What You Need to Know About Cloud Security Solutions

Posted on September 10, 2020 Security
Online safety has become a way of life. Protect yourself online by reading about everything you need to know about cloud security solutions.

If you’re new to the cloud, the transition can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn about your new cloud environment. The most important is the cloud security solutions your service provider offers. If you don’t have a secure cloud environment, all your data is at risk—and so is your entire business. 

In this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about cloud security. Including its challenges, and its best practices. Keep reading to learn more. 

What Exactly Is Cloud Security?

Cloud computing security is also known as cloud security. It’s a secure system involving a set of policies, procedures, controls, and technologies. All of these things work together to protect your cloud-based system. That means your business’s infrastructure and data.

In other words, it provides information security.

Cloud security is essential to any business that utilizes cloud services. Cloud security measures protect both your business’s data and your customer’s private information. It also supports regulatory compliance and allows you to set authentication rules. 

When you sign up with a cloud service provider, you’ll share the security responsibilites. That means you can configure its rules to fit the exact needs of your business. It also means that you’re expected to adhere to regulatory compliance.

Cloud security protects you from several consequences. That includes the financial, reputational, and legal consequences of data breaches and data loss. 

Not all providers or solutions offer the same quality in protective benefits. That’s why you must put effort into exploring data security issues and solutions in cloud computing. 

Who Is Responsible For What?

When we talk about shared responsibilities, we’re talking about three separate categories. Those categories include the responsibilities of the provider, customer, and service model. The service models offered in cloud security solutions pertain to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

The provider and the customer will always have the same basic set of responsibilities. The provider is always responsible for safeguarding the infrastructure. That includes accessibility, patching, and the configuration of the physical hosts. It also includes the network involving data storage, resources, and the computation of information. 

The customer is always responsible for managing users and the users’ access privileges. That means safeguarding all cloud accounts from unauthorized access. it also means using encryption to protect cloud-based data assets and maintaining compliance. 

Any extra responsibilities outside the basic parameters will vary depending on the service model. 

The Challenges of Cloud Security Solutions

Public and private cloud hosting has different security “realities.” For example, the public cloud sphere doesn’t have clear-cut boundaries. This creates a lot more security challenges. Especially when you integrate more modern applications and approaches such as serverless architecture.

This doesn’t mean that cloud computing isn’t secure. Most cloud providers have access to some very advanced security tools and resources. But, to mitigate the risks of moving over to the cloud, it’s essential that you’re aware of these challenges.   

Loss of Visibility and Tracking

Cloud computing allows you to access your network of cloud services through a range of devices, departments, and geographies. However, it’s a very complex setup. It can cause you to lose visibility of your infrastructure access if you don’t have the right tools in place.

That means you could lose sight of who’s accessing what data, how many people are using your cloud services, and what they’re uploading or downloading. You can’t protect what you can’t see, which increases your risk of a data breach and data loss.

Complex Environments

Managing security over multi-cloud environments creates a whole new world of complications. You need the appropriate tools to seamlessly manage your infrastructure. This is especially true if your organization branches out geographically.

failure to manage one or more cloud environments has severe consequences. It can result in data breaches, data loss, and compliance violations. It can also leave your organization extremely vulnerable to internal and external threats. 

Cloud Compliance Violations

Speaking of cloud compliance violations, when you move to the cloud, you must adhere to a set of strict compliance requirements. Most of the compliance regulations require your organization to know where your data is kept, who has access to it, how it’s protected, and how it’s processed. Other regulations require that your cloud service provider has specific compliance credentials.

Whether you’re careless with the process of transferring data or you’ve chosen a service provider without the required credentials, you’re at extreme risk for non-compliance. Non-compliance puts you at risk for severe legal and financial repercussions.  

Threat Vulnerability

Some of your greatest security risks tend to be your employees, contractors, and business partners. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are bad intentions behind these threats. More often than not, threat issues come from a lack of training and negligence.

Additionally, you’ll have hackers to contend with. Public cloud environments are highly attractive to hackers who make a living by exploiting vulnerable cloud infrastructures. Once you move to the cloud, you’re potentially up against Malware, Account Takeover, Zero-Day, and other malicious outside threats.  

Lack of Internal Structure and Strategy

The misconfiguration of your cloud services is another potentially harmful risk. If you don’t set up your cloud infrastructure correctly, it puts precious data at risk of public exposure, manipulation, and even deletion. The most common culprit is not changing your default security and access management settings. 

Another culprit includes incorrect access management which is what gives unauthorized individuals access to confidential data. Additionally, you have to worry about unsecured Application User Interfaces (APIs). Integrating external-facing APIs creates a gateway to offering unauthorized access to hackers and cybercriminals looking to exploit your vulnerabilities.  

Contractual Breaches

Any contractual partnerships you have will create limitations on how shared data is used, stored, and who has access to it. There’s a chance that your employees may unknowingly transfer restricted data to the cloud without the proper authorization. The result is a breach of contract which could lead to legal recourse.

Always make sure to read the terms and conditions that your cloud service provides. Even if you have the authorization to move certain data over to the cloud, some providers reserve the right to share any data you or your employees upload to their infrastructure. This could also result in a breach of a non-disclosure agreement.

Cloud Security Best Practices

Understanding how to implement cloud security best practices is essential. The first step you can take in protecting your business is ensuring that the responsibilities of both parties are clear. Then you can move on to the following cloud security best practices:

Utilize Data Encryption

When you store and transfer data to and from the cloud, you need to make sure it’s safe and secure. Find out what type of data encryption policies your service provider offers. Everyone in your organization should have a copy of the encryption guidelines.

Establish Data Deletion Policies

At some point, there’s going to be data you have to delete. Whatever the reason may be, you’re going to need to establish data deletion policies for your organization. The data in question must be removed safely while maintaining compliance. 

Manage Your Access Controls

As previously mentioned, sometimes your biggest security threat comes from within your organization. Only those who have the proper clearances should be allowed to access the data your business stores in the cloud. By managing your access controls, you can assign access rights to specific users, preventing low-level employees from accessing high-level data. 

Monitor For Security Threats

Keeping your cloud environment secure means catching and preventing attacks before they happen. Threats such as Malware can hide within your cloud environment waiting for an opportunity to strike. By consistently monitoring your cloud environment, you can locate any hidden threats and remove them.

Carry Out Routine Testing

Security gaps can crop up anywhere within your infrastructure. When left unnoticed, these gaps leave the door open to all kinds of security threats. You should plan to perform penetration tests on a regular basis to find any gaps within your system. 

Many cloud providers perform routine penetration tests themselves, but you should always run your own as a back-up.  

Train Your Employees Thoroughly

Any employee can make a mistake in your cloud environment. When they do, it not only creates security gaps but puts your business at risk for non-compliance violations. Take the time to train all of your employees in cloud security best practices to avoid any internal or external threats. 

Protect Your Cloud Environment

Cloud-based systems and cloud security solutions should go hand and hand. Net Depot understands the importance of keeping your cloud environment safe and secure. We’ve helped several enterprises with their cloud security solutions for over 20 years.

Contact us today to talk with one of our teammates about how we can assist you with your cloud security. 

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