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Solving Cloud Security Challenges

At face value, cloud security can seem like quite the challenge. Like traditional on-premise computing, cloud security is focused on preventing data exposure, weak access control, and service disruptions.

However, the difficulty for enterprise and vendors is keeping up. Cloud computing’s dynamic, virtual environment is why problems occur. If you don’t believe me, just ask Capital One how dangerous ineffective cloud security can be…

Done right, cloud technology offers several business advantages:

  • Decentralized data systems and storage centers
  • Low upfront infrastructure investment costs
  • Agile and infinitely scalable network architecture
  • More efficient technology resource utilization
  • Accelerated production schedules
  • Consumption-based costs

If not strategically implemented and secured, though, it can cost your organization millions of dollars in fines – not to mention permanent loss of market and consumer trust, too. Fortunately, there are four key considerations you can focus on to ensure cloud security going forward:

Perimeter Protection

For years, your IT department relied on a perimeter security model to control network access. While this used to be effective, today’s technology is a different story.

Since cloud environments require highly connected systems to work, malicious traffic is much easier to slip past these outdated protections as network boundaries expand and intertwine. To eliminate these cloud security gaps and prevent unauthorized network access, your focus must shift to protecting data rather than the networks defending it.

That means innovations like encryption, stronger authentication, more complex passwords, and multifactor authentication are no longer optional – they’re a must-have for your technology management environment.

Software Storage

Cloud computing’s resources are hosted and delivered entirely via software applications, so it’s infrastructure – as well as any data being processed – need to be responsive.

To ensure cloud security, your organization needs to expand its focus to include environment variables, workload changes, and data (both in-transit and at-rest) to protect internal systems from corruption, breaches, and data loss.

Complex Threats

Even as you read this post, increasingly advanced malware and attacks are being designed to avoid your network defenses. Today’s most serious cloud security threats target multiple vulnerabilities in the same computing stack rather than taking advantage of traditional vulnerabilities one at a time.

This makes network security an evolutionary pursuit that requires continuous education, expertise, and awareness. You must make it a priority to stay informed and up-to-date on technology management best practices to prevent emerging threats and keep your organization protected.

Shared Responsibility

It might be a scary thought, but cloud technology requires teams and employees outside of IT to keep its systems safe.

In a cloud security environment, everyone that uses a portion of the technology needs to be accountable and able to defend data. Gone are the days of sitting back, relaxing, and passing the burden of cybersecurity off to someone else.

However, for most of us that means little more than a few common-sense considerations:

  • Always use trusted and tested solutions
  • Understand your compliance requirements
  • Manage data lifecycles within the context of your organization’s standards
  • Keep portability in mind
  • Make threat monitoring a habit
  • Identify and know your cloud security experts at all times

What to Look for in a Cloud Security Solution

While your organization can be capable of managing cloud security internally, a third-party vendor is often the preferable option. Here are three reasons why that’s the case:

1. Strict Standards

Security standards vary greatly from one organization to the next. Vendors don’t enjoy that luxury.

Cloud security experts use strict and comprehensive policies to not only ensure systems remain protected, but that their technologies are working to satisfy your every business need. They know what works, what doesn’t, and how to get results more efficiently and effectively than anyone else.

2. Addition Tools and Features

Because vendors live in this world 24/7, their cloud security solutions typically provide extra capabilities and tools you don’t currently have – or didn’t even know you needed.

As threats continue to evolve and grow in complexity, vendors are your best bet to create a robust security suite that prioritizes innovation and investment into future threat intelligence.

3. Confidentiality

A vendor is only as effective as their reputation allows them to be. Unlike internally developed cloud security environments, third-party providers have extensive experience securing data and preventing questionable technology management practices.

Additionally, advanced attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) require a plethora of resources to prevent. While I’m not saying you’re incapable of doing this on your own, it’s probably a better idea to let a specialist handle these tasks so you can focus on your organization’s core competencies instead.

Whether you’re upgrading your current cloud security solution or looking to migrate to one for the first time, our AOTMP® University Cloud Security Migration Considerations Course can help. Take advantage of its helpful tips and actionable strategies to drive productivity, performance, efficiency, and business value where you work.