Are you into using Platform-as-a-Service for your online business? Well, you need to adopt security standards and stick to cybersecurity best practices to avoid security challenges in this industry. PaaS environments rely on security standards, and without them, a PaaS cloud environment is doomed to failure.
Help yourself by reading the next sections. We’re going to answer these questions and give you a good insight into PaaS security and its practices:
● What PaaS really is?
● What are the security standards designed for PaaS security?
● What are the best practices for securing PaaS products?
● What benefits does a secure PaaS product offer to online businesses?
Main Concepts of PaaS Security: Challenges, Best Practices, Regulatory Laws, and More
Platform as a Service provides an online and cloud-based platform and simplifies the process of cloud computing for online businesses.
The first public platform as a service was Zimki, launched by Fontango, which led cloud providers to build the foundation of PaaS technology. Zimki was launched around 2006, and in the same year, Amazon started S3 and EC2 to offer clients a unique online web service.
There are 2 more cloud computing services as follows:
● SaaS: Software as a Service is a software product offered on cloud platforms. Here you can read more about SaaS security best practices.
● IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service provides a lot of hardware and software resources to organizations. Feel free to read more about IaaS security checklist.
Platform as a Service: A Quick Overview
Generally, a Platform as a Service is developed to provide businesses with exclusive features and benefits, including but not limited to:
● Lower costs
Remember that cloud computing environments are based on a shared security model. It means service providers and clients are both responsible for securing the platform.
Benefits of Secure PaaS Products
Low Infrastructure and Development Costs
With PaaS products, there is no need to purchase hardware or pay for infrastructure resources.
Platform as a Service provides everything through an online product, and the service provider is responsible for maintaining the products.
You can make the most out of your development money and spend your budget on more important tasks.
Built-in Application Development Tools and Support Services
Just like all cloud computing services, PaaS comes with pre-designed interface and integrated cloud tools.
These tools help platform developers and managers better handle the workload and develop just the right software best fitted to an online business.
You are free to develop specific applications and development tools with PaaS, and there is no limitation.
You can make the most of your time using cloud computing services, and they promise to save businesses time and effort.
When developing and launching a new product, PaaS provides you with a unique opportunity to get it to the right market faster and simpler.
This unique option of secure PaaS products helps development teams to spend their worthwhile time on important tasks.
On-demand and Scalable Resources
When demand grows in your online business, PaaS helps you easily scale up your online platform.
At the same time, online businesses can readjust their computing resources if needed.
Cloud technology offers pre-configured environments and server resources, requiring IT teams to perform tasks with just a few simple clicks.
Importance of PaaS Security: Some Examples
PaaS security is an important concept for the service provider and the client.
PaaS providers such as Microsoft and Amazon should focus on technical concepts, while PaaS customers have to pay more attention to identity and their credentials.
From the client’s viewpoint, PaaS security doesn’t require clients to manage or control networks, servers, and operating systems. However, they must consider safety best practices when using the environment.
Some secure PaaS products include:
● SAP Cloud
● Salesforce Lightning
● Microsoft Azure
● AWS Lambda
● Google App Engine
Common PaaS Security Challenges
API Security Risks
API security risks constitute a prominent category within OWASP’s top 10 security threats.
An application programming interface facilitates proper interaction between web and mobile applications, forming the basis of contemporary software concepts.
API security holds particular significance, notably in the context of Platform as a Service (PaaS) products, which often become prime targets for attackers.
Lack of Transparency in Security Controls
Today, organizations and service providers need proactive and standardized security measures to protect data and digital assets.
People are increasingly distrustful of the internet, with an increasing number of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Lack of transparency in security controls is a major problem in the case of PaaS. When a service provider doesn’t present a transparent environment where security controls are implemented, it will result in issues.
Third-party Integration Risks
Third-party apps and web services can be problematic, and they are considered one of the main threat points in the cybersecurity industry.
When PaaS products work with third-party apps, it could lead to security problems. Choosing to outsource certain services or using software built by third-party providers means an organization is likely to experience a data breach or operational disruption.
PaaS Security Best Practices
Research the Provider’s Security
Security assessments and third-party audits can provide detailed information regarding the efficiency of the security controls deployed by a cloud provider.
However, this isn’t enough if you want to use PaaS products for your online business. You need to seek assurances from service providers, which can include security reviews, privacy policies, SLAs, and documents showing their adherence to cybersecurity frameworks.
Migrating to the cloud brings a lot of advantages for organizations, but you need to be mindful of the security controls and standards the provider has used.
Use Threat Modelling
A threat model identifies risks and prioritizes them so that you can identify many types of risks regarding a specific service.
Once threatening risks have been identified, the threat model helps prioritize them and shield the organization against cybersecurity issues.
Engaging in threat modeling offers an excellent chance to assign risk scores to identified threats. This is the juncture where your cybersecurity team can strategize for effective remediation approaches.
Checking for Inherited Software Vulnerabilities
Small bugs are a fact of life when it comes to software development.
But, when they turn into vulnerabilities, security teams, and developers should take the necessary steps to remediate them.
Inherited software vulnerabilities are those software issues that originate from dependencies and add-on components. Due to the fact that these vulnerabilities may cause critical security problems, teams must be aware of what components and add-ons they use for software development.
Implementing Role-Based Access Controls
RBAC refers to an important fact in PaaS security. Role-based access control is the idea of granting permissions to users based on their responsibility in an organization.
It’s one of the fundamental concepts of web and mobile apps, offering a simple and completely practical approach to access management and maintenance.
Managing Inactive Accounts
There are a wide variety of risks and security threats related to inactive accounts.
These accounts are risky and can be compromised due to password reuse and lack of MFA.
Inactive accounts may appear harmless, but they can impact a platform negatively. Also, employees who leave an organization can misuse their accounts.
IT teams and security analyzers should check what privileges these accounts hold to manage them and avoid related risks.
Taking Advantage of Provider Resources
PaaS security depends on making the most out of the provider’s features and options.
Within all PaaS products, you can find security tools that are designed to elevate the security state and protection of PaaS products.
PaaS Security Solutions
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a software tool or service that interacts with an organization’s on-premise infrastructure and the cloud provider’s system.
It works as a middle software to ensure there is no security issue.
CASBs can detect unusual behavior across cloud apps, and they are powerful in detecting and identifying ransomware.
CASBs in PaaS security can implement zero-trust access control and policy enforcement. In short, these solutions help us lead the traffic from a controlled channel that is enforced to abide by security rules and security policies.
CWPP is an advanced security management technology that helps maintain security and protection in cloud environments. It protects the cloud application as well as all the workloads, functions, and processes.
Interestingly, a Cloud Workload Protection Platform detects and mitigates threats inside cloud software, and it acts like an internal cloud security checker.
CWPPs can automatically monitor and analyze workloads like workloads that are flowing in VMs, serverless functions, and on-premise servers.
You can look at a Cloud Workload Protection Platform as a powerful software package that provides the following features for PaaS security:
● Identifying, remediating, and patching up vulnerabilities
● Firewalling networks and providing transparency
● Assuring the integrity of systems
● Controlling applications and monitoring them
● Memory protection
● Anti-malware scanning
● Preventing intrusion with vulnerability management
Cloud Security Posture Management is a PaaS security solution designed to identify cloud app misconfiguration and compliance problems.
CSPM regularly monitors and analyzes gaps in security policies to help organizations find cybersecurity compliance risks that may hit an organization.
CSPM can be used with many cloud services, such as Amazon Cloud and Microsoft Azure, and it focuses on automation and time-saving.
How is PaaS Used by DevOps Teams and Organizations?
PaaS is configured and provided as an environment that consists of a GUI, a cloud infrastructure, some product development software, and middleware tools.
DevOps teams can significantly benefit from PaaS products since they can access the system and software from anywhere with an internet connection.
DevOps teams need additional time so they can make use of PaaS environments to get rid of the hassle of maintaining and controlling their own hardware and software.
They can collaborate remotely, share tasks and projects, and simply release final products in less time.
PaaS security is a necessary requirement in the cloud computing industry. There is a defined list of PaaS security solutions available at the moment which you can use to reach an enhanced level of cybersecurity in your organization. From a provider’s viewpoint, they need to secure their platforms through cybersecurity frameworks and unmerciful audits. When it comes to clients, they should consider using safe passwords, APIs, and other data protection methodologies when using PaaS products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?
● These are 3 popular services provided by cloud technology. PaaS offers a cloud platform as a service, while IaaS gives an opportunity to access cloud infrastructures. SaaS is a software solution established on cloud platforms.
What are the best practices for securing PaaS platforms?
● Cybersecurity teams need to start with threat modeling practices and encrypt the data that is at rest and in transit. There is also a need to avoid vendor lock-in throughout the journey.
How can I protect my business data on a PaaS platform?
● Data encryption is a trustworthy practice that aims to secure business data. Note that the data should be encrypted at rest and in transit.
What security challenges should I be aware of when using PaaS?
● The lack of monitoring capabilities and maintaining security controls are the two most common challenges when it comes to PaaS security.
Are there any compliance requirements for PaaS security?
● Cloud technology comes with specific compliance requirements, and as a cloud service provider or user, you need to consider these standards.
What industry standards and frameworks should I follow for PaaS security?
● NIST and ISO are 2 common security standards for cloud technology, and they provide a desirable level of cybersecurity to such platforms.
Can you provide examples of successful PaaS security implementations?
● Azure and Google App Engine are 2 common examples of implementing cybersecurity practices for PaaS.
What are the future trends in PaaS security?
● Integrating Artificial Intelligence power into PaaS security is one of the popular trends in this industry.
How does PaaS security differ from other cloud security measures?
● PaaS should be protected by both service providers and clients. Moreover, PaaS comes with security solutions that are specially designed for cloud platforms.
Is PaaS security suitable for small businesses?
● PaaS is provided for all types of businesses, and small to large-sized companies should consider securing their platforms through standard practices.
How can I ensure secure integration and communication in a PaaS environment?
● Monitoring security controls and web traffic after deploying security practices helps security teams maintain the desired level of protection and safety.