Cloud computing comprises software and services that operate on the Internet instead of on a local computer or a network of on-site servers. Businesses use cloud adoption as a way to improve the scalability of their Internet-based database capabilities while reducing cost and risk. To do this, businesses use cloud computing, which allows them to store, manage, and process essential data on remote servers that are hosted on the Internet. Many industries, such as healthcare, marketing, advertising, retail, finance, and education, can benefit from using the cloud. When moving to the cloud, it’s natural for businesses to worry about the safety of the company and sensitive customer data. There is significant concern about the security of areas such as external data storage, reliance on the internet, lack of control, multi-tenancy, and integration with internal security.
Enterprises find it difficult to move critical applications and sensitive data to public cloud environments without having control over their data center. Enterprises require a cloud solution with effective security and privacy controls over their applications and services, along with security and compliance.
Major cloud security concerns
Privacy and safety across web–based infrastructure, applications, and platforms have become a major concern for enterprises and solution providers. As devices, data centers, business processes, and other assets are rapidly moving to the cloud, ensuring quality cloud security necessitates comprehensive security policies, a security-conscious organizational culture, and effective cloud security solutions. Here are some of the cloud-native security concerns that organizations should aim to address if they want to build a strong security strategy.
- Increased attack surface
Hackers now use the public cloud environment as a sizable and appealing attack surface, taking advantage of unsecured cloud ingress ports to gain access to and disrupt workloads and data in the cloud. Numerous hostile threats, including malware, zero-day vulnerabilities, account takeovers, and others, are now commonplace for threat actors.
- Lack of visibility and tracking
Cloud providers have complete control over the infrastructure layer in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model and they do not expose it to their customers. The lack of visibility and control is intensified in the platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) model. Cloud customers frequently struggle to identify, quantify, and visualize their cloud assets due to the lack of visibility and tracking in these models.
- DevOps, DevSecOps, and Automation
Organizations that have adopted the highly automated DevOps culture need to ensure that appropriate security controls are identified early in the development cycle and embedded in code and templates. Security-related changes made after a workload has been deployed in production can jeopardize the organization’s security posture and increase time to market.
- Granular privilege and key management
Cloud enterprise’s roles are frequently configured arbitrarily, granting extensive privileges that are not intended or required. Incase if organizations provide access to untrained enterprises or enterprises who have no business necessity to delete or add database assets can be risky. Such acts are vulnerable to security threats at the application level due to inadequately configured keys and privileges.
- Cloud compliance and governance
Data privacy has become a significant concern, so compliance rules and industry standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS are getting stricter. Keeping track of who has access to data and what they are allowed to do with it is one way to make sure compliance is upheld. Cloud systems usually allow multiple users to access them, so if the right security measures (like access controls) aren’t in place, it can be hard to keep track of who is using the network. Enterprises also need to make sure that the provider follows these compliances strictly.
Robust Cloud Security Measures
Cloud providers offer many cloud-native security features and services, but enterprises require more effective solutions to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection against breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. Only an integrated cloud-native security stack can offer centralized visibility and policy-based granularity.
- Policy-based IAM and authentication controls
As business requirements keep changing, it will be simpler to update Identity and access management (IAM) definitions if enterprises work with groups and roles rather than with individual enterprises. Higher level of authentication corresponds to a wider range of privileges, restricting access to a group or role to the assets and APIs necessary for that group or role to carry out its duties. Enterprises should follow good IAM hygiene, like enforcing strong password policies and permission time-outs.
- Enforcement of virtual server protection policies
Cloud security vendors provide robust Cloud Security Posture Management, which consistently applies governance and compliance rules and templates when provisioning virtual servers, audits for configuration deviations, and where possible performs remediation automatically.
- Safeguarding applications
Web application firewall (WAF) granularly inspects and controls traffic to and from web application servers, it automatically updates WAF rules in response to changes in traffic behavior and is deployed closer to workload-running microservices.
- Enhanced data protection
Enterprises need to have enhanced data security through encryption at all transport layers, secure file shares, and communications, continuous compliance risk management, and good data storage resource hygiene such as detecting misconfigured buckets and terminating orphan resources.
- Real-time threat intelligence
Threat intelligence management solutions provide context to large and diverse streams of cloud-native logs by intelligently cross-referencing aggregated log data with internal data sources such as asset and configuration management systems, vulnerability scanners, and so on. They also provide tools to help visualize and query the threat landscape and promote faster incident response times.
- Zero trust security
Zero Trust only grants enterprises access to the resources they require to carry out their duties. It also encourages developers to ensure that web-facing applications are properly secured. If the developer does not consistently block ports or implement permissions on an “as needed” basis, a hacker who takes over the application will have access to the database and will be able to retrieve and modify data.
Furthermore, Zero Trust networks employ micro-segmentation to increase the granularity of cloud network security. Micro-segmentation creates secure zones in data centers and cloud deployments, separating workloads from one another, securing everything within the zone, and applying policies to secure traffic between zones.
The way ahead
Cloud computing has made previously inaccessible levels of storage, accessibility, flexibility, and productivity available to users. As more and more businesses transfer their operations to the cloud, implementing preventative cybersecurity measures will become increasingly crucial for guaranteeing a smooth transition to more dynamic cloud environments. With an understanding of the above-mentioned concerns and measures, organizations will be better equipped to devise a cloud security strategy that will keep the cloud environment safe.