As more and more businesses move towards cloud-based operations and embrace digital transformation, security is increasingly becoming an important question. As an enterprise migrates to the cloud, its assets and data resources need to be migrated as well, and that might expose the sensitive information. Further, managing security in the cloud is quite challenging because the security measures offered by the cloud provider might not be strong or robust enough to keep your business safe and if you opt for another on-premise solution, it can lead to integration problems and budget inflation. Hence, you need to strike the right balance between interconnected cloud technologies and the best cloud security practices. But then again, how to attain this state of balance? How to decide which security provider is the right option for you and how to identify the right security measures to put in place for protecting yourself from attackers? Here, we explore the answers to these questions and share the key considerations you must have in mind while selecting a cloud security provider.
Let us begin by taking a quick look at some of the major cloud security challenges faced by organizations.
Cloud Security Challenges That Organizations Face While the security considerations and challenges vary from one organization to another, some challenges are common for every enterprise.
1) Lack of Visibility Many cloud services are accessed through third parties from outside of the corporate networks. Hence, it is quite easy to lose track of your data access activity and that can lead to serious security concerns. Further, managing the level of data access and setting the access rules for sensitive information in an organization such that the workflows are not disrupted is also an organizational challenge.
As the businesses migrate to clouds and teams become remote and distributed, the dangers of security attacks amplify because it becomes tough to implement the access restrictions. Further, lacking proper bring your own device (BYOD) policies also allow employees to use their devices for accessing company assets and resources, thereby increasing their vulnerabilities. Finally, the enterprises have to decide on authentication and validation policies and workflows such that the employees are able to access the right information at the right time without proper abstraction.
3) Misconfigurations IBM suggests that misconfigured assets are responsible for 86% of breached data records and are one of the main challenges for maintaining security in cloud environments. Some common examples include not changing the default admin passwords, not setting the device security to a maximum, or not adhering to the cloud security norms.
4) Multitenancy If you are using public cloud services, your odds of getting in the crosshairs of attackers targeting some other firms increase. This is because multiple business organizations are accessing the cloud services from the same cloud at one time. Hence, if some attacker is really motivated to inflict harm on one company, and discovers your vulnerabilities during the process, you can become an innocent target and victim.
5) Compliance Compliance management is another crucial challenge that companies encounter during cloud migration, and is a source of confusion as well as costly compliance issues for them. There are various regulatory requirements for compliance in cloud environments, and all of them include different conditions for customers, employees, and organizations. Apart from adding to the operational burdens of an enterprise, compliances also lead to confusion and reliance on third-party services. Now, before we move on to discuss how to overcome these challenges, it is important to understand the types of computing environments.
Types of Cloud Computing Depending on the category of cloud computing services being used, there are four different types of cloud computing that are explained in the following section.
1) Public Cloud Services These services are provided by a public cloud provider and include various categories, such as: Software-as-a-service (SaaS) Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) These services are shared by multiple people, organizations, and processes.
2) Private Cloud Services These services are offered by a private cloud operator and all the services are customized and dedicated to only one customer. However, the management of these services is done by a third party.
3) Community Cloud Services In this system, the cloud services are provided by a third-party cloud service provider just like in a private cloud services system but the services are managed and operated by internal staff members. So, you can understand them as an evolved form of traditional data centers where your in-house staff manages and operates the virtual environment they use.