5 Cloud Security Testing Steps for Startups

Startups have a small budget which limits their ability to invest in testing. On the other hand, their popularity is low, making them less vulnerable to attacks from hackers, who usually go after larger platforms. Startups lack experience and help from experts can only be beneficial. Yet, they are utilizing their meager resources to the maximum, to have any spare time for extensive testing. These arguments can be used to make a case for or against investment in a cloud security assessments company. Whichever road the cloud computing startup takes, of using their own resources or employing a third party for testing, it should watch out to include fundamental security measures in testing processes.

Here are 5 steps startups can take with respect to cloud security testing for a smooth and safe entry in the market: 

1. Keep your code secure

Verify your application’s code is in version control. The developer will save any changes to documents, allowing for convenient management. This will help in scaling. Use cross-site scripting (XSS) filters so the user-generated content does not mix up with the application’s HTML.

2. Protect your network

Your web server’s operating system will come with FTP servers and proxy servers that you may not be using; ensure that they are turned off to block any attempt from an attacker to enter the system. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol developed for sending information securely over the internet. Ensure your website is SSL certified. For a Software as a Service (SaaS) app, SSL is a mandatory requirement. It is best to upload user-generated files like photo attachments from a domain different from the application. There is a two-fold advantage in doing this. First, the primary domain is protected from hackers. Second, it is clear that any malicious content is not from your company. 

3. Communicate effectively

Effective communication is the foundation of any successful venture. Both manual and automated processes must work hand in hand for an ideal communication network. Security measures must be relayed effectively to all team members especially code reviews. A continuous integration and deployment pipeline (CI/ CD) creates a flexible pipeline to push code of any type through rapid deployment. These remove manual errors and provide feedback loops.

4. Set up automatic backups and reboot

Have an automatic backup system to prevent data loss. Encrypt the backup files. Run the backup database on a separate host than your web server, so it is not accessible to anyone outside the trusted network. Test the restoration method more than once a year. In case of a system crash, set up an automatic reboot.

5. Secure sensitive information

Avoid putting sensitive information about the business like database login passwords on the cloud. Do not store sensitive information as cleartext. Create configuration files that you can store outside of the application code. SSH connects your computer to another computer on the internet. Disable passwords for Secure Shell (SSH). Ask your users to choose secure passwords. A password management software makes this process simpler, as it can automatically generate long and strong passwords. Inspect cookies from your site that there is no sensitive information stored in them.

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