CIOs and CTOs: Know these Cloud Computing Security Basics, Challenges and Best Practices

About 83% of the firms confirm data security in cloud computing environments as the top concern, according to Statista's analysis of enterprise’s cloud computing difficulties from 2019 to 2022. The biggest obstacles in cloud security settings, in their opinion, are controlling expenses, governance, and a lack of personnel or knowledge.

Today, cyber security is a prime concern for businesses. It is of utmost importance to invest in cyber security as your business data is exposed to threats in many ways. But, it gets economical challenging for many organizations to hire a security expert or a chief information security officer (CISO) exclusively for cyber security. In most of the businesses, the CIOs and CTOs are at the frontline to streamline the business operations and solving the rising business challenges. Even CIOs and CTOs seem to overlook the role of cyber security businesses as they may not be knowledgeable of this requirement for smooth business operations or fully aware of the side effects of ignoring it.

Today's CTOs and CIOs have far more responsibilities than they did in the past, their duties and responsibilities are getting more challenging and tougher than ever as more businesses across the world are adopting cloud computing and cloud-based technologies. That’s why it is mandatory for CIOs and CTOs to understand the importance of cloud security, its basics, challenges and best practices, to attain better reliability in business with measurable results.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud Security is the security mechanisms (policies, technologies, tools, services and controls) that protect the infrastructure, apps, and data housed in the cloud from violations. Data and resource access management, privacy protection, and user and device authentication are all ensured by these security procedures. Cloud security is more about utilizing a cloud safely.

Additionally, cloud security enables firms to be ready for future limitations, which demand compliance with international legal requirements like the GDPR. For instance, businesses must ensure that the cloud is designed with the right architecture in-line with the recommended security/privacy policies, failing to do so may lead to data breaches and significant losses.

Cloud security is a critical aspect that focuses on safeguarding data and corporate material such as client orders, top-secret design blueprints, and financial records. Maintaining your clients' trust and securing the resources that support your competitive edge depend on your ability to prevent leaks and data theft. Cloud security must be of top priority for any business moving to the cloud as it protects your company's data and assets.

Cloud Security Basics every CIO and CTO must know

1.     Cyber security insurance is not sufficient

Businesses are learning to understand that cyber security insurance alone won't protect them against all kinds of threats. Attacks by ransom ware are happening more often, and demand is growing. What's more, a "double ransom"—a further payment requested for not disclosing the stolen data—is frequently added to the "single" ransom required to encrypt data. Even worse, they might add a "triple ransom" that specifically targets the people whose data was taken.

2.     Selecting a cloud provider as per business needs

You must pick a cloud services provider with the greatest security measures and tools to support your business needs. The most chosen cloud service providers are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. However, there are other additional cloud service providers, such as IBM and Oracle.

3.     Cloud may not be a complete security solution

Modern cloud migration methods relieve on-premise systems of some of their workload, but this cannot assure a complete security solution. In reality, there are several instances in real-time where alone cloud solutions were not found meeting the purpose of data security fully. As a result, the decision to move mission-critical data to the cloud is never settled. Many businesses do this by keeping their mission-critical data in their data centers.

4.     Basic services are insufficient

Basic cloud services only offer minimal protection that falls well short of what businesses need. Because they represent additional income streams and because clients want reliable solutions, cloud suppliers provide value-added security services.

6 Cloud Security Challenges before CIOs and CTOs in 2022

The lack of distinct perimeters in the public cloud creates a fundamentally different security reality. Adopting contemporary cloud strategies such as automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) techniques, distributed server less architectures, and transient assets like functions-as-a-service and containers makes this even more difficult. The various layers of risk and sophisticated cloud-native security concerns that today's cloud-oriented enterprises CTOs and CIOs are dealing with include:

1.     Expanded area for data hijack

Hackers now use the public cloud environment as a sizable and very appealing attack surface by taking the advantage of unsecured cloud ingress ports to gain access and disrupt workloads and data in the cloud. Numerous hostile threats, including malware, zero-day vulnerabilities, account takeovers, and others, are now widespread.

2.     Automation and Devops, DevSecOps

Businesses that have adopted the highly automated Devops CI/CD culture must make sure that the right security measures are followed and included in code and templates early in the development cycle. Following the deployment of a workload in production, security-related modifications might compromise the organization’s security posture and increase time to the market.

3.     Environmental complexities

In today's hybrid and multi-cloud environments, which are the environments of choice for businesses, managing security requires techniques and tools that operate without issues across the private cloud providers, public cloud providers, and on-premise deployments—including branch office edge protection for geographically dispersed organizations.

4.     External data sharing

Numerous clients, vendors, and other stakeholders frequently want data to be provided. You must establish security procedures to make sure that data packets are not intercepted and utilized inappropriately as the data is exposed to a largely external conduit.

5.     Dearth of control and visibility to cloud

The infrastructure layer is completely under the control of the cloud providers and is not made available to the users under the IaaS model. In the PaaS and SaaS cloud models, the absence of visibility and control is even more pronounced. Customers of cloud services frequently struggle to accurately identify measure and visualize their cloud assets and environments.

6.     Poor interfaces

Hackers and online attackers may get access to your infrastructure through weak or insecure interfaces, such as APIs that permit connections from the third-party apps. Outsiders can take advantage of these paths to steal data, change it, and launch a denial-of-service attack.

6 Best Practices to Establish Powerful Cloud Security

In spite of the fact that cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offer a number of cloud-native security features and services, supplemental third-party solutions are necessary to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection from security breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. The following best practices can help build a powerful cloud security mechanism.

1.     Setting additional data protection

Improved data security can be achieved with encryption at all transport layers, safe file sharing and communications, ongoing risk management for compliance, and upkeep of excellent data storage resource hygiene, such as spotting mis-configured buckets and deleting orphan resources.

 

2.     Controlling IAM and authentication across complicated infrastructures

To make updating IAM definitions easier when business needs change, work with groups and roles rather than individuals. Allow just the assets and APIs that are required for a group or role to carry out its obligations. The higher the degrees of authentication, the greater are the scope of privileges. Also, don't forget about proper IAM hygiene, such as implementing strong password standards and authorization time-outs.

3.     Applying virtual server security regulations

Strong Cloud Security Posture Management is offered by cloud security companies, which consistently apply governance and compliance standards and templates when creating virtual servers, audit for configuration deviations, and, wherever needed, takes automated corrective action to fix the issues.

4.     Zero-trust network security for the cloud

Business-critical resources and apps should be deployed in logically separated areas of the cloud network of the provider, such as virtual private clouds, AWS, Google, or Azure. Utilise subnets to micro-segment workloads from one another, and use subnet gateways to enforce granular security controls. Use dedicated WAN lines in hybrid architectures, and alter access to virtual devices, virtual networks, and their gateways, as well as public IP addresses, with static user-defined routing settings.

5.     Threat intelligence

By intelligently comparing aggregated log data with internal data from asset and configuration management systems, vulnerability scanners, external data from public threat intelligence feeds, location, databases; a third-party cloud security vendors add context to the numerous and varied streams of cloud-native logs. Additionally, AI-based anomaly detection techniques help to identify unknown threats. These threats are then subjected to forensics investigation to assess their risk profile. Time to remediation is shortened by real-time notifications on intrusions and policy breaches; in certain cases, these alerts even start auto-remediation operations.

6.     Application security

The WAF rules are automatically updated in response to changes in traffic behavior, and it is installed closer to the micro-services that are carrying out workloads. This will granularly examine and manage traffic to and from web application servers.

Conclusion

Modern cloud tools and technology have helped organizations become more sophisticated and data-driven than before. Every second and piece of data is critical in the corporate world of today in order to make wise choices and outperform rivals. As a market leader in cloud services, we assist companies in choosing the best strategy, operating model, and road map by fusing our extensive business and industry knowledge with current insights.

Do you have cloud security concerns? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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