In the wake of increasing data breaches, modern businesses need to invest in better security infrastructure to manage their data. The cloud has emerged as a viable option for addressing security issues that today’s businesses face.
Despite the pervasiveness of the cloud, it seems that not everyone is comfortable storing their sensitive data off-premise. Some of these organizations have hesitated to move to the cloud on the perception that they aren’t secure since they don’t have total control over their data storage. That’s why cloud security has always been a boardroom agenda.
But what they do not see is that in-house data management has serious risks, too, including office break-ins, fires, floods, and employee error. Actually, this setup is likely to lead to a permanent loss of data. Furthermore, more than half (60%) of cyberattacks are planned and executed by insiders.
Thus, on-site data isn’t as safe as most people would assume. Thankfully, the tide has, so far, turned in favor of cloud security. What organizations need to realize is that the cloud is not just another center. With several security controls supported by proper configurations, the cloud is far more secure than on-premise data centers. In fact, it can eliminate most security concerns.
In this article, we will discuss what cloud security is, including its top benefits. So, let’s get started.
So, What Is Cloud Security?
Cloud security refers to the set of processes, procedures, standards, and technologies that provide information security assurance in the cloud computing space. It addresses both logical and physical security issues across different platforms, software models, and infrastructure.
As you would imagine, the type of cloud computing being used will affect cloud security. The main categories include:
- Public Cloud Services – In this cloud computing model, the IT services are available through the public internet. Usually, a third-party company, such as Amazon, Google Cloud, or Microsoft, entirely owns and manages the infrastructure.
- Private Cloud Services – A private cloud is a system where the cloud infrastructure is designed exclusively for a single organization. In this setup, the organization or a third-party service provider can own the underlying infrastructure.
- Hybrid Cloud Services – In a hybrid cloud, the infrastructure comprises both the on-premises as well as a private or public cloud environment. This setup provides the highest flexibility since applications and data can move between the different cloud environments.
The main difference between traditional security and cloud security is that the latter has evolved to protect sensitive information, rather than just protecting the assets that reside in-house. Therefore, IT departments need to realize that in the cloud security environment, protecting data, devices, and people becomes a combined effort of both the cloud security provider and the organization.
Regrettably, failing to set them up correctly can lead to dire consequences. In a multi-tenant cloud architecture, several users share the same environment, which might attract hackers looking to break into the servers and steal data hosted there. However, such loopholes and exploits are unlikely to surface.
The robust data encryption protocols of a cloud security environment will prevent possible breaches. So, any third-party who wants to eavesdrop or tamper with the system is most likely to encounter a blockade.
With cloud services like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform, even small businesses can now access security tools. This privilege was previously only available to large organizations. These tools include VPNs, firewalls, password managers, among others, that regulate access to data.
Amongst the features that are part of the cloud security environment include:
- Policy management
- Identity management
- Single Sign-on
- Authentication and access management
- Content filtering
- Data protection or replications
Benefits of Cloud Security
1. Accessibility and Reliability
Accessibility is one of the biggest gains of cloud security. An internet cloud infrastructure enables companies to access data anywhere, thus maximizing their enterprise productivity. The cloud computing environment offers the ultimate dependability. With the right security controls, users can safely access applications and data within the cloud no matter what device they are using.
2. Easy Implementation and Access to Expertise
With cloud security, companies will not stress themselves with back-end technicalities, meaning that they can retain the same applications and processes. It isn’t disputable that most organizations only use technology to run their operations, but they are not in the business of technology. So, they may lack the technological savvy to guard their data. Moreover, most small companies might not have the resources to train and deploy staff for on-site data security. Currently, there is an undeniable shortage of qualified cybersecurity personnel.
Most reputable cloud service providers, such as AWS, have enhanced capabilities. They have a large pool of security experts whose job is to protect your data. Apart from employing professionals with relevant credentials, these cloud providers provide training and experiences that surpass what typical firms offer.
3. Coverage and Visibility
Unlike in the past, the cloud infrastructure is now mature. Users can control all resources on the platform using API calls. What this means is that cloud customers enjoy 100 coverage and visibility into security settings, assets, and policies in use.
The cloud enables you to choose from a rich, yet a homogenous set of capabilities and infrastructure. It means that you have more control over the kind of operating system to use in your environment. Some capabilities can enable your security team to validate a pre-defined configuration of systems.
4. Data Security
One of the most pressing concerns of every business in this era is the security of its data. Data breaches and other cyber threats are always on the rise. What is even sadder is that they can devastate a company’s customer loyalty, brand positioning, and revenue.
Today, the cloud has turned out to be secure even for large enterprises with vast amounts of user data. The watershed moment for this awareness happened in 2013 when the CIA, possibly the most security-conscious body in the world, migrated their intelligence activities to Amazon Web Services. The question then was: Why would a top agency, entrusted with national security and intelligence, make such a move? What followed was a series of agencies migrating to the cloud in large numbers.
The robust data encryption technology within the cloud-based security framework minimizes the possibilities of data breaches. These encryptions offer a layered approach, comprising key management, security intelligence, and secure access control.
Most reputable cloud services provide the required freedom to organizations to design how their users will access the data that is stored in the cloud. As you already know, many companies still struggle with threats of internal information theft by workers. So, stronger access controls help to identify and thwart these threats.
5. Efficiency Recovery
Generally, cloud security offers faster and more accurate retrieval of data and applications, making it the most efficient recovery plan. Along with data breaches, information loss can be a worrying concern to any forward-looking company.
So, storing all your data in the cloud guarantees that it will be available when needed. If any of your devices break down, you can easily get it from the cloud. So, cloud-based simplifies data recovery, even after a natural disaster.
6. Less Costly Since No Hardware Is Required
Cloud hosting services keep your overhead technology cost at a minimum, so you can channel extra resources to improving your operations. Cloud customers have the advantage of accessing a high-quality technology at a reduced cost since they share with other customers the expenses of more robust and well-protected technology.
7. Flexibility for Growth
Cloud computing security provides you with the flexibility to add or subtract resources as your needs demand. As your business cloud infrastructure expands, so does your cloud security infrastructure, or at least handle the scaling without exposing your data.
8. Regulatory Compliance
Most cloud security providers usually offer reliable SOC1 and SOC2 certifications to their customers. These certifications ensure regular scrutiny of data and potential vulnerabilities within the system. The cloud providers manage the necessary infrastructure for regulatory compliance. So, organizations can focus on their other business operations without worrying about compliance requirements.
In the modern business environment, only advanced, integrated security solutions can rapidly and manage threats in real-time. Thankfully, migrating to the cloud can deliver efficiency and cost advantages for anyone looking to speed up business growth while reducing their data center footprints. But you should note that as opportunities increase, so do the risks.
So, organizations must assume new responsibilities and design processes to combat a series of unknown threats as they move to the cloud. While cloud customers may not be responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure, they are still responsible for managing information theft through leakage and deletion.
Besides this, organizations need to set up stronger security measures at the device level. These may include installing antivirus programs, VPNs, Mac and PC cleaning software, or even cleaners for Android phones. These tools will not only protect your privacy, but they will also delete junk files and malware, thus optimizing your system for top performance. For more tips on how to speed up your computer, be sure to check Software Tested.