Cloud Application Security: What Are its Pros and Cons?

Chris Bateson
Aug 20 · 3 min read

As more and more companies across the broad spectrum of industries embrace cloud technologies, the market has also observed the emergence of concerns about security, especially cloud app security. You see, these companies are becoming increasingly reliant on this technology to keep their businesses running smoothly and even the slightest hint of doubt can have massive consequences for them. Unfortunately, a lot of these concerns about the security of cloud apps can be chalked up to something as banal as urban myths. However, not everything is just a widespread myth that has been mistakenly perpetuated; i.e., some of these challenges are legitimate or may be ascribed to lack of knowledge.

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But we digress — the more important point is that cloud app security, i.e., aspects such as technology controls, processes, and more, assumes a critical role in the overall context since it is a subset of information security. Now, before we can explore its advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to understand that cloud app security is not merely the service provider’s responsibility. What this means is that the onus for safety is shared between you and your vendor. On to the pros and cons of cloud app security, then.

Pros:

  1. No impact from hardware failure: When a company depends solely on on-premises hardware for its operations, it subjects itself to a high degree of risk due to hardware failure. But when you have a cloud server to depend on, the risk arising out of any piece of physical equipment failing is minimized.
  2. Reduced cost: You gain access to integrated hardware and software aimed at ensuring round-the-clock security for your data and app. As a result, you do not have to make massive investments in such resources yourself.
  3. Enhanced security: Thanks to a centralized approach, companies receive better visibility and can implement enhanced measures to safeguard against attacks.

Cons:

  1. Risk of compliance violations: Governments across the globe today have set up various regulations and laws to protect users’ privacy. Unfortunately, if the move to the cloud is not executed with utter precision, one runs the risk of violating one or many such regulations.
  2. Insecure APIs: One often uses APIs for control when the systems are in the cloud. Given that APIs integrated into apps may provide oversight to any internal staff as well as external entities, hence the high degree of risk, especially with external-facing APIs,
  3. Poorly configured cloud services: Again, a lack of planning while moving to the cloud can pose more than one risk, including misconfigured cloud services. And what happens when cloud services are misconfigured? Well, there is the risk of data being exposed or manipulated, among other things. In case you are wondering, such issues can be caused by using default security settings for sensitive information.

The adoption of cloud technologies has increased over the past few years and this is not going to slow down anytime soon. Hence, cloud application security is rendered vital to deal with the constantly-evolving variety of cyber risks effectively.

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