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Practical Cloud Security by Chris Dotson

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Chapter 3. Cloud Asset Management and Protection

At this point, you should have a good idea of what data you have, where it’s stored, and how you plan to protect it at rest. Now it’s time to look at other cloud assets and how to inventory and protect them.

As mentioned in Chapter 2, cloud providers maintain a list of which assets you have provisioned, because they want to be able to bill you! They also provide APIs to view this list, and sometimes they have specialized applications to help you with inventory and asset management.

Warning

In general, your cloud provider will know only about assets you provision via its portal or APIs. For example, if you provision a virtual machine and then manually create containers on it, the cloud provider will have no way of knowing about the containers.

Cloud infrastructure and services are often inexpensive and easy to provision, which can quickly lead to having a huge number of assets strewn all over the world and forgotten. Each of these forgotten assets is like a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode into a security incident.

Differences from Traditional IT

One important difference with cloud asset management and protection is that you generally don’t have to worry about physical assets or protection at all for your cloud environments! You can gleefully outsource asset tags, anti-tailgating, slab-to-slab barriers, placement of data center windows, cameras, and other physical security and physical asset tracking controls.

Another important ...

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