Cloud Security, or Cloud Computing Security, is a sub-domain of computer/network/information security and represents a wide set of technologies, policies, apps, and controls used to protect data, virtualized IP, apps, services, and the associated cloud computing infrastructure.
The advent of cloud computing and its growing popularity has enabled and given rise to cloud computing security and turned it into a stand-alone category of the modern cloud landscape. This trend also gave birth to cloud security platforms and providers in a separate branch known as Security-as-a-Service or SECaaS.
Much like it is the case with the Software-as-a-Service (or SaaS) providers, the SECaaS typically works as a monthly subscription model capable of reducing the overall cost of both a company’s workflow and costs.
But we digress. Let’s focus on the general notion of cloud computing security and why it is paramount for your business.
Who Might Need Cloud Security?
Any business that has at least one portion of its workflow running in the cloud should invest in cloud computing security. This goes for both large enterprises and small to medium businesses, as well as personal users.
Anyone operating within the digital landscape is (hopefully) aware that information is more valuable than, well, money. This is why you want to know that your data safely and securely stored, contained and moved around without any possibility for breaches and attacks.
Similarly, businesses that work with clients are also legally obliged to keep client information safe and sound, especially within sectors that have more strict rules in terms of data security and storage.
Why is Cloud Security Mission-Critical?
Companies that are making their transition to the cloud must pay close attention to cloud security and approach this task with the right mindset. Having a robust security model is imperative for your ecosystem of cloud-based services, projects, and databases, especially today when security threats are becoming more and more advanced and are always evolving.
In truth, both on-premise environments and cloud-based architectures have similar levels of security risks, which is why making sure all proverbial corners of your infrastructure are secure and tailored according to your custom needs is a must.
Naturally, top-tier levels of security can only be done via class-leading cloud providers and niche-tailored SECaaS models.
However, numerous organizations still dive into the process of cloud enablement without adequate security layers or knowledge about the resources necessary for provisioning cloud security for their business and corporate data. Having your apps, storage, and infrastructure running on remote servers poses certain risks from the endpoint protection standpoint.
These potential risks include:
- Loss of information
- APIs getting hacked
- Compromised credentials
- DoS and DDoS attacks
- Regulatory compliance violations
- Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
- Compromised and hijacked traffic or accounts
The positive thing, however, is that choosing the right cloud provider will help you mitigate and overcome the aforementioned pitfalls and vulnerabilities of the cloud model, without having to form an inhouse security team and face IT resource overheads.
Main Benefits of Cloud Computing Security
→ Security Cost Optimization
Deploying cloud-based infrastructure and security systems obviates the company’s need to invest in both administrative overheads and dedicated hardware, thus significantly reducing both capital and operating expenditure (CAPEX and OPEX).
→ Automated Security
While with legacy systems IT teams had to deal with security issues in a reactive manner, meaning they were most typically forced to put out security-related “fires” after they’ve already taken place, with the right cloud security approach the businesses are able to utilize automated cloud computing security systems that deliver proactive features and allow continuous 24/7 protection, mitigating almost any need for human intervention.
→ Response Time
Once a threat has been detected within your network, whether it is a breach, a virus, or malware – response time is very much of the essence. The more it takes a company to detect and neutralize the security threat, the damage sustained is potentially greater.
Automated security via a reputable Cloud Security as a Service model allows for much faster response time when compared to traditional security frameworks that typically have much slower and oftentimes flawed response systems due to the fact that skilled staff isn’t available 24/7/365 to properly and swiftly respond to network threats.
With continuous network monitoring provided by automated cloud computing security systems, any network threats are identified and neutralized as quickly as possible, reducing potential damage to a minimum.
→ Centralization of Security and Ease of Management
Much like cloud-based infrastructures allow for the centralization of your data, apps, and projects, cloud security systems allow for the centralization of their protection. As networks that operate in the cloud consist of numerous entities, devices, and endpoints – managing them via centralized security systems provides the following benefits:
- Improvement of traffic analysis and filtering
- Streamlining monitoring of networks
- Fewer updates in terms of software and policy
- Easier implementation of disaster recovery plans
- Almost completely reduced administration, manual security configurations, and security updates (which also contributes to massive cost reduction in terms of resources)
- Scalable and highly-customizable security services (from malware and anti-virus to outsourced security suite developers).
→ Reliability and Ease of Access
Companies that deploy cloud computing services enjoy ultimate reliability as their users are capable of easily and securely access their apps, projects and data, no matter where they are and which device they have at the moment. With the right cloud security measures in place, the data they are accessing is always highly protected.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Computing Security Solution for your Business?
In order for your organization to reap all the business benefits that may come with moving into the cloud and provide your environment with a competitive edge, you need to figure out which type of cloud provider works best for your company in terms of size, industry, workflow and growth potential.
Admittedly, no cloud model is completely insusceptible to breaches and attacks, which is why you should be highly cautious when moving mission-critical systems and infrastructure into the cloud, both in terms of workflow optimization and security provisioning, regardless of whether you are running a native cloud architecture or a hybrid one. This is why the great majority of large enterprises, as well as SMEs, choose to go with one of the established players on the cloud market, like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.
Not only are these established brands avid and capable enough to offer top-tier cloud security service, but are also able to customize and scale these services according to your specific needs and wants.