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Network security in the Cloud is a top concern for IT and security professionals, according to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).
Though many of us use Cloud-enabled services daily, if not hourly, we’re cautious. If we can reach out and touch our on-premises servers – where our data lives day-in and day-out “safely” behind locked doors – we get comfort in believing our systems are “secure.”
However, if IT and security professionals are still noting concern, there must be something to that, right? The truth is: The Cloud is incredibly secure – more so than on-premises systems today. But what tech pros understand is that security takes two: you and your Cloud service provider.
If you choose the wrong Cloud provider who doesn’t offer the level of security and the support you need; you could place your critical systems and data at risk.
So, what makes Cloud security less disconcerting for those who understand the risks involved?
Myths, misconceptions and gray areas shouldn’t keep you from reaching new heights in the Cloud. The benefits are far too great. Build your understanding of Cloud security with these questions and answers. Then, talk to one of our Enavate Cloud experts about what security could look like at your organization.
Cloud environments have many security advantages over on-premises environments. They have the most advanced firewalls, state-of-the-art detection systems, security tools and policies. And you don’t have to give up complete control of your infrastructure to receive such protection.
With on-premises systems, you rely on your internal team, their knowledge and experience, and the tools they use to perform their roles. When you work with a Cloud computing platform such as Microsoft Azure and a Cloud service provider like Enavate, you have the advantage of constant monitoring and protection powered by artificial intelligence, thousands of top security experts and advanced security tools.
The type of Cloud you use can affect who manages various elements of security and what security concerns are most important.
In a public Cloud, an organization’s data is stored with a third-party provider and accessible only via public internet in an infrastructure used by multiple organizations.
An organization’s data is stored in a private infrastructure with exclusive accessed. Private Cloud environments are more often in well-identified data centers and controlled by smaller teams.
An organization may use public and private Clouds depending on preference and requirements around sensitive data and compliance.
It’s critical to ensure whatever Cloud solution you choose for your application(s) meets the needs of your business or customers.
If it is vital to have self-configuration capabilities, a public Cloud might be the best option. If direct access to the team managing the physical site of your Cloud is important, private Cloud may be best. A hybrid solution allows you to take advantage of both public and private Clouds to meet the needs of the business.
Though top security risks vary by Cloud type, there are commonalities. For example, teams working remotely have introduced new vulnerabilities. Other drivers of risk include cyber incidents (e.g., data breaches) and natural disasters.
Misconfigurations are also a leading cause of risk, particularly when configuration is the responsibility of the Cloud client. Misconfigurations leave space for hackers to gain access.
What’s primarily “at risk” in these situations is data.
In reviewing McAfee’s lists of top Cloud security concerns for Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and private Cloud models, a few common concerns about data security emerge.
In addition, top Cloud security issues common between SaaS and IaaS models include:
Knowing who is responsible for which aspect of your Cloud security is imperative. Though your data is stored in the Cloud, that doesn’t mean you can walk away and never think of it again.
Protecting your data, avoiding risk and responding to security issues should be the responsibility of both you and your Cloud provider. In between is the type of Cloud service and/or platform you use, which greatly affects who gets which responsibility.
The common thread among Cloud service types is that you, the client, are responsible for data protection and access control. The Cloud service provider will always have ownership of the Cloud and its security.
The list of security types necessary to secure your Cloud infrastructure and network is long, and may be the responsibility of more than one person.
In today’s security environment, it’s easy for the risks to outweigh your capacity to defend and protect against them. Azure is protected by the most up-to-date, advanced security and protection developed through continual modern research.
That security is built into the environment and regularly upgraded and innovated according to data, artificial intelligence (AI) and insight from cybersecurity professionals. And it monitors for threats and anomalies around the clock.
Businesses in Azure benefit from business continuity, rapid response to threats and the capacity to predict and prevent cyber incidents.
Compliance and governance in the Cloud are not as difficult or complex as some may believe. Today, top Cloud providers have compliance certifications to meet the needs of various industries, regions and countries. They have experts working daily to follow and maintain compliance requirements.
You may find it’s better to focus on your own processes and policies, ensuring employees or customers leveraging Cloud services are adhering to compliance and governance requirements relative to your business. More often, these operating procedures are where the gaps are in meeting compliance.
“The biggest area of risk companies have typically isn’t building a secure Cloud environment, it is ensuring they have policies and processes governing the entry points to the Cloud. Compromised laptops and devices, poor password and credential enforcement, no patching or security enforcement, no training around security awareness; these are most often how security is breached. A solid security strategy in the Cloud can shield a company from some of this. But your defense is only as good as your weakest link, which is often the end user.” – Stefan Lowrie, Senior Director of Cloud Services Delivery at Enavate
When you work with experienced partners for a Cloud migration, they can manage the process to ensure the safety of your data and sensitive information on the way to the Cloud. Reach out to one of our experts for more information on starting your Cloud journey.