Adopting a cloud infrastructure is one of the best things for digital transformation. But with the advantages come the security risks.
Currently, leading enterprises are speedily transitioning to cloud-based environments like IaaS, Paas, or SaaS computing models. This is causing major business infrastructure changes, scaling applications and services.
Like any new implementation, the cloud also requires an assessment of security risks. As enterprises progress toward digitalization, leaders need new tech tools. With these come new security challenges.
So, with higher cloud adoption, companies need to be aware of the security challenges it poses. Enterprises need complete transparency in the visibility and control of security risks when they adopt the cloud.
What is Cloud Security?
IBM defines cloud security as,
“Cloud security deals with technologies and procedures designed to detect external and internal threats to business security. As the digitalization of businesses is on the rise, leaders need cloud security. They must integrate tools and services to mitigate high risks and threats.”
Deloitte’s study Deloitte Center for Integrated Research says that
There is not enough scope to invest in the security of the cloud infrastructure. This is fast becoming a big threat to the digital transformation of enterprises.
Some of the most common ones are:
- Loss of data
- Insider cloud network threats
- Compliance breaches
- Credential thefts
- Data violations
- Contractual violations
- Unstable APIs
- Shadow IT
- Social engineering
The threats that organizations that risk security attacks on their cloud infrastructure face are:
- Lack of visibility: Losing track of how the cloud data is used, both externally and internally.
- Shadow IT and access management: Restricting access points across on-point systems becomes challenging in the cloud. This is dangerous for companies that allow unfiltered access to cloud services from any device or network.
- Misconfigurations: Misconfigured assets are the most severe cloud security threats. They leave default administrative passwords open by not creating appropriate privacy settings.
Statista’s report, Biggest Security Threats in Public Clouds Worldwide 2020-2022, mentions that
However, the rising cloud security threats can be controlled with appropriate measures.
Companies can employ proper policies, build strategies, and follow the latest practices. Investing in the right security tools is crucial to ensure the cloud is secure for the processes and data.
The solutions will detect security breaches and malware attacks as they become common cloud threats.
In this space, there are several cloud solutions available for enterprises. The important ones are as follows:
- Identity and access management (IAM)
- Security information and event management (SIEM)
- Business continuity and disaster recovery
- Data loss prevention (DLP)
Now, it becomes important for enterprises to understand the security constructs in the cloud. It includes implementing tools, best practices, strategies, and technology adoption. This will protect cloud-driven workloads, thus improving its adoption journey.
Best Practices for Cloud Security
Focusing on the crucial practices to keep the cloud secure is extremely important.
1. Secure the Perimeter
Attacks such as data exposure, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection are some severe cloud security concerns. Enterprises should focus on securing network perimeters with the help of a web application firewall (WAF). It will help to detect and protect against cloud threats.
All cloud providers ensure DDoS protection tools that function as defensive systems and protection tools. These are usually integrated with applications and business systems.
2. Monitor for Misconfigurations
To reduce errors and misconfigurations, enterprises should install Cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions into cloud infrastructure.
These solutions add value by evaluating deployments for threats. They are one of the best practices to mitigate cloud threats. These tools also flag deviations in cloud functionalities so leaders can take necessary action.
3. Allow Security Posture Visibility
Enterprises need alert visibility into all security postures and allow proactive security management.
Leading cloud platforms provide advanced CSPM solution that helps in detecting data exfiltration, threats, IAM account hijacks, and data mining. If enterprises have a hybrid cloud system, then they should incorporate customized security posture visibility tools.
4. Implement a Zero-Trust Approach
The approach is a crucial practice for strengthening cloud security. It ensures no trust issues between services on unusual activities, even within the organization’s security perimeter.
The zero Trust approach involves limited communication between services in an application. It allows only authorized identities and users for any cloud communication across the business. It also monitors resources and analyzes for anomalies. For such practices, leaders can adopt native or third-party monitoring and logging tools.
Micro-segmentation is being increasingly practiced while implementing cloud security. The practice’s efficacy will help enterprises deploy the cloud successfully with the necessary security solutions. The solution will have segments according to the cloud’s workload level.
Through micro-segmenting, enterprises can apply flexible security policies to minimize any damage any threat actor could cause by gaining access.
6. Install AI as a service
AI has to play a big role in making the cloud secure and safe in 2024. AI models such as the large language model (LLM) will power ChatGPT in training data for serving security solutions.
With AI-as-a-service through cloud platforms, enterprises get transformative technology to detect infected, siloed, inactive, and unsecured data.
Also Read: Cloud Security Challenges in Metaverse
7. Employ a CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker)
This practice is becoming important among leading enterprises to execute strong cloud security.
A CASB provides an advanced cloud computing security toolset that implements data security policies. It offers ecosystem visibility, meets the latest compliance requirements, and boosts threat identification and protection.
With these best practices, enterprises will need a rock-solid cloud security strategy while using the technology. This makes leaders focus on choosing the cloud service provider carefully.
Due to the rising severity of hackers and their attacks on businesses at any time, enterprises should implement these cloud computing security best practices to enhance the security of their cloud systems.