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Cloud Security

Cloud Security and it’s Risks

Even though the cloud is promoted as more secure than ever today, companies are experiencing an increasing number of data breaches.

Introduction

“Cloud” refers to the hosted resources delivered to a user via software. Cloud computing infrastructures—along with all the data being processed—are dynamic, scalable, and portable. Cloud security, also known as cloud computing security, refers to the procedures and technology of protecting cloud computing environments, applications, data, information and infrastructure.

Not only is ensuring good data security critical to the relationships of organizations with their customers, organizations must also adhere to a growing list of regulations that require them to protect data privacy and keep customer data secure. Organizations need a cloud environment that is Secure by Design.

There are three general models for cloud deployment in an organization:

Public Cloud is a platform that uses the standard cloud computing model to provide resources such as virtual machines, applications or storage which are available to users remotely. Independent, third-party providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, own and maintain such resources that customers can access over the internet. Public cloud users share these resources and this model is known as a multi-tenant environment.

Private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture. A private cloud is a single-tenant environment, meaning the organization using it (the tenant) does not share resources with other users. This makes private clouds highly desirable to organizations that have strict compliance requirements or demand absolute control over their data location, such as government agencies or financial institutions.

Hybrid Cloud is a blend of public and private clouds. It tries to leverage the benefits from both the cloud platforms, allowing you to run your application in the most appropriate location. This is a more complex cloud solution in that the organization must manage multiple platforms and determine where data is stored. An example of a hybrid cloud solution is an organization that wants to keep confidential information secured on their private cloud, but make more general, customer-facing content on a public cloud.

Cloud is further classified on the basis of service being offered:

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that delivers applications over the internet. In a PaaS model, a cloud provider delivers hardware and software tools, usually those needed for application development, to its users as a service.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. In an IaaS model, a third party provider hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on the behalf of its users.

For the increasingly complex cloud migration across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, Gartner came up with 3 different categories for cloud security tools:

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) are on-premises, or cloud-based security policy enforcement points, placed between cloud service consumers and cloud service providers to combine and interject enterprise security policies as the cloud-based resources are accessed.

Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP) is defined by host-centric solutions that target the unique requirements of server workload protection in modern hybrid data center architectures.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) automatically assesses your cloud environment against best practice and security violations to provide the steps required to remediate them – often through automation.

Cloud Security Risks:


The number of cloud (and overall cybersecurity) data breaches is rising precipitously. During the first six months of 2019, data breaches increased by 54% compared to the same period in 2018.1 Nearly 31 million records were exposed in the 13 biggest data breaches2 alone.

A survey by McAfee illustrates the point. It found that only 36% of vendors can currently enforce data loss prevention (DLP) in the cloud and only 33% can control how users collaborate and share data in the cloud. Cloud customers are thus left to fend off the wide range of security threats that currently imperil customer data in the cloud themselves.

How to mitigate the risks?

Cloud risk can be attributed to three things: misunderstanding the Shared Responsibility Model, deploying resources that aren’t correctly configured, or failing to manage security controls at pace with the rapid innovation common in the cloud.


To fulfill their security responsibilities as part of the Shared Responsibility Model, organizations need tools that provide:
1) Visibility into activity within cloud applications.
2) Detailed analytics on usage to prevent data risk and compliance violations.
3) Context-aware policy controls to drive enforcement and remediate when violations occur.
4) Real Time threat intelligence on known and unknown threats to detect and prevent new malware insertion points.


In the face of dynamic threats, organizations need purpose-built tools that can rapidly discover cloud threats in real time, understand their severity, and immediately act through automated playbooks. Furthermore, by adding security earlier in the development cycle, organizations can shift left and further reduce their threat exposure.

Conclusion:

Cloud data security becomes increasingly important as we move our devices, data centers, business processes, and more to the cloud. Selecting the right cloud security solution for your business is of utmost importance if you want to get the best from the cloud and ensure Enterprise Security and protection from unauthorized access, data breaches and other threats.

If you need any help in knowing what kind of cloud security solutions would be suitable for your business and how it will protect your organization from online breachers, you could visit our website.

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