Cloud security refers to the technologies, policies, controls, and services that protect cloud data, applications, and infrastructure from threats. The Shared Responsibility Model identifies the cloud provider as responsible for the security, maintenance and management of their infrastructure, compute and storage. Whereas, the cloud consumer is responsible for securing their own cloud assets. These assets could include workloads, applications, and data in the cloud.
While cloud providers offer many security features and services, supplemental cloud security solutions aid in both security and compliance. This combination protects the cloud environment from breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks.
Cloud computing is the delivery of hosted services, including software, hardware, and storage, over the Internet. Today, many are steering away from on-premises infrastructure in favor of cloud computing. This migration is due to the cloud’s innovative, agile, and flexible nature.
The benefits of rapid deployment, flexibility, low up-front costs, and scalability, make cloud computing a great approach. It also helps organizations gain a strong digital presence, and position themselves for a successful future. However, even with these exciting benefits and services, new cloud security challenges emerge.
According to a Gartner cloud adoption survey, 81% of those on the public cloud were using more than one provider. Why is this important? Well, multicloud deployments can make it difficult as each comes with its own set of features and security measures.
In the Smarter with Gartner article “Why Organizations Choose a MultiCloud Strategy,” Gartner analyst, Michael Warrilow, suggests that it is best to take it slow when adopting a multi-cloud strategy.
“There are many nuances between platforms and trying to build services in more than one simultaneously is challenging” .
For those adopting a cloud-first strategy and leveraging multiple clouds, it is important to centralize visibility into cloud traffic, user activity, potential security risks, and policy violations. This helps to quickly detect and prevent security threats. Furthermore, it helps identify compliance issues and security gaps that are often difficult to manage with agile software development practices such as DevOps.
To overcome this, organizations must have, and maintain, strong, up-to-date privacy and security requirements to meet these regulations, especially when they are ever-changing.
Visibility into cloud environments is necessary to ensure compliance, resolve governance issues, and mitigate threats. Organizations must strive to have the same level of visibility into the cloud that was available for on-premises infrastructures. Look for enabling tools and controls to view and monitor traffic as it flows within, and throughout, cloud environments.
Agree upon a cloud incident mitigation plan for rapid and efficient response. This can minimize the impact of potential cloud security breaches for organizations. Organizations must prepare for and mitigate, cyber attacks in the cloud. It is also important to implement cyber threat intelligence as part of the mitigation plan to prevent future cloud security incidents.
Failure to comply with regulations, or resulting violations, could cost millions of dollars. While cloud service providers must be compliant with standards and regulations, including HIPAA, GDPR, CIS and PCI-DSS, organizations are also responsible for cloud compliance.
Continuously monitoring compliance posture is key to ensuring that the data stored in the cloud is secure and compliant. To aid in compliance, CIS Cloud Security Benchmarks are great to guide best practices and help securely configure cloud environments.
The cloud landscape continues to evolve. Staying informed on these changes and how they impact your organization is critical. By having a thorough understanding of your security needs, you can build and maintain a robust cloud security posture. This will help support business growth, as well as prevent breaches and protect your customers.
The steps outlined above will aid organizations as they shift to a cloud-focused approach. It is important to create an incident mitigation plan; improve cloud visibility; and ensure compliance. By following these steps and leveraging supplemental solutions, you can empower your business.