While the cloud offers many benefits, such as increased cost savings, efficiency, scalability, and flexibility, it also comes with serious security concerns. These concerns stem from the shared responsibility that comes with security and the complexities of the potential attack surface.
The key to maintaining cloud security is to be fully aware of the cloud environment in which you operate, including where your data is and the various ways it can be accessed so you can close security gaps and keep attackers out. This requires you to have a solid understanding of the challenges that come with the primary challenges of keeping the cloud secure. Here they are:
Security Architecture of the Cloud
It is common for organizations to not have a solid security strategy and architecture in place. The solution for this is to be aware of all the potential cloud security threats and then design your cloud environment from the ground up based on that knowledge. Combine this with the proper strategies and techniques for data migration, and when you are ready to deploy, your security risks will be minimized.
APIs that Are Not Secure
APIs, or application programming interfaces, are required to ensure that your customers can interact with the cloud via your applications and programs. If these APIs are misconfigured, they become a liability, leaving an opening for data breaches to occur. To minimize this risk, use standard, open API frameworks, avoid reusing API keys, and ensure the use of adequate API hygiene.
Misconfigurations and Issues with Change Control
The cloud environment is dynamic, which means that without a rigorous change management system in place, misconfigurations can result in data breaches. The ideal change management system will involve the request, approval, validation, and logging of all system changes that take place. Add to this the implementation of a security policy, and you eliminate the individual interpretation, assessment, and enforcement of security measures.
Anyone who has or has had access to your cloud environment is a potential risk to your cloud security. This includes current and past employees, contractors, and other partners. The threats, intentional or not that can stem from insiders include issues with credentials, human error, cloud misconfigurations, and data leakage. To minimize this risk, it is important to ensure the proper security awareness training for everyone, ensure the proper configuration of cloud servers, and ensure stringent access control.
Regulations are constantly changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with these changes. For this reason, it is critical that you ensure your cloud service providers and the applications you use are certified in the handling of sensitive information, such as financial and healthcare data.
Lack of Expertise
A lack of expertise in any of the above areas, as well as a lack of knowledge regarding potential cyber threats to the cloud environment, is perhaps the greatest challenge of all. Thus, it is critical that everyone who has access to your cloud environment is well versed in the potential threats and all policies and procedures for mitigating those threats.
In the end, the advantages of the cloud environment are worth the transition. However, without the proper attention paid to cloud security, shifting to the cloud can put your organization and its data at risk.
Connect with Platinum Technologies today and learn how we can help you overcome the challenges of keeping the cloud secure.