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What is Cloud Security? Overview

Adrian Marszalek 74580312c1
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17/03/2022 |

6 min read

Adrian Marszałek,

Dominika Reszke

Along with the number of digital initiatives worldwide, the cloud computing market grows rapidly, making cloud security a key issue. The transition to the cloud is a fact, and being safe in this area is something more and more people pay huge attention to – apart from factors such as apps’ usability and overall user experience.

What can you do in the cloud, in detail? Some of the most typical use cases include file storage, data backups and archiving disaster recovery, Big Data analytics, as well as developing and testing applications and software. Of course, most of them refer to corporate use (e.g. CRM, ERP, and other SaaS examples) but average people do a lot of things in the cloud, too, with communicating and social networking topping the list.

By adopting various cloud security solutions, companies can enjoy significant money savings and adapt to the challenges of running a business in the contemporary world better. But apart from being cost-efficient and flexible, using cloud services is what gives many business advantages such as facilitating collaboration and mobility, getting valuable cloud-based business insights, as well as increased security (!), loss prevention, and quality control, to name but a few advantages.

But going to the cloud, and storing a huge amount of data there, does not only entail advantages but also a new set of security risks. Since users want to have access to various cloud services at all times and from any location, safety issues have become in the limelight due to various data breaches, scams, unauthorized traffic, and other cybersecurity concerns. Some data breaches, like the Capital One breach, affected dozens of millions of people.

Cloud computing is convenient and time-saving, but may also be dangerous as files, photos, all kinds of messages sent via social media as well as sensitive data can get into the wrong hands. And that’s where cloud security comes to play.

 

Table of contents:

  1. Cloud security in brief
  2. Cloud app security best practices
  3. Cloud security vulnerabilities
  4. Cloud security boiled down

Cloud security in brief

The limitless amount of data to be stored makes the decision about moving to the cloud easy for many businesses. According to Flexera, 94% of enterprises are already there, using the cloud one way or another. But cybercriminals are aware of the cloud solutions’ growing popularity, too, and try to make use of it. The scale and severity of cyberattacks are truly terrifying, with an average total cost per data breach worldwide accounting for a staggering 4.24 million U.S. dollars in 2021.

On the other hand, switching to the cloud resulted in security improvement, according to 94% of businesses who did so. But enhancing security and improving stability can only be achieved if the best cloud security practices are applied.

In short, cloud security comes down to several essential elements that include:

  • data security
  • sufficient visibility of the cloud infrastructure
  • authentication, identity, and access management
  • security automation
  • due diligence
  • compliance with local policies regarding cloud security
  • prevention controls

Cloud app security best practices

In recent years, cloud computing has taken the world by storm, and what came next is the growing concern about security issues. There are many cloud security solutions to choose from, and a few cloud app security best practices are especially worth mentioning.

1. Double-check before you choose

With thousands of cloud applications or workspace platforms available at hand, it’s easy to assume that since everybody uses it, it has to be safe. No, it doesn’t, and taking security for granted may be a grave mistake. So before you make a final decision regarding what elements (e.g. which cloud provider) include in the company’s cloud environment, think twice and check the solution you’re thinking about adopting very carefully.

2. Train your staff regularly

According to data provided by IBM, a staggering 95% of data breaches are to be caused by human error in 2022. In detail, a third (34%) of them is to originate from phishing scams and a fifth (19%) - from just clicking on a link with ransomware. And because it’s very easy to fall into a trap like this, organizations must keep an eye on what’s new in the area of cloud computing security and how scammers try to bypass security defenses. Cloud apps and servers should also be updated regularly.

3. Provide strong cloud security controls

Improving the awareness of cloud policies and security is always a good idea as they account for over half (52%) of misconfiguration incidents most companies encounter. But almost the same percentage (49%) of such incidents occurs due to the lack of adequate controls. For this reason, the right control measures should be introduced in order to protect the cloud against vulnerabilities on one hand and limit the harmful effects of the breaches on the other.

Other vital cloud app security best practices include using encrypted cloud storage, threat monitoring, identity access management, implementing API security measures, and multi-factor authentication. It’s good to mix solutions like perimeter and internal firewalls with strong physical security. Cloud security managed services, where an external provider cares about things like security monitoring, technical support and reporting may also be a good option here.

Cloud security vulnerabilities

When talking about cloud security, it’s good to shed light on cloud security vulnerabilities. The way this issue is being handled may be crucial and tip the scales in whether an organization survives or gets devastated by security-related flaws. Undoubtedly, security vulnerabilities in the cloud can have grave consequences so it’s essential to keep an eye on them.

Some of the cloud security vulnerabilities or risks include:

  • risks associated with using APIs
  • misconfiguration of cloud services
  • shared tenancy
  • limited visibility of data storage
  • shared security responsibilities
  • inability to test CSP’s security measures

Cloud security boiled down

Modern managers and business owners, aware of the advantages such a move can bring, move many of their activities and resources to the cloud. They hope to gain a competitive edge thanks to it, and they certainly may get it – if they think about cloud network security seriously enough. Otherwise, they can be in big trouble, as data breaches and other security issues can cause huge reputation as well as financial losses to an entity.

As for cloud security risks, all four types of cloud storage services, including public, private, and hybrid cloud storage, as well as community cloud used by multiple members of the same community, can be affected. For this reason, both enterprise-level applications and public cloud services providers should have cloud security in mind at all times. Yes, it is very costly but cloud network security breaches take even more financial resources.

If you want to avoid data loss, malware infections, and other types of security breaches within your organization by introducing effective cloud security services and solutions, contact us now.

Rated: 5.0 / 1 opinions
Adrian Marszalek 74580312c1

Adrian Marszałek

Cybersecurity geek specializing in offensive cybersecurity (penetration testing) as well as physical penetration testing (controlled non-destructive break-ins into premises). In spare time amateur wildlife photographer.

Avatar Female 7c9e57b38c

Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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