Cloud Security

Raj Agrawal
5 min readDec 16, 2020

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security, also known as cloud computing security, consists of a set of policies, controls, procedures and technologies that work together to protect cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure. These security measures are configured to protect cloud data, support regulatory compliance and protect customers’ privacy as well as setting authentication rules for individual users and devices. From authenticating access to filtering traffic, cloud security can be configured to the exact needs of the business. And because these rules can be configured and managed in one place, administration overheads are reduced and IT teams empowered to focus on other areas of the business.

The way cloud security is delivered will depend on the individual cloud provider or the cloud security solutions in place. However, implementation of cloud security processes should be a joint responsibility between the business owner and solution provider.

Why is Cloud Security important?

Cloud security is essential for the many users who are concerned about the safety of the data they store in the cloud. They believe their data is safer on their own local servers where they feel they have more control over the data. But data stored in the cloud may be more secure because cloud service providers have superior security measures, and their employees are security experts. On-premise data can be more vulnerable to security breaches, depending on the type of attack. Social Engineering and malware can make any data storage system vulnerable, but on-site data may be more vulnerable since its guardians are less experienced in detecting security threats.

Security threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, and cloud computing is no less at risk than an on-premise environment. For this reason, it is essential to work with a cloud provider that offers best-in-class security that has been customized for your infrastructure.

Cloud security offers many benefits, including:

Centralized Security: Just as cloud computing centralizes applications and data, cloud security centralizes protection. Cloud-based business networks consist of numerous devices and endpoints that can be difficult to manage when dealing with Shadow IT or BYOD. Managing these entities centrally enhances traffic analysis and web filtering, streamlines the monitoring of network events and results in fewer software and policy updates. Disaster recovery plans can also be implemented and actioned easily when they are managed in one place.

Reduced Costs: One of the benefits of utilizing cloud storage and security is that it eliminates the need to invest in dedicated hardware. Not only does this reduce capital expenditure, but it also reduces administrative overheads. Where once IT teams were firefighting security issues reactively, cloud security delivers proactive security features that offer protection 24/7 with little or no human intervention.

Reduced Administration: When you choose a reputable cloud services provider or cloud security platform, you can kiss goodbye to manual security configurations and almost constant security updates. These tasks can have a massive drain on resources, but when you move them to the cloud, all security administration happens in one place and is fully managed on your behalf.

Reliability: Cloud computing services offer the ultimate in dependability. With the right cloud security measures in place, users can safely access data and applications within the cloud no matter where they are or what device they are using.

All cloud models are susceptible to threats. IT departments are naturally cautious about moving mission-critical systems to the cloud and it is essential the right security provisions are in place, whether you are running a native cloud, hybrid or on-premise environment. Cloud security offers all the functionality of traditional IT security and allows businesses to harness the many advantages of cloud computing while remaining secure and also ensure that data privacy and compliance requirements are met. Secure Data in the Cloud

Cloud data security becomes increasingly important as we move our devices, data centres, business processes, and more to the cloud. Ensuring quality cloud data security is achieved through comprehensive security policies, an organizational culture of security, and cloud security solutions.

Selecting the right cloud security solution for your business is imperative if you want to get the best from the cloud and ensure your organization is protected from unauthorized access, data breaches and other threats.

When choosing a cloud provider, it is important to choose a company that tries to protect against malicious insiders through background checks and security clearances. Most people think outside hackers are the biggest threat to cloud security, but employees present just as large of a risk. These employees are not necessarily malicious insiders; they are often employees who unknowingly make mistakes such as using a personal smartphone to access sensitive company data without the security of the company’s own network.

Attack Factors for Cloud Computing:

The main goals of cyberattacks against cloud computing are getting access to user data and preventing access to cloud services. Both can cause serious harm to cloud users and shatter confidence in the security of cloud services.

When arranging attacks in the cloud, hackers usually intrude into communications between cloud users and services or applications by:

  • exploiting vulnerabilities in cloud computing;
  • stealing users’ credentials somewhere outside the cloud;
  • using prior legitimate access to the cloud after cracking a user’s passwords;
  • acting as a malicious insider.

Different Types of Attacks:

1. Data Threats: Cloud users store various types of data in cloud environments, and a lot of that data contains sensitive information about users or business activities. However, this data is susceptible to loss, breach, or damage as the result of human actions, application vulnerabilities, and unforeseen emergencies. It’s obvious that a cloud service provider can’t prevent all data threats, but cloud developers should apply modern encryption algorithms to ensure the integrity of data in transit from the user to the cloud.

2. Cloud API vulnerabilities: Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow users to interact with cloud-based services. However, vulnerabilities in APIs may significantly impact the security of cloud orchestration, management, provisioning, and monitoring. Cloud developers need to implement strong controls over APIs.

  1. Malicious insiders: Legitimate cloud users who act maliciously have many ways to arrange attacks or leak data in cloud environments. This threat can be minimized by cloud developers, however, by implementing identity and access management (IAM) technologies.
  2. Weak cryptography: Though cloud providers use cryptographic algorithms to protect data in storage, they usually use limited sources of entropy (such as the time) to automatically generate random numbers for data encryption. For instance, Linux-based virtual machines generate random keys only from the exact millisecond. This may not be enough for strong data encryption, however, as attackers also use sophisticated decoding mechanisms to hack information. Thus, cloud developers should think about how to secure data before it moves to the cloud.

5. Vulnerable cloud services: While cloud computing platforms are designed as distributed systems of cloud services, these services have little protection against each other. Thus, an attacker can exploit vulnerabilities in any one cloud service to gain unauthorized access to data of legitimate users. For instance, the OpenStack cloud platform had more than 150 known weaknesses in its cloud services in 2016. Creating a strong architecture can isolate a user’s operations in the cloud.

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