Cloud security is the branch of cybersecurity dealing with cloud data and infrastructure. Cloud security tools keep information safe without compromising the user’s ability to access it easily.
Cloud security is important because using the cloud increases your attack surface — it opens up new avenues for hackers to compromise your network. By using cloud computing services without adequate cloud security measures, you are inviting data theft, destruction of sensitive files, and falsified remote sign-ins to your system.
Cloud security is also mandatory if your organization stores personal data in the cloud. Under most data protection regimes, enterprises must take adequate measures to keep private data safe, no matter where it’s stored. The overall responsibility for the loss of data rests with you, not your cloud service provider.
Finally, if you have finished migrating your work to the cloud, you will find that cloud security offers several advantages over traditional cybersecurity measures. Just like with cloud computing, having a centralized approach to security cuts down on hardware, space, and staff costs, facilitates device updates and configuration, and helps manage crisis events.
To explain how cloud security works, it is helpful to imagine the whole security infrastructure as a set of protective layers over your data. At each stage, different cloud security measures are implemented to prevent unauthorized access, protect data, and recover losses.
By migrating to the cloud, you’re opening a new front in the war for data. In addition to your network, staff, and internet service provider, malicious actors can now also target your cloud services to breach your defenses.
Public cloud service providers often host multiple client infrastructures on the same servers (a practice known as “multitenancy”) to save space and reduce costs. In this situation, you can become collateral damage in an attack on another entity.
Cloud service providers rarely expose their infrastructure and processes to clients. Being unable to see how the cloud environment is structured makes it difficult to keep track of who accesses data and identify weaknesses in security.
Cloud computing service providers are not exempt from human error or lax security habits. By using weak administrative passwords or not following appropriate security policies, cloud services open themselves — and your data — to attack.
Shadow IT refers to the practice of using devices, apps, and systems without the approval of the organization’s IT department. Cloud security needs to cover every access point to the cloud so that employees do not compromise the entire organization by logging in with private devices.
Just like in traditional cybersecurity systems, user access should be proportional to the demands of their function. Employees with excess privileges can cause damage to data through inexperience or by getting their accounts hacked.