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GCP is regarded as one of the leading cloud providers, accounting for around 8% of the market. Google operates dedicated data centers in over 200 countries worldwide. When customers use a console or an API to spin up computing, storage, network, and security capabilities, they benefit from this worldwide network of cloud regions. Furthermore, these infrastructure technologies apply in various scenarios, including Google's public, hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge-cloud environments.
GCP security or Google Cloud Platform security is a set of tools and services designed to protect customers' data and applications. It includes a variety of security measures, including access control, authentication, encryption, and data loss prevention. It aims to offer a detailed insight into the security of cloud-based applications and visibility and control over network traffic.
Google Cloud security provides shared resources and data to multiple users and organizations. Without proper security measures, the data and resources can be vulnerable to malicious activity, including hacking, theft, and unauthorized access. Moreover, public cloud providers may not have the same security practices as an organization's internal IT team, making it even more critical to ensure that proper security protocols are in place.
Below is a GCP security checklist that businesses must adhere to when using Google Cloud Services.
Managing user accounts is vital in GCP to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data or services. This helps to mitigate the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.
Here's a checklist that will ensure access for only authorized users:
Google Cloud IAM is a security process that allows organizations to define user roles, assign and manage user permissions, and define authentication and authorization protocols for users to access their resources.
Here are some of the best practices in GCP IAM:
Strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) are important tools for protecting user credentials. By enabling 2FA, you can require users to enter a code sent to their mobile phone or email address each time they log in.
Cloud Key Management Service (KMS) is a service that allows you to encrypt and store user credentials securely. By encrypting user credentials before they're stored in the cloud, you can ensure that they are only accessible to authorized users.
It protects data in transit, as it is sent between GCP services and the user. It ensures that data stored in GCP is secure and can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
A knowledge of Google Cloud Logging and Monitoring Essentials is fundamental to a safe and secure cloud experience.
Cloud Audit Logs allow you to monitor user activity on GCP resources and take action if suspicious activity is detected. You can also use Access Transparency, a GCP security tool that provides detailed logs of all access attempts to GCP resources. It includes detailed information about each access request, including the time, the requesting user, and the action taken.
Cloud IAP is a service that provides an additional layer of security for user credentials. IAP allows you to control access to applications and services based on user identity.
By having a comprehensive user access management system in place, organizations can ensure that only authorized users have access, and they can minimize the entry of threat actors that can jeopardize data security.
Using private networks for GCP security can help organizations protect their data and resources from malicious activity and unauthorized access. Private networks create a secure boundary around the resources and services hosted in the cloud, allowing organizations to control who can access and manipulate the data and how.
It can benefit organizations subject to compliance regulations, as private networks help ensure that all data is kept within the organization's control and meets the necessary security requirements.
Firewalls are the first line of defense against malicious activity and unauthorized access. They help protect GCP resources by allowing only authorized traffic from known IP addresses to access GCP resources.
They also help block malicious traffic from entering GCP services.
In GCP Security, you can create two types of firewall rules: ingress rules and egress rules.
GCP security firewall rules should be configured to allow only the traffic necessary for services to function properly. All other traffic must be denied. When configuring GCP security firewall rules, consider the source, destination, port, and protocol. Regularly review and audit firewall rules to ensure they are up-to-date and secure.
VPC flow logs are an important security tool for GCP because they provide visibility into the network traffic flow within a VPC. Flow logs capture information about the source and destination IP addresses, ports, protocol, and the number of bytes and packets sent and received.
The data provided by VPC flow logs can be used to detect anomalies and malicious activity, monitor compliance with security policies, detect malicious IP addresses, and more. They can also be used to troubleshoot network issues and optimize performance.
Security scanning and analysis tools are essential in GCP to ensure the security and privacy of data stored in the cloud. These tools help to identify potential vulnerabilities that may expose sensitive data or cause security breaches. They ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and corporate policies, help detect malicious activity and intrusions, and investigate security incidents.
Thorough knowledge of Google Cloud Storage Security Essentials ensures fortified cloud protection and saves you time and resources in resolving security concerns.
Use the GCP OS Patch Management to implement OS patches across Compute Engine VM instances (VMs) to ensure they remain periodically updated and safeguarded against vulnerabilities and defects. There are 2 distinct components to OS Patch Management:
Enabling automated security updates can help GCP security by ensuring that critical security patches and bug fixes are applied quickly and consistently across all GCP components. This can help protect against potential vulnerabilities, reduce the risk of data breaches and ensure that GCP services are running optimally.
Securing your data in the cloud is of utmost importance. Any breach can jeopardize the security of the company and its end-users. Data breaches can have a long-lasting impact on the business's bottom line and brand name.
Want to add more about Google Cloud security to your arsenal? AppSecEngineer's GCP Learning Path courses can help you hone your existing knowledge while bringing you up to speed with the latest developments in GCP security.
Look at AppSecEngineer's Training Library to identify your learning requirements, and sign up for some of the most comprehensive courses in the field of Google Cloud security today!
Joshua Jebaraj is the Creator of GCP-Goat. He works as Security Researcher at we45 focusing on cloud and cloud-native security. He has 3+ years of experience working related to containers and Kubernetes. He has also spoken at conferences like Defcon, Owasp-Seasides, Bsides-Delhi, and Eko-party. When AFK, he can be found watching movies and making memes.