Cloud Security: What It Is and Why It’s Important

neuCentrIX - 27/12/2021 13:00

More and more organizations today are using the cloud. However, some of these organizations are still wondering if the cloud can really offer safety and security. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the term cloud security.

What is cloud security?

At its core, cloud security refers to a set of technology and procedures that protects cloud computing environments against both external and internal cybersecurity threats — keeping data private and safe across online-based infrastructure, applications, and platforms.

According to Kaspersky, cloud security consists of five aspects: data security, identity and access management, governance (policies on threat prevention, detection, and mitigation), data retention and business continuity planning, and legal compliance. 

Based on these five aspects, cloud security is usually designed to protect a range of items including data, data storage, data servers, applications, physical networks, operating systems, virtualization systems, runtime environments, middleware, and end-user hardware. Understanding what aspects that must be secured helps you create an effective cloud security strategy.

Why is cloud security important?

According to McAfee, 1 in 4 companies using public cloud services have experienced data theft. Moreover, 1 in 5 has experienced an advanced attack against their public cloud infrastructure. This is why cloud security has become inevitable. 

Today, most companies store highly sensitive business information and intellectual property, including customer details, in the cloud. This type of data is prone to data theft and other cyber threats. Moreover, it may also be exposed through accidental leaks. Therefore, it's important for every organization to create an effective cloud security strategy. Preventing leaks and data theft matters for maintaining your customers’ trust and protecting your valuable assets.

Who is cloud security for?

Generally, any organization that utilizes the cloud needs cloud security. For example, in the government and military fields, cloud security functions as a safeguard which protects state confidential data and archives that should be kept from the public. In addition, in the health industry, it’s also essential to secure patient information and other sensitive information.

Who is responsible for cloud security?

Cloud security is a collective effort of cloud providers and the clients that use them. Cloud providers must avoid security issues with the service they provide, but customers also need to control how they use the service, what data they input, and who has access. However, in each public cloud service type, the cloud provider and cloud customer share different levels of responsibility for security. 

How does cloud security work?

We can look at how cloud security works through the five aspects mentioned before.

1. Data security
There are various methods and tools to secure data from threats. One of the most powerful tools available is encryption which conceals data so that it's only readable by those who have the key. Another way is through data transit protections like VPNs.

2. Identity and access management
This aspect includes controlling access and privileges. Managing authentication and authorization of user accounts also apply here. Therefore, password management, multi-factor authentication, and other methods fall in the scope of this aspect.

3. Governance
This aspect focuses on policies for threat prevention, detection, and mitigation. Threat intelligence can help with tracking and prioritizing threats to keep vital systems secure. Behavior policies and training programs are also applicable at the organization level.

4. Data retention and business continuity planning
This aspect involves protocols for data backups. Technical system redundancy is also important for uninterrupted operations.

5. Legal compliance
This aspect is about protecting user privacy by following regulations set by the government. One method is through data masking.

In summary, you can ensure your cloud environments are safe and secure as long as you and your cloud provider work together to implement cloud security.