Beefing up cloud security takes a multi-factor approach to safeguard against the various entries of attack. Attaining a holistic view of the security aspects of cloud computing enforces cloud security precautions to thwart hackers, viruses, and data loss. Alert Logic warns that “Cyber Attackers tend to go after the lowest hanging fruit from the largest pool of possible targets—making web applications and data a primary focus.” Here, we analyze the steps to protect the weak points in cloud computing.
Five Security Aspects of Cloud Computing
Protecting the cloud begins at its architecture. Enterprises need to understand its cloud architecture system, regardless if is an on-premise cloud or one owned by a cloud service provider (CSP). Cloud security mechanisms may be limited by the CSP depending on the type of cloud service in use. For example, if an enterprise chooses a CSP that offers an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, then the enterprise knows that it will shoulder most of the security responsibility. Alternatively, if the CSP offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud service, then the enterprise has less control over the cloud security and the CSP handles most of the security enforcement. Overall, enterprises need to learn what is in the cloud security architecture to understand gaps in security coverage, what the enterprise is responsible for, and how to secure weak points in cloud computing. Items that enterprises may need to implement include virtual firewalls and instruction detection systems and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS). Understanding the security architecture is the first step to understanding cloud computing security.
The next step is to analyze compliance. Incrementally, countries are imposing data privacy regulations and imposing fines upon companies that do not adequately protect users’ data. An example of this is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which levies hefty fines for violations – 4% of annual turnover or €20 million. Regularly researching regulations is a priority.
In relation to step number two, step three is to practice due diligence. Enterprises should constantly analyze and review not only compliance but also the security measures currently in place and the latest news on security breaches. Hackers discover new points of entry, and it’s up to enterprises to remain educated on these new breaches to confront potential attacks head-on.
Investing in performance management tools is another critical step to monitoring the health of the cloud network. A network performance management (NPM) tool spots issues affecting the network, such as traffic bottlenecks and suspicious activity, and alerts IT professionals of the issues. Incorporating an NPM product helps enterprises stay informed on its network activity. It also allows IT professionals to resolve any issues that negatively affect the network’s computing as the issues occur.
Other cloud security tools enterprises should implement include centralized login management systems, cloud access security brokers (CASBs), encryption, encryption key management, tokenization, and two-step authentication. All these tools add barriers to halt hackers from infiltrating sensitive data. Additionally, backing up data and investing in data loss prevention tools keep an enterprise’s data accessible in case a hacker successfully enters the cloud storage.