What is Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Security?

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud computing and move critical assets and valuable data to the cloud, securing these resources is essential. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), one of the leading cloud service providers in the market, offers a number of built-in security tools, which can be augmented with cyber threat prevention and response capabilities to help enhance the security of an organization’s GCP deployment.

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What is Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Security?

Shared Security Responsibility in GCP

One of the main advantages of the cloud is that a cloud customer can outsource the responsibility for some of its infrastructure to the cloud provider. However, the cloud provider is not wholly responsible for the infrastructure or its security.

GCP and other cloud platforms publish shared responsibility models that break down the responsibility for security between the cloud provider and the cloud customer. The details of these breakdowns depend on the cloud model selected by the customer. For example, a user of a Software as a Service (SaaS) product like G-Suite has much fewer security responsibilities than the user of one of GCP’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. With greater access to and control over the infrastructure stack comes more security responsibilities.

What Cloud Security Solutions Does GCP Offer?

Securing the cloud can be difficult because many traditional security solutions cannot be deployed in cloud environments or are ineffective in them. To address this issue, GCP includes a variety of built-in cloud security products, including:

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Virtual networking enables network segmentation and enhanced network security.
  • Data Encryption: Data is encrypted at rest and in transit in GCP.
  • Log Access: Near real-time log access for security visibility.
  • Binary Authorization: Only trusted containers can be deployed on Kubernetes Engine
  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS): Cloud-native threat detection.
  • Data Loss Prevention: Prevent leakage of sensitive data.
  • Web App and API Protection: Anti-DDoS, WAF, anti-bot, and API protection.

While these and the other built-in GCP security solutions help cloud customers to properly configure and secure their cloud environments, they are not enough to provide protection against modern cyber threats. Cloud customers must augment these solutions with tools designed to address the expanding cloud threat landscape.

Enhancing Security in GCP

Cloud environments have many of the same security challenges as on-premise data centers and require many of the same security solutions as well. However, cloud environments are also very different from on-prem infrastructure and require security solutions that meet their unique needs.

When looking for solutions to enhance the security of GCP environments, the following features are essential:

  • Automation: Cloud environments are designed for scalability and face automated and rapidly evolving threats. Security automation is essential to ensuring that cloud security solutions can scale alongside cloud infrastructure and rapidly detect, prevent, and remediate potential attacks.
  • Cloud Network Security: In IaaS environments, the cloud customer is responsible for network-level security controls. Cloud security solutions need to be able to implement perimeter security and network segmentation to protect cloud-based data and resources.
  • Container Security: Traditional security solutions lack the granular visibility required to monitor data flows and operations within containerized environments. Container security is essential to implementing targeted security controls for containerized applications.
  • Threat Intelligence: The cloud cyber threat landscape moves quickly, and knowledge of the latest security threats is essential to preventing, detecting, and remediating them. Cloud security solutions should have access to high-quality, cloud-specific threat intelligence feeds.
  • Observability: Without access to or control over the underlying infrastructure, visibility can be difficult to achieve in the cloud. Cloud security solutions must help close the visibility gap, enabling effective threat detection and response.
  • Predictive Analytics: Preventing potential threats is always superior to attempting to detect and remediate active attacks. Predictive analytics, powered by machine learning, can help organizations identify and respond to potential threats earlier in the attack chain.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): Cloud services are uniquely exposed to account takeover attacks and privilege abuse. Cloud IAM functionality should integrate with on-premise solutions to enable centralized, consistent privilege management and support zero trust security policies.
  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): Security misconfigurations are one of the most common causes of cloud breaches. CSPM helps to enforce corporate security policies in the cloud and automatically identify and remediate misconfigurations that place the company and its data at risk.

Securing GCP with Check Point

Cloud security can be complex, and security solutions should be carefully selected, configured, and deployed to augment GCP’s integrated security solutions. To learn more about designing an effective cloud security architecture, check out Check Point’s Cloud Security Blueprint.

Check Point’s CloudGuard includes a range of features designed to provide integrated threat prevention, detection, and response across GCP, on-prem infrastructure, and other cloud environments. To see CloudGuard’s capabilities in action and learn how it augments GCP security, request a free demo today.

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