Cloud security: Risks and Approaches
Cloud security is the strategy to protect data and applications from leakage and deletion that are hosted on cloud-based systems. Cloud security includes penetration testing, firewalls and virtual private networks (VPN). Major threats to cloud security include data breaches, data loss and insecure application program interfaces (APIs) that can compromise the security of the system. Cyber-attacks can shut down service and users cannot access their accounts, such as bank accounts or email accounts. A well-designed cloud security approach can reduce the risk of a cyber-attack by authenticating access, filtering traffic and keeping infrastructure up-to-date and patch vulnerabilities frequently.
Cloud Security Risks
- An unauthorized user having access to internal data
- A malicious attack, such as a DDoS attack or malware.
- Data is exposed or leaked from an attack.
Technologies in cloud security
The main purpose of cloud security is to ensure that only authorized users can access the data stored on the cloud. Cloud security includes a wide range of tools and practices, the common approach for cloud security includes.
Micro-segmentation: This technique divides the data center into distinct security segments which allows IT to define flexible security policies and minimizes the damage attackers can cause.
Data encryption: The most effective technique in cloud security is data encryption, which prevents data from falling into the wrong hands. In this way, encryption prevents data leakage and exposure, even when other security measures fail.
Cloud data should be encrypted both on the server and while transmission so that attackers cannot intercept it. Encrypting data in transit should address both data traveling between a cloud and a user, and data traveling from one cloud to another. VPN can encrypt traffic if the cloud is connected at the network layer while in application layer SSL/TLS can encrypt traffic between a user and a cloud.
Firewall: A cloud firewall offers an extra layer of protection around cloud assets by restricting access to malicious web traffic. Cloud firewalls are hosted in the cloud and form a virtual security barrier around cloud infrastructure. Most web firewalls fall into this category.
Cloud firewalls block malicious bot activity and vulnerability exploits. This reduces the chances of a cyber-attack, crippling an organization’s cloud infrastructure.
Identity and access management (IAM): Identity and access management (IAM) track users and allow access to authorize users and deny unauthorized users as necessary. IAM reduces the threats of unauthorized users gaining access and authorized users exceeding their privileges. It is extremely important in cloud computing because a user’s identity and access privileges determine whether they can access data, not the user’s device or location.
Benefits of cloud security
The major benefits of cloud security include:
Protection against attacks: The main purpose of cloud security is to defend enterprises against hackers and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Data security: Cloud security protects sensitive data with encryption to avoid information falling into the wrong hands and its misuse.
Reliability: Cloud services offer the ultimate in dependability. With the cloud security in place, users can safely access data and applications within the cloud no matter where they are or what device they are using.
Availability: Cloud security services offer monitoring and support, which improves availability in addition to addressing security concerns.
The main advantage of choosing cloud services is the eliminate the need to invest in the dedicated hardware. This reduces capital expenditure and administrative overheads as well. So, a company does not have to struggle for its security issues, cloud security delivers proactive security that offers protection. The reduce cost of cloud services and security advantages make it ideal for new startups.
How to keep the Cloud secure
Implementing these security technologies is not enough to protect cloud data. In addition to standard cyber security, organizations should follow these practices to make sure that their system is secure and have a failover plan.
Security policies across data centers: Consistent security policies have to apply across the entire cloud infrastructure. If one aspect of a cloud, for example, public cloud service, is not protected by encryption and authentication, attackers can find the weak link.
Backup plans: With all these security types, there must be a plan in case things go wrong. Data must be backed up in another cloud to prevent it from loss or temper. The main advantage of multi-cloud and hybrid deployment is that different cloud can be used as a backup, this prevents loss of valuable data.
Organizations are realizing the benefits of cloud services for their business. Cloud services like cloud computing allow an organization to operate at a larger scale, reduce technology costs that give them a competitive edge. Cloud security allows the business to harness the advantages of cloud computing while ensuring that compliance requirements and data privacy are met.