What is Cloud Security and How to Strengthen Your Posture Management
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Cloud computing is a critical component of any digital transformation strategy. However, with the high level of connectivity and open architecture also comes various data security threats.
A recent survey found that 79 percent of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach within 18 months, and 43 percent have reported 10 or more breaches in that time. Meanwhile, 94 percent of cybersecurity professionals say they're at least moderately concerned about public cloud security.
The Cloud Security Alliance has rated 11 salient threats—called the Egregious Eleven— that any organizations using cloud technologies should be aware of:
- Data breaches
- Misconfiguration and inadequate change control
- Lack of cloud security architecture and strategy
- Insufficient identity, credential, access and key management
- Account hijacking
- Insider threat
- Insecure interfaces and APIs
- Weak control plane
- Metastructure and application/infrastructure (applistructure) failures
- Limited cloud usage visibility
- Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
Cloud security uses procedures and technologies to protect cloud computing environments against cybersecurity threats and data breaches. Cloud security solutions prevent unauthorized access to sensitive business and customer data in the cloud while ensuring adherence to various data privacy regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc.). They address data security, identify access management (IAM), governance, threat prevention, detection and mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity, and compliance.
As organizations adopt cloud computing, more business-critical data and applications are migrated to third-party cloud services providers (CSPs). While most of these platforms provide standard cybersecurity monitoring and alerting functions, they may not offer sufficient coverage.
Security gaps aren't uncommon when companies integrate different platforms to meet specific needs. These vulnerabilities may allow cybercriminals to infiltrate your network, increasing your risk of data theft and loss.
While CSPs are responsible for the security of the cloud, you must ensure the security of your content in the cloud. Here's what you need to know when implementing cloud security tools:
- Information and data: Your CSP does not have any visibility into the data you store in the cloud—all data access is yours to control by design, so you know how and when the information is used.
- Application logic and code: You must secure and control your proprietary applications throughout their entire lifecycle. This includes securing your code repositories from malicious misuse or intrusion, testing application build throughout the development and integration process, ensuring secure production access, and safeguarding connected systems.
- Identity and access: You're responsible for all facets of identity and access management (IAM) in your cloud environment. These include authentication and authorization mechanisms, single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), access keys, certificates, user creation processes, and password management.
- Platform and resource configuration: A server-based instance, which functions as an extension of your data center, requires more hands-on control over security. For example, you'll need to perform OS and application hardening, maintain OS and application patches, etc. If you use serverless resources, you can set up the configuration through your CSP's control plane. As such, you'll need to know how to configure your instance securely.
You can use various cloud security services to strengthen your cloud security posture management (CSPM). While every organization has different cloud computing needs, you should look for cloud security tools that allow you to:
- Protect network against unauthorized access and data theft.
- Deter human errors that can lead to vulnerabilities and data leaks.
- Have complete visibility into your cloud resources.
- Implement standards and policies to support your cloud governance program.
- Detect and mitigate threats quickly with advanced analytics and automation.
- Contain the impact of a system compromise.
- Enable comprehensive backup and data recovery to prevent loss.
- Support business continuity to minimize costly downtime.
Knowing your cloud security responsibilities and selecting the right cloud security solution is the key to improving your CSPM. Your security measures must become an integral part of your organization's fabric and align with your business goals.
WWT's Security Transformation services can help you cover all the bases to protect your reputation, business assets, and intellectual property with a holistic security approach. Starting with an understanding of your business operations, we design and implement custom, end-to-end solutions that transform security from a business blocker to a business builder.