In today’s advanced technology, it isn’t easy to find the best resources to secure your environment. Even the popular security frameworks, such as the Center for Internet Security (CIS), Cloud Benchmarks, and Azure Security Benchmarks, plus various benchmarks, have their particular applicability to different cloud environments.
Many companies migrate more of their data and organizational structures to what we call the cloud. This cloud security provides tasks with multiple levels of control in a network of infrastructure. Its purpose is to have continuity and protection for these organizational structures. Thousands of organizations are conducting their own cloud security assessment every day. Thus, it is considered a significant part of creating environmental works for companies around the world.
This article will guide and give you knowledge about the pillars of cloud security.
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud computing security or cloud security is a broad set of policies, technologies, applications, and controls utilized to protect data, services, virtualized IP, and other infrastructures associated with cloud computing.
Importance of Cloud Security
Cloud security is vital in every organization. Almost all companies are using cloud computing in one form or another. With this, as they move more data and applications to the cloud, security, governance, and compliance are still a concern.
High sensitive business information and intellectual properties are still the main concern since accidental leaks, or cyber threats can still happen. Cloud security has a component that can protect data and business content such as customer orders, design documents, and financial records. Leakage prevention and data theft are crucial for maintaining client trust. Protection of assets that plays a role in your competitive advantage also is significant.
A robust cloud security posture can help organizations in achieving the benefits of cloud computing. It includes the following:
- Lower upfront costs
- Decreased ongoing operational and administrative costs
- Ease of scaling
- Higher rate of reliability and availability
- A new way of working
Cloud Security For Content
Companies are highly dependent on cloud storage and processing. With this, CIOs have their reservations for content sharing with the involvement of a third party. With this kind of apprehension, abandoning the perimeter security model will give up their only way of controlling access.
Cloud service providers or the CSPs have upgraded their security expertise and toolsets for the last decade. Part of their service includes ensuring the protected boundaries between tenants. One example of this is that the customer will not be able to view data from another customer. In line with this, they also develop procedures and technology that can prevent employees from viewing customer data, which is also part of company policy.
CSPs are usually hiring experts and making investments in advanced technology. They also do some consultations with customers to help them understand cloud security more. The CSPs are acutely aware that a single incident can have an impact on the finances and brand reputation of the customers. Having this kind of situation, they need to have great lengths to secure data and applications.
The assessment of the multi-cloud environments has led to a framework of pillars that will guide cloud security works. These pillars ensure broad coverage of the security controls and practices among the cloud providers, implementations, and services.
The resultant pillars are the following:
- Data Protection
- Applications and Application Programming Interfaces
- Infrastructure Security
- Identity and Access Management
- Security Operations
This pillar deals more with data security that is at rest and data in transit. The protection of cloud environments with file support, block log, and other records are vital since they hold various data storage capabilities. Every variance that comes with data transmission within and through the cloud has their own analysis for the security being utilized for the said transmission. In line with this are the continuous tasks in between the different service types.
Key management is also crucial for the security landscape. It also includes the areas wherein built-in mechanisms cannot be used due to regulatory requirements.
Applications and APIs
The core of the environment is the typical application or services that are being provided. Standard assessment models are said to be found on APIs, web applications, and mobile applications. These all provide traditional context, but they have layering micro-services and are in serverless technology. With these characteristics, they can introduce security considerations that cannot be easily identified during the course of the application penetration tests. In a common sales platitude, microservices and serverless architectures are provided with immunity to protect and secure issues. Even though the security issues differ from what we were used to experience, they still do exist.
Infrastructure Security is considered to be the most traditional among the pillars. This pillar can assess the actual cloud computing resources’ technical controls and the VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). It also takes account of the assets that are included in the cloud environment. Both the scope and the assessment of this pillar are traditional. VPCs security control, compute resources, and the “asset” concept in cloud environments are vague, leading them to have unique considerations for an adequate assessment.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM is the most complicated in the cloud environment due to its web interface, command line, inter-service, intra-service, third party access, etc. From developers to administrators, networking, infrastructure, automation all of them require different access. The management for the hundreds of potential access options from a large organization is not that easy. It is way more difficult when you try to integrate it with third-party tools for product deployment. Thus, proper management of the IAM ecosystem is required for a thorough understanding of the technologies.
The other pillars can help in the improvement of an organization’s cloud environment security posture. However, they only address the current state to have continuous security, proper controls, and response actions. Though these considerations can be similar between the on-prem and cloud-based resources, evidence suggests that it is not really the case.
This pillar can assess if the security operations for cloud environments are enough even with its risk tolerance. With the proper aggregation and distillation of the different security architecture benchmarks and frameworks, comprehensive security coverage is still being ensured to the cloud provider.
Benefits of Cloud Security
Cloud computing can attain its benefits by partnering with advanced private cloud computing providers (without even jeopardizing company security).
These benefits include the following:
Protection against Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks: These DDoS are usually on the rise. Cloud security, however, has measures to stop vast amounts of traffic. Monitoring, absorbing, and dispersion of the attacks can minimize the said risk.
Secured Data: With the increasing issues of data breaches, cloud computing security is one of the best options to solve this given situation. It has security protocols that can be placed to protect any sensitive information and transactions. A third party can be prevented from tampering a data without hindering data transmission.
Enhanced Regulatory Compliance: A top cloud computing security can help companies from regulated industries to have enhanced infrastructures for protection and data compliance. They can maintain and manage personal and financial data.
Flexible: You can have flexibility in avoiding server crashes during high traffic periods. Thus, when the episode of increased traffic is over, you can go back to reduce costs. This is possible when you scale up your cloud solution. A cloud computing solution can provide security even when you are in a turning up or a turning down capacity.
Availability and Constant Support: Cloud computing security solutions can give you constant support for your company’s assets. It can help you monitor your assets 24/7 and build redundancies that are significant in ensuring that you are always online to your company’s website or applications.
Having a top-level cloud computing security solution allows you to have the reliable security that you need when conducting a business in the global market. Through advanced cybersecurity components that are combined with physical infrastructure, a comprehensive, secured solution to your cloud computing needs can be achieved.
A cloud security assessment can help companies in keeping their public cloud safe for their business contents. With this, business owners can now reduce their stress since cloud security can protect even the highly sensitive business information that the company possesses.
One of the principles of security measures must always be kept in mind, that is: measures must not be rigid so that users will be able to find workarounds for their job. In line with this, the more the security controls made cloud computing solutions complicated to use, the more it will be prone to an insecure system. Thus, experts advise that users are considered to be the weakest in a security system.
Because of the crucial role of the users, it is an excellent choice to partner with experts who can design security that is beneficial to the user. It comes along with the human factors and guardrails for appropriate behavior.