In general, the term cloud security refers to ways that the applications, data, and infrastructures are protected in cloud computing. The exact nature of cloud security, which tools are used, what protections are prioritized and other basics will vary not only according to the needs of the end-user but also according to the type of cloud environment. These are all factors that we will take a closer look at in the following post so that you can gain a better understanding of cloud security and how it affects your business.
The Main Goals of Cloud Security
Ultimately, all cloud security is designed with the same goals in mind:
- Keep data and systems safe
- Provide ways to view and understand the current status of security
- Provide the ability to trace the source of events and respond quickly
- Alert relevant parties of breaches or other unusual activity
How these goals are achieved can be impacted by the type of cloud environment.
Different Types of Cloud Environments
Public clouds pools virtual resources to provide a technology that is available to multiple users. Typically, a public cloud is managed by a third-party and provides automated features and self-service functions so that users can easily gain access. One of the big advantages of public clouds is that they are highly scalable, which is perfect for users who may experience frequent and unpredictable changes in demand.
With private clouds, everything is designed with the end-user in mind and any necessary hardware is located and managed on-premise. While all cloud environments include certain administrative controls, private clouds offer additional layers of management. This allows administrators to track use, recover data, and monitor integration. Private clouds can also make it easier to control access to different areas of the cloud.
Finally, a hybrid cloud uses both environments. For many businesses, this combination allows for a smoother transition to cloud technology. We may also see it be used more in the future as IoT devices require more computing power closer to where the actual device is housed. This trend has been dubbed “edge computing.”
Common Threats and Solutions to Cloud Security
Some businesses have been hesitant to make the switch to cloud computing because they are under the impression that cloud computing is somehow more vulnerable. While cloud security does require diligence, it is subject to many of the same problems that typical IT security faces. With the right approach, you can continue to enjoy a secure network. Here are some of the most common threats to be aware of when designing cloud security and solutions that can be implemented to minimize threats:
- Access. All three types of cloud environments offer more connection than traditional models. This creates more places for traffic to penetrate defenses. Access threats can be the result of malicious users, weak credential management, and deliberate account hacks.
The Solution: In order to protect access and make sure that only authorized users have access to data is to require strong passwords and a multi-step authentication process, encrypt all data and enhance security at every level of the network.
- Data loss and system corruption. Oftentimes, these problems are the result of a dynamic workload that is constantly changing.
The Solution: Design a network that is flexible, scalable, agile, and able to respond quickly as data is transmitted at different speeds and the workload fluctuates.
- Malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). These threats are deliberately designed to identify vulnerabilities in the cloud network allowing malicious parties to achieve data breaches.
The Solution: Realistically, there is no easy solution to these types of threats. Hackers will continue to try to find new ways to access data. That is why it is important to create a system that will alert administrators when there is unusual activity and allow teams to respond quickly.
Cloud computing can expand your capabilities without compromising security, but you will need to put a deliberate security plan in place. Once your cloud security has been improved, you will need to continue to monitor the system and make adjustments as devices and users are added, workloads change and new threats are identified. At Prancer, we can help you better understand your current cloud security, identify gaps and vulnerabilities, and help you improve security so that you can get the most out of your cloud computing. Contact us today with any questions and our team can help you get started.