5 Best Practices to Maximize your Google Cloud Security

Akash Mahajan
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Rundown of the best practices to maximize your GCP Security

1. Visibility

Cloud resources are often fleeting and difficult to monitor because they move around a lot. It’s challenging to keep track of them because the whole idea of cloud computing is that you don’t have to worry about where things are or how they’ve configured anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it anyway.

2. Resource Hierarchy

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a service called “resource hierarchies” that lets you define your resource hierarchy. For example, you can organize your folders, projects, and teams under an organization and assign permissions accordingly. Although this hierarchy gives you great flexibility in managing your resources, unplanned usage patterns can harm your productivity and lead to unnecessarily complex administrative tasks. Creating a hierarchy derived from that of the structure of your organization is an excellent way to do it.

3. Cloud Logging

Whether you are operating a large-scale cloud environment or an on-premise data center, Cloud Logging supports enterprise needs, including ingesting logs from sources such as web servers, log management services, and relational databases. Although Cloud Logging can stream logs to Stackdriver, that’s just one way the service provides visibility into your GCP environment. I find combining this with an alerting tool can help you monitor thousands of logs with ease. It also features an API that you can use to write logs from sources, including on-premise applications.

4. Centralized Logging and Monitoring

Logging and monitoring are critical to any business or company that relies heavily on technology. Monitoring the health of an application, pipeline, process, or system can be very difficult. If you are managing multiple applications, processes, or environments, you should implement a centralized logging and monitoring solution that helps you get insight into all of your assets.

5. Misconfiguration detection

Misconfigurations can happen for numerous reasons, and it is important that we consistently fix all misconfigurations in our cloud assets to protect them.

Here are a few best practices

  1. Manage all your access controls periodically to those permissions assigned to specific roles that are relevant. Monitoring the IAM policies is an excellent way to do it.
  2. Follow the principle of least privilege. With this, you know that the users only have the permissions required to do their assigned jobs.
  3. Incorporate cloud logging as a routine part of your development lifecycle. With this, you can now quickly recognize changes in your cloud accounts and determine if those changes have increased or decreased the chances of an incident.
  4. Manually maintaining hundreds of cloud assets and ensuring their security can be a daunting task. Automating your cloud security will help you detect misconfigurations & unauthorized actions instantly and act on them.

As your cloud usage increases, you need to be vigilant about misconfigurations creeping into your cloud account. Following best practices as described by GCP from their Well-Architected Framework will keep your configurations secure and your data and business safe.

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