Cloud Security: An Overview of Challenges and Best Practices

By Deepak Gupta, Co-Founder, LoginRadius

In the privacy and security-first market, businesses frequently use cloud-based solutions to benefit from their increased security, scalability, agility, and flexibility. Modern cloud practices have become more prevalent, allowing businesses to deploy cloud strategies to maintain continuity of operations effectively. In fact, cloud adoption is likely to continue expanding quickly across all sectors and businesses since the overall benefits of cloud technology are so compelling.

Cloud Security – Explained!

A branch of cyber security called “cloud security” is committed to protecting cloud computing infrastructure following a predefined set of rules and policies. This includes maintaining data security and privacy across web-based platforms, infrastructure, and apps. Since cloud systems are frequently shared, identity management, privacy, and access control are highly critical for cloud security. Furthermore, cloud service providers and businesses share a great deal of accountability for securing cloud infrastructure.

Why do Businesses Need Cloud Security?

Nowadays, the amount of confidential data that businesses generate, gather, and store is enormous. As businesses continue to shift their data to the cloud, it is more crucial than ever for them to understand the essential requirements for ensuring data security. Although independent cloud service providers can be given control over the management and protection of the cloud infrastructure, this does not always entail a transfer of responsibility and security for data assets.

Data Protection Challenges in the Cloud

With the ability to securely store information and execute various operations online, the adoption of cloud technology has almost become inevitable. However, there are a few risks associated with cloud computing as well. On that note, the following are some significant challenges that companies leveraging cloud infrastructure may experience.

  1. Data Breaches: The three most significant reasons for data breaches in cloud computing are poor security authentication, inappropriate access rights, and weak passwords. Businesses are more likely to be impacted by cloud security risks like data breaches if they don’t invest in cutting-edge security solutions that assist them in detecting and resolving security vulnerabilities.
  2. Data Collection and Management: Cloud data collection and management procedures primarily involve gathering, storing, managing, and processing a business’s data by employing the services of dedicated cloud service providers. Moreover, while implementing data collection and management practices, businesses must eventually have answers to various questions, as given below, to safeguard the obtained data and prevent unauthorized access to cloud-stored data.
  • Does the business have enough cloud storage capacity to handle all data processing requirements?
  • How long are data stored and managed in the cloud?
  • Who has the appropriate access privileges to work with or manipulate specific data in the cloud?

Businesses opting for cloud storage need to figure out how to handle cloud data collection and management activities effectively. To learn more about this specific topic, refer to this ebook, which effectively addresses the challenges associated with data collection, management, and privacy.

  1. Multitenancy: It promotes sharing computing power, data storage, applications, and services across many tenants. As part of multi-tenancy, various tenants are hosted on the same virtual platform at the cloud service provider’s location. Although multitenancy is a cost-effective option for businesses, it sometimes puts them at risk. Since several client infrastructures are housed under one roof in public cloud environments with multitenancy, cyber attacks targeting one business might accidentally impact the others in the same infrastructure.
  2. API Attacks: To implement, manage, and monitor cloud operations, cloud service providers offer their clients a variety of APIs. These APIs tend to be the most exposed component of a cloud environment. Exposed or misconfigured APIs could result in a data breach—moreover, insecure APIs concern cloud adopters among all the data security issues. According to a Gartner report, research predicts that APIs will make up 90% of the attack surface by 2022, making them the most common attack vector.

Critical Businesses Actions to Boost Cloud Security

  1. Identity and Access Management

A Cloud Identity and Access Management solution should be employed by businesses to manage secure access to cloud resources. Access control helps businesses manage who has access to the cloud applications and data, what they can access, and what actions they can perform. It provides an ideal entry point into a zero trust implementation, centralizes access control, and reduces insider threats.

  1. Data Encryption

Implementing data encryption strategies in the cloud is one of the ways to create a secure cloud infrastructure. In the cloud context, encryption is crucial for both data at rest and in transit. Data that is encrypted and stored in the cloud is more secure and makes it even more difficult for malicious users to leak or illegally sell the data.

  1. Frequent Data Backups

Numerous factors can cause businesses to lose their valuable data, and without a backup copy, recovering it will be costly, time-consuming, and sometimes impossible. Businesses must have a comprehensive data backup policy to store the data safely and securely against data loss, corruption, and theft. Furthermore, data backups are not to prevent data loss; they are meant to be restored in the event of data loss.

  1. Continuous Monitoring and Logging

Continuous monitoring and logging tools in the cloud infrastructure can help businesses quickly identify unauthorized activities. A cloud infrastructure’s operational workflow and processes are continuously monitored, recorded, and managed through cloud monitoring and logging. In case of any unexpected events, businesses can refer to these records to quickly discover who tampers with the cloud settings, what kind of change has been done, and take proactive actions if needed.

Conclusion

As businesses shift their endpoints, data centers, business processes, and other resources to the cloud, cloud data security becomes more and more crucial. Businesses must select the best cloud security solution and adhere to all necessary data-safety measures to get the most out of the cloud and ensure that it is protected against unauthorized access and data breaches. By identifying potential challenges in the cloud environment and following the best security practices, businesses can lower risks and fully benefit from cloud computing.

 

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