Hello friends, I hope you all are doing great. Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud computing. It provides a number of benefits, including decreased cost and overhead and increased scalability and flexibility. However, the cloud is not an ideal solution for every organization and use case.As companies continue to store sensitive data in the cloud, data security is becoming a significant concern. For many organizations who have moved to the cloud without implementing proper security controls, sensitive data is being leaked or stolen from their cloud environments.
Challenges of Cloud SecurityWhile many organizations are moving to cloud deployments, they often struggle with securing their new investment. Each cloud represents a new environment to operate and secure, and the organization’s security responsibilities are determined by the cloud shared responsibility model. Since many organizations operate multiple clouds, securing an entire cloud deployment becomes an even more complex challenge.
A New Operating EnvironmentMany organizations, when they move to a cloud environment, treat it as similar to their existing on-premises deployment. Applications “lifted” to the cloud are often identical to the versions running on-premises, which can create inefficiencies when optimizations and workflows that worked on-premises do not translate well to the cloud.Moving to the cloud without adapting to the cloud can also create security issues for an organization. In most on-premises environments, internal applications are not accessible from the public Internet except through the organization’s firewall and other cybersecurity defenses. In the cloud, which is not located behind these same defenses, a vulnerability in an application could be potentially exploited by an external attacker when it may not have been accessible before.
The Cloud Shared Responsibility ModelA common challenge among security teams is a lack of understanding of the cloud shared responsibility model. In an on-premises deployment, an organization owns their entire infrastructure stack, giving them full visibility into it and control over its configuration. In cloud environments, an organization is leasing infrastructure from their cloud service provider (CSP), meaning that they share security responsibility with their provider.For the 73% of security professionals who struggle to understand the cloud shared responsibility model, securing data in their organizations’ cloud deployments can be a challenge. This model defines which security responsibilities belong to the CSP, customer, or are shared between them. A lack of understanding of these responsibilities and the tools that a CSP provides to secure a cloud deployment can leave an organization open to attack.
A Multitude of Cloud ServicesFor security professionals struggling to secure a single cloud deployment, the fact that most organizations have a multi-cloud deployment only complicates the issue. For each cloud environment, the security team needs to learn how to properly configure the security controls provided by the CSP. Since these security controls vary from CSP to CSP, the learning curve for securing an organization’s entire range of cloud resources can be extremely steep.And this only covers the cloud-based resources that the organization’s security team has authorized and has visibility and control over. In many organizations, employees trying to more efficiently perform their job responsibilities may move sensitive data to the cloud without authorization. These cloud resources make it easy to share data with other authorized parties through sharing links, but these same links (which make the data accessible to anyone with the URL) also make the data much more vulnerable to being breached.
The Cloud and Data ProtectionOne of the clearest indicators of the challenges of securing the cloud is the number of cloud users who have been the victim of a data breach. Over half of companies with a cloud deployment have breached sensitive data through their cloud services.However, this high rate of data breaches is not surprising considering how organizations use their cloud deployments:
- 26% of companies store sensitive data in the cloud.
- 49% of data in the cloud is eventually shared.
- 10% of data shared in the cloud uses a public link.
- 91% of cloud users do not encrypt data in the cloud.