By Sandeep Kamble, Founder & CTO of SecureLayer7
Even as we come to the end of an eventful year, filled with disruptive personal and professional trends, companies and businesses are bracing themselves up for long term impact. With trends like work from home and remote/ flexible work weeks taking a centre stage, cloud computing and data security have become a vital part of the business tech infrastructure.
While a lot of businesses, both small and big, have woken up to the benefits of cloud computing and its role in ensuring seamless business operations beyond geographical boundaries, they are also becoming aware of the need to adopt a strong cyber security framework to safeguard their cloud data and assets, from the ever increasing cyber threats. This has led to an increased awareness and need for Cloud Security infrastructure. This largely refers to modern cyber security practices that are vital for protecting the cloud based data and processes against cybercrimes, frauds, and other forms of data breaches, effectively securing the entire cloud computing system.
Listed here are reasons why a robust cloud security infrastructure is the need of the hour:
– Increased Cloud Adoption: With Data becoming the new currency, and with the constant and speedy evolution of technology, an increasing number of businesses are adopting Cloud Computing and hoping to gain secure and easy access to important data. However, this has also given rise to larger risks of cyber-attacks and data breach crimes, associated with insecure or ill managed cloud security.
– Increasingly sophisticated threats: As technology innovations are evolving, so are types of cyber threats. The presence and extent of cloud service, further enhances the risk of these threats, as a simple vulnerability found in the smallest aspect of a large cloud network, can easily compromise the larger system in a short duration, making it dysfunctional! From basic ransom ware and malware to phishing attacks, data breaches, identity thefts, and complex AI enabled cyber-attacks on large networks/ servers and cloud computing centres.
– Expanding realm of connected devices: With the ever expanding realm of connected, smart devices that are cloud connected and leverage the IoT technology, managing cloud and device security and data protection are becoming increasingly difficult, with the subsequent rise in cyber-crimes. The devices, also massively utilised across sectors, from personal entertainment and leisure to robotics and automation in sensitive areas like healthcare, defence, finance, and logistics, have further enhanced the significant and urgent need for cloud security infrastructure, across businesses.
In light of the above, while cloud security is the need of the hour, it is as simple and easy to integrate, and businesses can now avail the help of cyber security specialists to do the job. Some simple steps to keep in mind when installing and managing cloud security, include:
– Proper configuration: With the growing complexity of the cloud infrastructure and network, configuring an effective and efficient cloud security set up is becoming increasingly vital. Most data breaches in cloud so far, can be attributed to the fundamental configuration of cloud services and security, which may range from firewall to user credential pitfalls to access control management configurations and insecure storage. Incorrect configurations have been known to enhance vulnerabilities and put organisations and data at the risk of being breached, making cloud security strategy as important as basic cloud computing strategy.
– Proactive cloud monitoring and audit: This is another vital aspect of every cyber security set up, which involves a systematic plan of timely proactive monitoring, vulnerability checks across the user interface and other protocols that help optimize cloud security. Initiatives like intrusion detection, Pen Test, Kernel Debugging or IDs to detect fraudulent access, etc., need to be employed to not only arrest any ongoing data breaches but to also keep an eye on the security health of the network.
– Micro-segmentation: Already touted as the future of Cloud Security, Micro segmentation is an emerging method to secure virtual networks like VLAN or LAN, by breaking them down into segments, for easy monitoring and maintenance. These could range from vital function segments like workload, applications, OS, which can be configured and secured independently, so as to keep them separate from the rest of the peripheral functioning’s. This segmentation allows business owners to salvage the core functions, which are well secured in closed boundaries, in case of data breach that might have impacted the overall system.
– Secure and user friendly customer interface: Last but not the least, the efficacy of cloud security lies as much with the business owners as it does with the customers. Hence, when configuring and building up a cloud security infrastructure, it is important to ensure easy and pleasant customer interface set up, so that the end users are not only encouraged to abide by the new cloud security protocols, but also actively participate to keep it safe! Thus, when building a seamless security for Cloud, businesses need to consult and employee a suitable using cloud-native security control, for example, which helps them gain insight into the flow of the content on a regular basis, making it more effective when faced with a cyber-threat.
Apart from the above mentioned points, businesses need to focus on three most important aspects: Use of skilled labour who is also well versed with the significance and pitfalls of cloud security, Adequate training and information workshops for end consumers and staff alike, and take into account the human factor, where chances of a mishap or mistake are possible and be prepared with a plan B. As cloud computing moves from on-premise servers to virtual network set ups, cloud security is set to become an inseparable part of Business Organisations in the near future.