What is Cloud Security?
Cloud Security refers to the technology, protocols and best practices that protect cloud environments, applications and data. It is based on four central pillars: visibility and compliance, compute-based security, network protections and identity and access management.
A cloud security strategy requires a deep understanding of how these systems are interconnected, and the risk they pose to internal networks. It also involves assessing the cloud provider’s security posture and controls. Finally, it means deploying a strong incident response plan that includes leveraging third-party tools to add context to large streams of cloud-native logs and incorporating advanced security technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), anomaly detection and machine learning algorithms to shorten times to remediation.
Cloud environments can be comprised of a variety of services including infrastructure as a service, software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service. These models split management responsibilities between the provider and client, resulting in different security challenges. For instance, providers are responsible for securing the hardware and remote connectivity frameworks in an infrastructure-as-a-service cloud environment. Clients are responsible for securing the rest of the stack – running applications, data, runtimes and middleware, and even the operating system itself.
Ultimately, most cloud data breaches come from misconfigurations of the security tools provided by the provider. This is why it is important to keep a backup of encryption keys and use best practices for configuration management. In addition, localizing some of your application processes and data can help mitigate the impact if a cloud services provider is compromised or experiences an interruption (like the recent power outage at an Amazon data center). This can reduce your exposure to ransomware or other threats.