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Sep 08, 21  |  

Cloud Computing: Evaluating Cloud Service Provider Security

Cloud Security services have completely transformed how the business works. Although the cloud has innumerable advantages in the modern work environment, care must be taken before transferring vital company assets and confidential information over to a remote location.

With the rate of cyberattacks on the rise, the need for a robust and secure cloud computing system is vital in protecting your companies’ ongoing business. Cloud security services have become a need for every company in this era, more than 90 percent of the companies operating on the cloud have some concerns over security breaches and data breaches. 

This article will make sure that you understand the importance of security in cloud computing in the modern era. 

What is Cloud Security?

Security in cloud computing encompasses the processes, controls, policies, and technologies that work together to protect your cloud-based infrastructure, data, and systems. It is not only a subdomain of computer security, but it is also a subdomain of data security. In a nutshell, cloud security is a joint responsibility of the user and his or her cloud service provider. 

You must use a variety of cloud security services to protect your customers' privacy and resolve various cloud security issues. This protects your data as well as you from the legal, financial, and reputational consequences of data loss and breaches. 

Many businesses use cloud services or infrastructures, such as SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), or PaaS (Platform as a Service) (Platform as a Service). Every deployment model has its own set of critical security concerns. 

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Why is Cloud Security Important? 

According to Check Point's 2020 Cloud Security Report, 52 percent of companies believe that security violations are more likely in the public cloud than in data centers, 59 percent believe that their cloud security budget will increase in the coming year, and 82 percent believe that security tools offer no or less functionality in the cloud environment. 

According to the 2020 Statista Report on Cybercrime and Security, the number of data violations in the United States increased to 155.8 million.  According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018-2023), cloud data centers process 94 percent of all workloads. Despite the fact that cloud technology has grown in popularity, many businesses are still concerned about its security. 

Here is why cloud security is highly important: 

Data Security Breaches 

When running an app on a hybrid or public cloud, you will rely on a third party to handle your data. As a result, you no longer have control over data security. As a result, you must ensure that the cloud service provider's security is enhanced across the board. However, as a client, you should always verify data security, even if your cloud computing service provider guarantees top-tier security.

Remote Work Management 

Remote work allows you to hire people from all over the world. However, there are some cloud computing security issues with this type of arrangement. Because you will be using personal devices, your data may be exposed to phishing and malware attacks. If malware infiltrates the cloud system via these devices, your company may be jeopardized.

Disaster Rotation 

Unpredictability is a feature of natural disasters such as fires and flooding. As a result, if your data is not safeguarded and secured, you may suffer data loss. Furthermore, your client’s trust in your company may erode, which can be detrimental to your business.

Creating Data Access Levels 

Strict Data Access Protocols should be implemented across the company. Sensitive data should only be accessed by people who are authorized to see and edit that data. Log in and Log out details of people that have accessed the data should be available so that people accessing the data can be monitored and then can be asked first regarding any future data breaches. 

Compliance with Data Protection Regulations 

To ensure the mitigation of cloud computing security issues and integrity of client data, data protection rules were compiled. If you store client data in the cloud, you must ensure its security, especially if your company is in a highly regulated industry such as legal, banking, insurance, or finance. A data breach can harm your reputation and brand because third parties will hold you accountable. 

Security Risks of Cloud Computing  

Cloud computing security is of utmost importance. You may face some risks that could jeopardize your company's reputation and profits. While moving to the cloud, you may encounter some new risks; however, this does not imply that cloud computing is completely risky. 

To reduce the risks, you can use some convenient security resources and tools. Let's take a look at the most common cloud computing security risks!

Data Loss 

Although a secure cloud server does not mitigate every server attack. It does however provide easy solutions for companies to handle a potential system disaster. If you compare these with on-premise solutions, cloud environments can offer extra flexibility in disaster recovery and storage of data on numerous cloud servers.

Insider Threats 

Your organization's worst enemy is frequently from within. This threat could be a mistake or malicious intent. Insider threats can also occur as a result of other cloud security issues, such as credential theft, data violations, and misconfigurations. 

Otherwise, people may become vulnerable to socially engineered attacks and phishing attacks that compromise data. They could be transferring company data from corporate clouds to shadow cloud formats on their personal devices. 

Misconfiguration of Cloud Security Services 

This is yet another significant cloud security risk. This is a growing issue with a diverse range of complex services. Cloud service misconfiguration can result in data being manipulated, disclosed, or erased publicly. 

The primary causes of this issue include maintaining primary access and security management settings for highly sophisticated data. Others include incorrect access management, which allows for disfigured data access and unauthorized individuals access where confidential information is open and no authorization is required. 

Account Hacks 

This is a malicious cloud account holding. Hackers, hijackers, and threat actors may occasionally target highly privileged accounts or cloud service subscriptions. Account hijacking is frequently used to aid in identity theft. 

In this case, thieves use exposed credentials, typically an email address, to access the cloud account. Following the hijacking, thieves can manipulate the cloud's apps and data. 

Cloud Security Issues: Best Practices 

Most Companies nowadays operate their business systems in the cloud on either of the three main cloud service platforms, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Knowing the risks with cloud platforms and preparing ahead in time can help mitigate a huge loss of data for the company. Here is a list of some of the best practices for cloud computing systems: 

Select a Reliable Cloud Service Provider 

You should collaborate with a reputable cloud service provider's security management system.. Choose a provider that has built-in cloud security protocols and adheres to the highest levels of industry best practices. You must verify their security certifications and compliances. 

Training 

Insecure cloud computing, users are your primary protection system. Their security practices and knowledge can either expose or protect your system from cyber-attacks. 

As a result, ensure that all users with system access, such as employees and stakeholders, are trained in secure cloud practices. Teach them how to spot phishing emails, malware, and the dangers of untrustworthy practices. Consider industry-specific training and certification for more advanced users, such as administrators, who are directly involved in cloud security implementation. 

Put in a Policy of Maintaining Secure Passwords 

A strong password security policy is always the best practice, regardless of which service you use. This policy is required to prevent unauthorized access. All passwords must contain at least 14 characters and include a lower-case letter, an upper-case letter, a symbol, and a digit. Make sure that users' passwords are updated every three months. 

This password policy will prevent users from using the same password across multiple devices and will protect against malicious attacks. As an additional layer of cloud security best practices, you can impose multi-factor authentication. 

Protection at the End User Point 

Another best practice for cloud security is to protect your user endpoints. Many users gain access to cloud services via web browsers. As a result, you should implement advanced client-side security to update your browsers and protect them from vulnerabilities. 

Furthermore, you must implement an endpoint security solution to protect your end-user devices. Look for a solution that includes internet security tools, antivirus software, intrusion detection software, mobile device security, and firewalls. 

Employing a Real-Time Security Software Implementation 

Using software to protect your cloud-based services is crucial. This kind of software acts as a liaison between the user and the cloud platform and maximizes security controls between you and the cloud. This software provides better data visibility and enforces threat identification and protection. 

Final Thoughts 

If you're going to the cloud, you'll need a solid cloud security strategy. As a result, be cautious when selecting a cloud service provider's security management system. A hacker can attack your company at any time. So, to improve the security of your cloud computing system, make sure to implement the aforementioned cloud security best practices.

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