By Rob Blanzy, Cloud Security Expert
Launched in 2018, the Security Command Center is your central hub for security tooling and monitoring in Google Cloud. Google Cloud’s Security Command Center is designed to enhance visibility into cloud environments and allow teams to better protect their cloud environment with a single pane of glass for:
- Cloud resources and policy management
- Resource configuration management and monitoring
- Real-time threat detection
- Compliance alignment
Keeping data private and secure is a key part of any online business operations tapping into the cloud. Google Cloud prioritized these needs with the growth of the Security Command Center to ensure you have the control and visibility all companies need to mitigate risks effectively.
Google Cloud offers a number of security solutions, from infrastructure and network security to identity and access management. The Security Command Center is at the heart of their security offerings and ensures a seamless security journey with Google Cloud.
This article will answer:
- What the Security Command Center is
- How the Security Command Center works
- Why use the Security Command Center
- When to use the Security Command Center
What Is the Google Cloud Security Command Center?
The Security Command Center is Google Cloud’s security and risk management platform. It scans every corner of a cloud environment to prevent and detect threats and then generates insights based on findings. Within the Security Command Center, all assets can be viewed together for teams to analyze and assess risks from a single-view dashboard.
The three main Security Command Center cloud scanning capabilities include:
- Container threat detection: Continuously monitors container images, identifying suspicious changes and attempts at remote access. Detects common container runtime attacks and provides alerts via the Security Command Center or Cloud Logging.
- Event threat detection: Offers Cloud Logging for an organization’s Google-deployed services and detects threats using detection logic and Google’s threat intelligence sources. Generates alerts in the Security Command Center and Cloud Logging.
- Web application security: Scans web applications running in Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to uncover common web application vulnerabilities. Crawls applications, exercises user inputs, and tests for vulnerabilities like outdated libraries, mixed content, and cross-site scripting.
How Does the Security Command Center Work?
The Security Command Center offers a centralized view of all your assets in Google Cloud – projects, organizations, applications, and instances – and alerts you to incoming threats and attacks. It also summarizes security risks for each asset into reports called security findings (which can also include results from your team or third-party sources).
The asset discovery tool – which runs at least once a day automatically and allows for manual scanning – lets you see an asset’s entire history, revealing any changes in your cloud environment or unauthorized modifications.
Through alerts, you can detect security changes and scan for sensitive data to detect vulnerabilities and security anomalies. You can also see which cloud storage buckets are publicly accessible or if users outside your designated domain or Google Cloud organization have access to your assets.
Why Use the Security Command Center?
The Security Command Center gives the insights, flexibility, and visibility teams need to target and mitigate security risks effectively.
The SCC offers in-depth insight into application and data risk so that teams can identify and respond to threats before they result in business damage or loss. It also helps you to gauge the overall health of cloud resources across your organization and report on and maintain compliance with continuous compliance monitoring.
The SCC integrates with other Google Cloud Security tools and workflows, including Web Security Scanner and Cloud Data Loss. Third-party solutions, like CloudQuest and McAfee, can also be integrated easily.
Ongoing discovery scans in the SCC provide visibility into Google Cloud assets across the organization. You can quickly find out any asset’s history, where sensitive data is located, or how firewall rules are configured.
When to Use the Security Command Center
Whether you have questions about what services are currently in use or the images running on your VMs, use the Security Command Center when you need to know:
- Your deployment history
- The total number of projects
- How many projects are new
- What resources are deployed
- What services, like VMs or buckets, are currently in use
- What images are running on your VMs
- What IP addresses are open to the public
- How to organize, annotate, search, select, filter, and sort across assets, findings, and security marks
Securing data is the number one priority for most security teams. Qwinix’s Cloud Security experts offer Security Command Center implementation as part of our Secure Landing Zone Setup solution.
Already using Google Cloud? As a proud Google Cloud Platform Partner, we offer ongoing security support and optimization services to confidently and securely manage your cloud environment. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more.
Read next: Why Google Cloud Platform for Security?