v3 network encryption
  • One-way firewall port forwarding
  • Limiting the IP addresses or PCs which have priviledged access to the infrastructure

Authentication and Access Control

With cloud security, the key is to control authorized access. This is one of the most critical steps in ensuring security of your infrastructure. Druva deployed the following steps to prevent any unauthorized access :

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Strong password policies
  • SAML integration
  • Strong metadata encryption
  • Choosing a non-intuitive database schema
  • Data masking and scrambling
  • Audit trail on access or changes

The two-factor authentication for administrators and password control for users ensure the cloud is protected from any identity thefts. SAML integration further helps single sign-on and centralizing the authorization. Strong encryption, non-intuitive schema and data scrambling helps mitigate any identity theft in case of intrusion.

Data Storage Security

The innermost part of the infrastructure is the data storage. At this stage, unauthorized access is the biggest risk. A good security policy will enable the following :

  • Two-factor encryption – A bank locker system to avoid unauthorized access from either parties
  • Data splitting – Splitting the structured data across different files and servers
  • Bucketing and sandboxing data – Making sure the extent of data compromised can be contained

Druva was the first to develop and use two-factor encryption for securing stored data. The encryption works like a bank locker system, where both the user and the cloud hold part of the key. For the user it’s his own password and for the cloud, its a token unique to every user.

Data splitting helps both in load-balancing and physical security of data. Any attempt to mask the knowledge of any direct access to data is always useful. And data sandboxing ensures that each enterprise customers data is sandboxed (physically, logically and through encryption) to avoid the security thread spilling over.

Cloud Administrative Access

We learned that security infrastructure is incomplete without a solid security policy. The rules around who owns policies and who implements them should be clearly defined. Druva applied the following processes:

  • Clear separation of roles: In other words, the security team, the engineering team, and the operations teams should be defined and exclusively independent.
  • Multi-level authorization to gain access to cloud servers
  • Audit trails for access and control

Physical Infrastructure

And lastly, the physical security of servers is critical. For this, we trust our cloud partner, AWS, and regularly check their internal processes and audit reports to ensure physical security of servers.

Overall security has been our cloud teams area of focus, and we learn something new every day. Hopefully these recommendations will help you in your cloud strategy planning and implementation.