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What is Cloud Computing Security?

Cloud Computing Security

Today, nearly every organization uses cloud services in some form or another. From something as simple as using Google Drive for storage and services like Dropbox for file exchange to more sophisticated tools like cloud-based ERP and CRM systems, businesses are reliant on cloud computing more than ever. With a massive rise in data being stored and processed in the cloud, ensuring its security is paramount.

Cloud professionals are in high demand to help businesses leverage cloud services and protect them from the risks and challenges of using these technologies. So, if you’re considering a career in this field, it’s essential to have a good understanding of cloud security principles and best practices.

This article discusses what cloud computing security is, its types, advantages, and challenges. At the end of the article, we will share an industry-recognized cloud computing program to help you sharpen your cloud skills.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security is a branch of cybersecurity that protects the cloud infrastructure, platforms, data, and applications from malicious attacks. It is a pool of security procedures such as access control for data and resources, device and user authentication, and data privacy protection.

Also Read: Industry Perspective: Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Why is Cloud Computing Security So Important?

2023 witnessed an increase of almost 15 percent in the average cost of a data breach worldwide. With a rise in the use of the cloud for data storage and daily business operations, this number has the potential to increase. The chances of cyber-attacks and data breaches grow due to factors such as incorrect configuration and unintentional reveal of sensitive information such as login details.

Businesses are urgently exploring their options to improve their cloud security measures and are increasing their IT spending to protect their assets in the cloud. In fact, by 2028, the global revenue of the cloud computing security market is projected to touch $8.4 million.

Cloud computing security is primarily important for:

  • Protecting operational and strategic information
  • Preventing loss of critical data
  • Ensuring data privacy and security for customer information
  • Preventing unauthorized access to customer accounts
  • Safeguarding the main cloud server from an organization-wide cyber attack
  • Averting unintentional sharing of employee login credentials
  • Allowing scaling up of business operations without compromising security
  • Detecting and thwarting data breaches early on
  • Protecting the organization against loss of reputation
  • Preventing financial loss occurring due to data breaches
  • Enabling a streamlined and protected transfer of data and information to and from the customers
  • Controlling the transmission of information within and outside the organization
  • Supporting remote work and streamlining a secure file transfer
  • Enabling regular data backup
  • Ensuring local and international regulatory compliance with IT laws

Cloud computing training equips you to implement cloud security measures with these crucial reasons in mind.

How Does Cloud Security Work?

Cloud computing security is typically implemented on various levels.

  • Organizational level: The organization deploys software and tools to ensure the security of the cloud infrastructure used within the organization. It also includes any PaaS or SaaS offered by the organization to consumers.
  • Cloud service provider level: The firm that provides cloud services, such as DropBox, Google, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), etc., implements cloud security to protect its servers and services. Their end users are also recommended to ensure further security measures, but these are optional and at their discretion. This is also called the shared responsibility model.
  • Individual level: Everyone uses the cloud for personal and professional use. They can employ password managers, automated data back-up, and third-party security software to protect their cloud storage.

Cloud security is a multi-layer process involving all the business sections. The primary aspects include:

  • Securing the server: Unlike traditional servers, the data traffic is first transmitted to the cloud. Hence, any unauthorized and direct access to the server is prevented when the cloud verifies the credentials and legitimacy of the traffic.
  • Data inspection: Multiple filters and tools exist to inspect data before they reach the application through the cloud. The advantage is that the filters are universal; hence, no data from anywhere in the world can get a random pass to the application.
  • Data encryption and management: The cloud manages crucial information stored in an encrypted form. However, data from multiple sources and formats that can potentially crack the encrypted data can get uploaded to the cloud. Hence, the cloud has tools that can recognize unusual formats and prevent their access to the rest of the storage.
  • Separation of private and public clouds: Cloud security enables the separation of private and public clouds within an organization. Additional authentication and access safeguards are implemented to allow selective access to the private cloud that may hold sensitive strategic information.
  • Compliance: Cloud computing security measures are created to comply with all the laws and regulations. They organize and manage data in a way that prevents illegal access.

Also Read:Top Cloud Computing Career Paths to Explore in 2024

Types of Cloud Security

Depending on the functionality of the application or platform, the type of cloud security deployed may change. Let’s look at the main types of cloud computing security.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Identity and access management (IAM) is a pool of services and tools for managing users’ identities and access. IAM creates digital user identities, including login credentials. As a cloud security professional, you may work on establishing the guidelines and procedures to be followed and the information required to allow genuine access attempts and flag illegal intrusions. It enables organizations to monitor user activity and enforce enterprise-level policy protocols for access and use both on- and off-site.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM combines multiple software that help automate frequent tasks such as monitoring, identifying, responding, and logging threats. SIEM is especially useful if you are a part of the IT team that monitors and manages the cloud security infrastructure of an enterprise. This type of cloud security utilizes AI-based technologies to flag common threats and raise the alarm for particularly unusual intrusions.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data loss prevention is probably the most important type of cloud computing security. It comprises all the measures to protect data and its encryption, ensure its longevity, enable secure transmission, and allow regular backup. The motive is to prevent the loss of data by any means.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

PKI enables authentication for applications and protects data during transmission. It is the framework for allowing digital certificates to verify the authenticity of the information. This helps confirm the user credentials when the data is accessed or approved from a remote location.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

This type of cloud security focuses on maintaining the flow of business operations even if there is a cyber-attack on one or more of its features. It involves redirecting the data transfer away from the breached application to another storage space that can be accessed and used for going about the daily tasks of the business. You may also work on implementing tools to recover the data and applications rapidly and restore them to their optimum condition.

The Biggest Advantages of Cloud Security

We have established that cloud computing security is important, and there are several ways to utilize it. Now, let’s go through a list of the biggest advantages of cloud security:

In-built Features

Cloud security enables the integration of security features for the server, applications, platforms, and infrastructure even before they reach the end user. The professionals work on building multiple layers and codes into the design of the cloud applications. The cloud is reinforced with threat detection, auto-encryption, and loss prevention features in its architectural framework itself.

Centralized Control

Cloud security enables centralized control of the monitoring, analyzing, and managing the networks, devices, platforms, and systems. It also helps apply the same security standard to all cloud systems, irrespective of their configuration.

Lower Costs

Cloud computing security reduces the investment required for protecting physical servers and systems. The basic cost remains the same, and the only additional cost may be the upscaling and including more features in the security module. Further, the measures designed for the cloud apply to all the users, thus avoiding the costs for individual customization. A cloud computing security professional can also design the cloud so that users get a basic security framework in their subscription.

Improved Reach

A cloud security professional can monitor and assess an interconnected cloud ecosystem The integrated stack helps visualize the transactions occurring throughout the spread of the cloud usage. This helps the professional in detecting and responding to threats faster. For example, suppose the professional sees an anomaly in the data transfer occurring in mainly Linux systems. In that case, they can flag the issue in all the Linux users worldwide and nip the problem in the bud.

Also Read:How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect: A Complete Guide

Cloud Computing Security Challenges

Despite several advantages, the use of cloud security poses certain challenges. These are described subsequently.

  • Misconfiguration of cloud security can lead to a tremendous impact on the users and the organization
  • Issues such as not using the correct form of passwords, using inadequate permission controls, not activating data encryption, and inadequate qualification of the installed cloud can give cybercriminals a foot in the door
  • As most of the cloud services are run from servers located at the cloud service providing site, there is a lack of transparency regarding the access, management, and monitoring of the servers
  • Compliance is a slippery slope if the specialists and users are not aware of the regulations and laws

Cloud Computing Security as a Career

Securing the cloud is a work in progress, there is a low number of specialists qualified enough to take care of the entire management of cloud security integration. The need to train the professionals in the appropriate skills is urgent. With an average total annual pay of $141,289, a cloud security specialist has emerged as a huge job market.

These specialists must be versatile, relentless, and with an eye for detail. They must be experts in researching, planning, deploying, upgrading, and monitoring cloud protocols and tools. They must also know how cloud environments can be breached so that they can plan for, identify, and stop the threats immediately.

A notable quality of a good cloud security specialist is their will to keep reading, learning, and updating. Every year brings with it a new slew of cybercrimes, and a specialist must be prepared for it. It is no wonder that cloud security topped the chart of the “positions that are the most difficult to fill”, with 44 percent of respondents attesting to the point.

So, if you want to transition to a role to secure cloud environments, this is the perfect time for you to take the leap.

Learn the Security Skills and Open the Doors to a Flourishing Career in the Cloud

Cloud security is booming with career opportunities. To be a part of this thriving field, you need skills in programming, cloud environments, risk analysis, incident response, and cloud platforms, to name a few. A globally recognized cloud computing bootcamp will help you hone these skills.

Build a solid foundation through mentorship by industry experts, get hands-on training through working on real-life projects, and earn a prestigious certification – everything that can help you stand out in the job market.

Also Read:Top 10 Cloud Computing Characteristics

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is cloud computing security?

Cloud computing security refers to the pool of security measures used to prevent malicious attacks on cloud servers, platforms, data, and infrastructure.

  1. How do you secure cloud computing?

Cloud computing is secured with the help of measures such as identity and access management, data loss prevention, and disaster recovery. It includes using a VPN, password manager, encryption, and risk audits.

3. What is cloud security with examples?

While excellent third-party software companies integrate with the top cloud platforms, the platforms provide some of the best tools to secure cloud environments. These include, but aren’t limited to, AWS CloudWatch, AWS IAM, Azure Key Vault, and Azure Monitor.

You might also like to read:

The Fundamentals of Cloud Computing and Why It’s Important for Your Business

What is a Cloud Server? A Basic Guide

Cloud Computing Trends for 2024

How Does Cloud Computing Work? A Beginner’s Guide

Carve Your AWS Career Path: A Comprehensive Guide

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