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Cloud Security protects the cloud data we depend on daily, from sensitive remote work files to priceless home photos and videos. But protecting all that data requires a holistic approach that goes beyond just picking a security-conscious provider and following best practices for safe use. Securing the entire infrastructure that houses our data — including remote connectivity frameworks, physical networks, and end-user hardware – is also essential.

Cloud providers employ many tools to protect your data, from encryption that scrambles data so it’s only readable by the person with the key to advanced multifactor authentication that uses different factors to verify a user’s identity. They also practice redundancy, copying data multiple times to ensure that if one server fails, you can still access your data from another location. Additionally, they regularly hire outside security companies to test their systems and servers for vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit.

Unfortunately, though, it’s difficult for cloud service providers to oversee everything that gets stacked on top of their core services — like applications, data, runtimes, and even the operating system itself. That’s why industry experts have developed the shared responsibility security model (SRSM), which clarifies responsibilities between clients and CSPs when it comes to managing cloud environments.

As a result, it’s up to clients to focus on security policies, controls, and tools that prevent and detect cloud threats. These include data classification, which identifies sensitive or regulated information; access management that enforces least privilege policies, encrypts sensitive and regulated data, and restricts unauthorized movement and access to cloud resources; and threat detection, using solutions like SIEM to provide a single, streamlined view of all activity across the entire cloud environment for effective monitoring and response.