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Everything You Should Know about Cloud Security in 2024

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The utilization of cloud services has become an indispensable aspect of both personal and professional work. From storing personal files to hosting critical business operations, cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have revolutionized the way we store, access, and manage data. 

While cloud computing offers numerous advantages, it also presents several security challenges that demand attention. Sensitive data, such as our personal data, emails, customer data, etc., are stored on servers beyond our immediate vicinity, underscoring the necessity for robust security measures. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of cloud security and how to protect your assets. Let’s get started.

 

What is Cloud Security?

 

Cloud security refers to the set of cyber security measures that includes security controls, policies, and procedures laid by enterprises to protect its data, applications, tools, in the cloud environments from internal and external threats.

As organizations heavily rely on cloud platforms, service providers keep increasing the security capabilities to meet evolving demands. But cloud security operates with a unique framework – that of shared responsibilities between the service provider and the customer, which is further categorized into provider-based, customer-based and service- based security measures. 

Types of Cloud Security

Organizations have access to a range of cloud security solutions tailored to their specific needs. Some common cloud security solutions include:

 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP is a set of tools and processes employed to ensure the safety of data stored in the cloud environment. This includes classifying sensitive data and monitoring them for potential threats. DLP involves methods like encryption, access control and remediation plans to prevent data leakage and exposure. 

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM is a framework that ensures only authorized users and devices can access cloud resources. It is a set of policies and procedures for managing digital identities, which the security operation or the IT team utilizes to set forth restrictions such as multi factor authentication, single sign in, role based access controls (RBAC) and more, to ensure secure access.

Cloud Native Security Framework (CNSF)

Utilizing Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) provides security solutions for cloud native applications or serverless platforms. This ensures robust application security by seamlessly integrating with DevOps processes, conducting vulnerability scans, deploying intrusion detection systems and policy enforcements to safeguard critical applications and their data. 

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM coordinates an organization’s IT security by gathering and analyzing data from various sources such as logs, alerts and events. Using AI, SIEM provides you with a unified dashboard that consolidates security activities across multiple platforms offering a comprehensive view of your overall cybersecurity posture.

Unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

SASE network security operates by merging various security functions into a single unified platform. This offers secure access from any device by integrating measures like Firewall as a Service, Zero-trust network access and Secure web gateway. With SASE organizations can streamline security and connectivity across cloud infrastructure. 

Why is Cloud Security Important?

“The cloud services companies of all sizes… The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.” – Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Today, cloud computing is a ubiquitous technology that enables organizations to access a vast array of computing resources, software, databases and applications. It offers various services such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Function as a Service (FaaS). These services, with their serverless architecture, power cloud computing and enhance the way businesses operate today. However, moving to the cloud brings new security challenges that need our attention.

Cloud services providers and their customers have a shared responsibility when it comes to cloud security. Cloud services providers are generally responsible for the security of the platform, infrastructure, and applications while the customers are responsible for the security of endpoints, user and network security, applications developed on the cloud platform, and data.

As enterprises heavily rely on cloud services, migrating their data, applications, and infrastructure, they face an increased risk of data breaches, cyber threats and compliance violations. Let us learn how to mitigate these threats. 

Common Challenges faced by Cloud Services

Cloud services offer organizations numerous benefits, but their complex infrastructure and the shared responsibilities between the service provider and the customer present vulnerabilities and security challenges. A few common threats faced by companies using cloud services include:

 

 

Data loss: This is one of the common security issues caused by malicious attacks, accidental deletion, insider threats and failure to include services. Loss of account access and breaches can lead to the loss of important data stored in the cloud such as personal information, activity logs, and system backups.

Hijacking of account: There are a lot of weak passwords utilized by employees which makes it easy for anyone to breach employee accounts on the cloud. Sometimes, cloud-based deployments are outside a customer’s network and accessible by anyone on the internet. Weakly configured security can enable an attacker to gain access without the organization’s knowledge

Denial of service attacks: A successful denial of service (DoS) attack on cloud infrastructure can affect multiple companies. A DoS attack is done by flooding a target with traffic higher than the manageable level of traffic. This causes the target to shut down.

Shared resources and responsibility: Cloud service operates on a shared model. If a customer’s data is compromised it affects sharing the same resources too hence navigating through the shared responsibility between vendor and the customer is crucial. Failure to do it properly can lead to security gaps. 

Compliance and regulatory requirements: Different regions and industries impose specific regulations to comply in regard to data processing. Achieving compliance with these regulations and industry-specific standards such as MAS, GDPR, HIPAA and PCI-DSS requires careful planning and implementation in cloud environments.

Read more : 30 Common Types of Cyber Attacks and How to Prevent Them

 

How to Protect Cloud Security?

 

Enhance Access Management

Implementing robust access control tools and measures are essential for cloud security. Access management enables organizations to centrally manage user access to both on-premise and cloud-based services ensuring adherence to predefined policies and roles. This includes centralized identity management, access controls, multi factor authentication and continuous monitoring. By deploying access management solutions, organizations can safeguard sensitive assets, enhance security and minimize the risk of unauthorized access. 

Integrate CSPM and SIEM tools

Utilize Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools for monitoring real-time activity within your cloud environment. This automates threat monitoring and enables early detection of potential threats allowing for prompt response. The tool also leverages AI driven techniques to correlate data across diverse systems and provides your security operations team with actionable insight to mitigate evolving threats. 

Maintaining Data Protection Policies

Having data protection policies enforces guidelines and protocols to safeguard sensitive data and categorizing different types of data based on how sensitive they are and ensures that highly sensitive data is not stored on the cloud where the risk of breaches is high. This covers implementing appropriate security measures such as data encryption, access restriction and performing regular audits. By adhering to these policies organizations can minimize the risk of data breaches and uphold regulatory compliance. 

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans

Develop comprehensive BCDR plans tailored to your cloud infrastructure to ensure business operations can continue seamlessly in an event of security incident. These solutions equip you with the tools and protocols needed to swifty recover lost data and resume business operations. Prioritizing BCRD in cloud security strategy is indispensable for minimizing downtime, mitigating financial losses and maintaining customer trust. 

Education on Cyber Hygiene

Human errors account for a significant portion of breaches and losing access to an account on the cloud can cause major breaches. Providing comprehensive training programs on cloud security best practices reduces this risk by a huge margin.Emphasize the importance of setting up strong passwords management, phishing awareness, and reporting suspicious activities.

Subscribing to a Reputable Cloud Security Solution

Cloud security providers constantly update their solutions based on the latest threats. Invest in cloud security solutions that provide a range of security features, such as threat detections, vulnerability management, compliance monitoring, to ensure all-around protection of cloud services. Leverage the expertise and threat intelligence provided by the cloud security vendor to enhance the overall security posture of the organization.

 

How to Choose the Right Cloud Security Solution?

 

With the vast number of options available in the market, it is challenging to choose the best solution that fits your organization’s needs. Here are few factors to consider that will help you choose the best security solution:

How to Choose the Right Cloud Security Solution?

 

Understand your Security Requirements

Start by clearly defining your security objectives and specific challenges you aim to address ;consider factors such as:

  • Types of data you need to protect 
  • Level of access control, data encryption and user authentication required
  • Potential security risks to your cloud environment
  • Compliance requirements specific to your industry or region

Evaluate Security Features and Capabilities

Look for solutions that provide:

  • Advanced threat detection and real-time monitoring
  • Automated incident response and remediation plans
  • Comprehensive vulnerability management and penetration testing
  • Secure access control and role-based permissions
  • Provides threat intelligence and compliance management

Ensure Compliance and Regulatory Adherence

Verify that the cloud security solution aligns with the relevant compliance standard and regulations applicable to your organization, such as:

  • Industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS
  • Region-specific regulations such as MAS, CCPA, GDPR
  • Widely-accepted security frameworks such as SOC 3

Consider Scalability and Integration

As your business grows, your cloud security needs may change too. Choose a provider  that offers tailored services that can be customized as per your needs.Select options that have:

  • Scalable infrastructure to accommodate increasing data volumes and user demands
  • Flexibility to adapt to new business initiatives, locations or technologies.
  • Seamless integration with existing security tools and access management systems
  • User- friendly interface with intuitive management console
  • Provides APIs for easy integrations with other platforms

Consider Cost Effectiveness and Total Cost of Ownership

Evaluate the overall cost-effectiveness of the cloud security solution, taking into account:

  • Initial setup and implementation expenses
  • Ongoing subscription or user based costs
  • Maintenance, support and training requirements
  • Potential costs associated with migrating incase in the future.

Audit and Reporting Capabilities

Assess the solutions audits and monitoring features including logging, reporting and real time alerts. Look for solution that provide

  • Centralized monitoring and reporting management across multiple cloud environments.
  • Comprehensive logging of user activities, system events, and security incidents.
  • Customizable reporting template for compliance needs
  • Real time alerts for suspicious activities

In addition to these factors, consider reviews and customer testimonials to assess the reliability and reputation of the vendor. Together, they will help you find the right solution for your business. Also remember that cloud security is an ongoing process. And hence you will need to review and update the security measures regularly to mitigate potential threats and to uphold the security posture of your cloud environment.

 

How Cyber Sierra enables Cloud Security

 

Cyber Sierra is a cutting-edge GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) automation platform that leverages the power of generative AI to provide comprehensive cloud security solutions. This intelligent platform empowers enterprises to fortify their cloud environments against emerging threats while ensuring stringent compliance with regulatory requirements and operational resilience.

Cyber Sierra’s robust offerings encompass a full suite of security solutions that help enterprises comprehensively secure their asset surface vis-a-vis siloed security tools. For instance, Cyber Sierra’s Third-Party Risk Management enables organizations to assess and mitigate risks associated with third-party vendors and suppliers, while its Continuous Control Monitoring capabilities provide real-time visibility into potential vulnerabilities and deviations from security policies, allowing for proactive risk mitigation.


And the Threat Intelligence module equips organizations with actionable insights and timely alerts regarding emerging cyber threats, empowering them to stay ahead of potential attacks and safeguard their cloud assets effectively.


To harness the power of generative AI and secure a holistic solution to streamline risk management and compliance, s
chedule a demo with Cyber Sierra today!

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Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik is a seasoned content marketer and the Head of Marketing at Cyber Sierra. With a firm belief in the power of storytelling, she brings years of experience to create engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She also brings valuable insights from her work in the field of cybersecurity and compliance, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and pain points faced by customers in these domains.

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