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Cloud Security: Why is it More Important than Ever?

The use of cloud computing has become pervasive. To an extent, several organizations irrespective of size are adopting a “cloud-first” approach. While the adoption has increased, so have the challenges in regards to cloud security.

Cloud computing has been here for more than two decades. Yet, several businesses find security as a challenge to tackle. A 2018 Statista survey report on cloud challenges indicates that 48% of interviewed organizations found security as a challenge.

On the other hand, Jay Heiser, research vice president at Smarter with Gartner states that “Through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault .” Data breaches, misconfigurations, myths, etc. from the users’end: these are some of the reasons that are fueling the fire around cloud security.

Heiser adds, “CIOs need to ensure their security teams are not holding back cloud initiatives with unsubstantiated cloud security worries. Exaggerated fears can result in lost opportunity and inappropriate spending.”

Data Breaches Increasing by the Day

Between Jan. 1, 2017, and March 20, 2018, 19 Billion records containing personal and other sensitive data have been in compromised, cites a Techbeacon report.

Data breaches occur due to targeted attacks, human errors, application vulnerabilities, or poor security practices. A majority of breaches in the cloud have been reported due to misconfigurations from the user’s end that lead to SQL injection, brute force attacks, etc. These data breaches were never a cloud provider’s fault! Check out this cloud comic, and you will know what we are talking about!

Misconfigurations: Beware

Misconfigurations that accidently and unnecessarily expose services are the biggest culprits. In the cloud, resource provisioning, management and monitoring happen via APIs. Any misconfigurations during configurations lead to catastrophe. So, API connections must be taken care of during early stages of cloud adoption; as early as chalking out the architecture blueprint.

In addition, teams must ensure that virtualization, Identity and access management (IAM), workload protection, and network security & encryption are a part of this architecture blueprint.

Myths About Cloud Security Still Lurking in the Minds of Businesses

Even though cloud adoption has increased staggeringly, there are organizations that still blindly follow few myths and burn their hands along their cloud journey.

An Opaq Network SlideShare indicates that “…the idea that cloud security isn’t effective or even possible often drives companies to avoid using it in situations where they’d receive the most benefit from it. ” The post says several enterprises still believe that they can’t find out what cloud providers are doing with their data.

In this era of cloud computing, such myths must be evaded and facts accepted. All cloud providers can provide its users with audit logs that will provide visibility into who has or had access to the data. Here are few Facts Vs. Myths list that can throw more light on cloud security.

The Continual Advent of New Cloud Services with Various Abstracted Layers

Several new low code/no code cloud services like Lamda, Fargate, Azure Functions, etc. have been abstracting layers of computing. These new services bring along with them newer challenges during configurations. Because the learning curve for each of these services are different. As the use of new services increases, so will the challenges of configurations increase.More than that, use of hundreds of IaaS and PaaS services makes the infrastructure a hyper-complex ecosystem, paving way to further human errors.

The Wrap Up:

In a dynamic cloud world, visibility and contextual information is what matters the most. No matter how sturdy is your architecture, newer attacks find loopholes and make a way into your infrastructure. The best way forward is to contextually monitor all resources provisioned, in real-time. In addition, enforcing the right policies on cloud ownership, responsibility and risk acceptance are essential to ensuring cloud security posture.

Currently, organizations use multiple dashboards to monitor and manage all their cloud resources. This takes the energy out of the team. A single visual console rendering the relationship between all these resources, showing contextual data that help identify vulnerabilities, is the best way forward — to mitigate risks proactively.

TotalCloud Inc. will be soon rolling out such an Security View for AWS Cloud, which provides a focused visual environment with real-time cues to security loopholes in a 3D space. So stay tuned with us!

If you are using AWS, here’s a list of 5 not-to-ignore best practices for AWS Security Groups.

Originally published at on August 29, 2018.



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