What do you need to know about Cloud Security in 2022?

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94% of the business enterprises use the cloud. It leads to huge threats in security to companies using the cloud.

Cloud security is a cybersecurity field that specializes in protecting the security of cloud computing systems. This includes data confidentiality and security across online-based infrastructure, applications, and platforms. 

Protecting these systems requires the efforts of cloud providers and their customers, whether used by individuals, small businesses, or businesses. The cloud provider hosts the service on the server over an always-on internet connection. 

Because their business relies on customer trust, they use cloud security techniques to keep their customer data private and secure. However, cloud security is also partially in the hands of the customer. Understanding both aspects is important for a healthy cloud security solution.

At its core, cloud security is composed of the following categories:

  • Data security
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Governance (policies on threat prevention, detection, and mitigation)
  • Data retention (DR) and business continuity (BC) planning
  • Legal compliance

Cloud security may look like legacy IT security, but this framework actually requires a different approach. Before we dive deeper, let’s first look at what cloud security is.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security is a set of technologies, protocols, and best practices that protect cloud computing environments, applications running in the cloud, and data stored in the cloud. Protecting cloud services begins with understanding what exactly you need to protect and the aspects of your system that you need to manage. 

Cloud Security

In summary, backend development to protect against vulnerabilities is largely in the hands of cloud service providers. Beyond choosing a security-conscious provider, the most important thing customers need to focus on is proper service configuration and secure usage habits. In addition, customers must ensure that all end-user hardware and networks are properly protected.

The main objective of cloud security is to secure the data, regardless of your responsibilities:

  • Physical networks — routers, electrical power, cabling, climate controls, etc.
  • Data storage — hard drives, etc.
  • Data servers — core network computing hardware and software
  • Computer virtualization frameworks — virtual machine software, host machines, and guest machines
  • Operating systems (OS) — software that houses
  • Middleware — application programming interface (API) management,
  • Runtime environments — execution and upkeep of a running program
  • Data — all the information stored, modified, and accessed
  • Applications — traditional software services (email, tax software, productivity suites, etc.)
  • End-user hardware — computers, mobile devices, etc.

Also, Read, Secure your Cloud and On-premise Infrastructure with Open-source tools>>

How is Cloud Security different from others?

Traditional IT security has evolved significantly with the move to cloud-based computing. The cloud model is more convenient, but always-on connections require a new way of thinking to stay secure. Cloud security as a modern cybersecurity solution differs from older IT models in many ways.

Data storage

The biggest difference is that older IT models relied heavily on on-premises data storage. Organizations have long recognized that building all IT frameworks in-house for fine-grained custom security controls is costly and inflexible.

Cloud-based frameworks have helped reduce the cost of developing and maintaining systems, but they have also taken some control away from users.

Scaling speed

Similarly, cloud security requires special attention when expanding enterprise IT systems. Cloud-centric infrastructure and apps are highly modular and can be quickly mobilized.

This feature allows the system to adapt consistently to organizational changes but raises concerns when the need for organizational upgrades and convenience exceeds the ability to keep up with security.

End-user system interfacing

For both organizations and individual users, cloud systems are also connected to many other systems and services that need to be secured.

Permissions should be maintained from the end user’s device level to the software level to the network level. In addition, vendors and users should be aware of vulnerabilities that can be caused by insecure setup and system access behavior.

Proximity to other networked data and systems

Since the cloud system is a persistent link between the cloud provider and all its users, this large network can even endanger the provider itself. In a networked environment, one weak device or component can be exploited to infect the remaining devices.

Cloud providers face threats from the many end-users they interact with, whether they offer data storage or other services. Additional responsibility for network security rests with the vendor who shipped the product solely on the end-user system, not on its own. 

Solving most cloud security issues means that both users and cloud providers need to be proactive in their role in cybersecurity, both in personal and business environments.

Risks of cloud security

The biggest risk with the cloud is that there is no perimeter. Traditional cyber security focuses on protecting the perimeter, but cloud environments are highly connected which means insecure APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and account hijacks can pose real problems. Faced with cloud computing security risks, cyber security professionals need to shift to a data-centric approach. 

Interconnectedness also poses problems for networks. Malicious actors often breach networks through compromised or weak credentials. Once a hacker manages to make a landing, they can easily expand and use poorly protected interfaces in the cloud to locate data on different databases or nodes. 

They can even use their own cloud servers as a destination where they can export and store any stolen data. Security needs to be in the cloud, not just protecting access to your cloud data. 

Third-party storage of your data and access via the internet each pose their own threats as well. If for some reason those services are interrupted, your access to the data may be lost. For example, a telephone network outage can mean that you cannot access the cloud at critical times. 

Alternatively, a power outage can affect the data center where the data is stored and the data can be permanently lost. Such confusion can have long-term implications. 

A recent power outage at the Amazon Cloud Data Facility has damaged some of our customers’ data due to hardware damage to their servers. This is a good example of why you need a local backup of at least some of your data and applications.