Working in the cloud offers significant benefits to businesses. However working in the cloud also introduces new challenges that are often beyond the scope of conventional cybersecurity. Securing virtual machines and serverless workloads in public, private or hybrid clouds also adds complexity to your business security. How can these new challenges be turned into solutions in 2021?
Cloud security is the part of cybersecurity that is specifically aimed at preserving the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, applications and services on servers that are managed in whole or in part by one or more external parties. The owner of the data has no control over and no access to the underlying hardware.
Communication also usually takes place via the public internet. Because of this different risks apply to cloud security than when managing data on your own on-premises server. Because of this difference in IT architecture, your organisation needs to consider a number of aspects when it comes to cloud security:
- Cloud provider
- User (owner of the data)
- (Data) communication between the cloud provider and the user
- Container software stack
What are the cloud security challenges?
Predictions are that the biggest threat to cloud security in 2021 and the coming years will come from so called mismanagement of identities, access and user rights. These vulnerabilities will be exposed when using weak passwords or giving users access to parts of the cloud which should be restricted. Also vulnerabilities or incorrect configuration of the cloud storage poses a security challenge.
When (partly) hosting your cloud with an external cloud provider you should expect that your data is stored in isolated databases and that your data and documents are well protected. However there are still times when a vulnerability in the cloud server is discovered that allows an attacker to compromise private clouds. If that should happen there are a number of important questions to be answered by your security team. For a start it is useful to find out what is happening with the workloads. You should also make an inventory of which tools are available to warn of unauthorised access or to search your cloud environment for possible threats now that the vulnerability has been discovered.
How do you improve cloud security?
The challenges mentioned above can only be solved with a good insight into and control over your workloads. Workload security solutions must also be lightweight so they have a minimal effect on performance. Features like a secure external shell, node firewall control, network isolation and file retrieval are also very essential.
Pre-runtime protections that both scan the host and ensure your cloud environment is infection-free will remain important. However just having this form of security is not sufficient, as they cannot protect the cloud from attacks once it is in use. Nor do they provide opportunities for your IT team to hunt for threats or to respond to a security issue.
In order to get maximum protection you also need to optimally manage and lock user access, apart from reliable endpoint protection on the communicating devices. Allowing administrators and other unnecessary users on cloud platforms is a major security risk. Specific solutions such as identity and access management and role-based access control offer perfect solutions.
In any case, two things are important to protect your cloud environment. First of all, the data must be encrypted both at rest and during the communication traffic. There must also be a plan for operational continuity in the event of a denial of service attack. It is vital that your IT team is aware of these security risks and you will have to ensure there are measures in place.
Tech-Wales cloud computing services
At Tech-Wales we offer professional, secure and reliable cloud computing services for your business. Tech-Wales will set up a secure cloud computing system for your business and will help you maintain the cloud environment to a safe and secure standard. We also proud ourselves in offering excellent customer services. Contact us today to transform your business flexibility and start working from the cloud or increase and improve your current cloud based IT infrastructure.