Cybersecurity in the Cloud

Cloud security or cloud computing security consists of a set of policies, controls, procedures, and technologies used to protect cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure. These security measures are configured to protect cloud data, support regulatory compliance, and protect customers’ privacy as well as setting authentication rules for individual users and devices. 

With the upsurge of connected devices and the sheer growth of data facilitated through the Internet, cybersecurity is of increasing concern to cybersecurity professionals. Specifically, cyber security in cloud computing is a growing concern for many organisations since sensitive and confidential data of clients and customers are targeted by cybercriminals.

Although the concepts of cloud computing and cybersecurity might appear like opposites both contain the lifeblood of organisations, their data. Cloud computing requires storing data off-site, and the cybersecurity requires building virtual walls to protect. Where cloud computing refers to outsourcing data storage and trusting a vendor to keep data and transactions safe, cybersecurity means keeping it all close and trusting on-site staff, procedures, and protocols.

A symbiotic relationship exists between the two seemingly distinct practices as businesses move their computing and data to the cloud and the business of ensuring cybersecurity gains more prominence.

Cloud Security as the new cyber security

Experts predict that only organisations that migrate to the cloud and reap the cost savings of doing so will survive. This makes cloud computing a necessary business strategy and in turn, makes cloud security a necessity. 

Organisations are responsible for security of data and transactions

Although cloud vendors may ensure cyber-security, it is ultimately the organisation’s responsibility should data be compromised. Similarly, should an organisation fall victim to ransomware attacks, it is responsible for paying the hacker and not the cloud vendor. Two common causes of data breaches in the cloud are misconfigured access restrictions on storage resources and forgotten or improperly secured systems, both of which are the responsibility of the organisation, not the cloud vendor. Consequently, ensuring that staff is trained is essential.

Cloud vendors invest resources in their own products’ security and ongoing investments remain one of the highest priorities. Forbes indicates that Google offers a Cloud Security Command Centre that scans for vulnerabilities, and both Amazon and Microsoft have built applications and infrastructures to ensure increased security. 

Cloud Computing could improve security

Small to medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks such as ransomware because they may not have the resources to improving their cybersecurity. Moving to the cloud could improve their overall security because the cloud vendors have robust security in place. 

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable In May of 2018 and although it applies to residents of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), it has far-reaching effects for organisations all over the world. Hence, organisations must make sure their data practices comply. 

Internet of Things (IoT) affects cloud computing

With the explosion of IoT devices security vulnerabilities also increase because some devices do not have the level of security needed to protect users. As a result, they offer a “way in” to data and even cloud solutions, undermining other cyber-security efforts. 

Cloud security offers many benefits, including:

Centralized security

Cloud computing centralises applications and data, and cloud security centralises protection. Since cloud-based business networks consist of numerous devices and endpoints, they can be difficult to manage. When these aspects are centrally managed, traffic analysis and web filtering are enhanced, and the monitoring of network events are streamline. Disaster recovery plans can also be implemented and actioned easily when they are managed in one place.

Reduced costs

Cloud storage and security eliminate the need to invest in dedicated hardware which reduces capital expenditure and administrative overheads. 

Reliability

Cloud computing services are dependable, and users can safely access data and applications within the cloud no matter where they are or what device they are using.

Cloud computing allows organisations to operate at scale, reduce technology costs and use agile systems that give them the competitive edge. However, it is essential that organisations have complete confidence in their cloud computing security and that all data, systems, and applications are protected from data theft, leakage, corruption, and deletion.

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