Why choose Panoptica?
Four reasons you need the industry’s leading cloud-native security solution.
Cloud security involves the procedures, policies, controls, and technologies that protect data and infrastructure in cloud-based systems. These security measures enable data recovery, prevent data theft, ensure compliance, and reduce the impact of misconfigurations and human negligence.
Cloud computing has become a mainstream technology vital for operating an enterprise organization. It is the most ideal way to achieve cost-effective digitization across an enterprise. Cloud adoption has likewise increased to reflect this market reality.
By 2025, it is projected that over 100 zettabytes (a billion terabytes or a trillion gigabytes) of data will be stored in the cloud. This represents about half the total global data storage. For a better perspective, in 2015, only 25% of the world’s computing data was in the cloud.
However, with over 94% of all workloads already processed in the cloud, the vast adoption of cloud technology raises a lot of implications for data security. Attack surfaces have also increased, with the astronomical growth of endpoints connected to the cloud, most of which can be accessed from both corporate and unsecured personal devices.
These trends have heightened the need of cloud security to protect the significant amount of personal and business data, intellectual property, and proprietary information now stored in cloud environments.
The proliferation of cloud computing has brought security concerns—here are some of the benefits of implementing robust cloud security.
Apart from the reputational damage it inflicts, the cost of a security breach is significant. The average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million. Hence, cloud security must guard against a host of malicious attacks such as the following:
Secure cloud infrastructures tend to enable better business outcomes. One of the reasons is because security acts as a resilience accelerator, with security protocols capable of being deployed instantaneously.
These are some of the ways cloud security facilitates better business outcomes:
The embrace of a remote workforce, along with the concept of bring your own device (BYOD) has accelerated in recent years. However, using personal smartphones to access business data poses security risks to the company’s network.
Unlike traditional security architectures, cloud-native security is effective for remote work. This is because it moves the security perimeter to where it's needed—the data, apps, users, and endpoints it needs to protect.
Cloud security enables organizations to proactively establish threat intelligence management. This positions organizations to gather the relevant security information to prioritize and operationalize their security measures. As a platform, the cloud provides organizations with the capability to perform threat intelligence analysis to discover new trends and threat actors.
This threat intelligence aims to provide visibility, monitoring, and tracking across networks, devices, and endpoints.
Cloud platforms, along with cloud-native third-party tools are capable of providing data protection throughout the entire data life cycle, whether the data is at rest or in transit. These cloud security tools often use a combination of digital rights management with data loss prevention mechanisms such as strong encryption, robust identity access management, multi-factor authentication, and strong passwords.
Most of the top businesses operating in tightly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and government utilize cloud computing services. This is because of the vast amount of resources cloud service providers invest in building advanced security protocols.
Cloud computing environments are typically classified in two ways: in terms of their deployment model or service category.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for cloud security. Different cloud computing environments make different levels of security demands on an organization, both in the time, resources, and expertise required to maintain them. Ideally, an organization should understand the cloud security posture they wish to attain, then choose and plan accordingly.
In deployment mode, cloud computing falls into four main categories:
Managing cloud security in these complex environments is challenging. More so because over 90% of businesses use or anticipate to use a multicloud environment, with a majority already immersed in the hybrid approach.
It is especially difficult to do so in a consistent manner in enterprise environments that mostly favor multicloud and hybrid configurations.
DevSecOps also plays an important security role in cloud environments, regardless of their configuration. This is because DevSecOps—which stands for development, security, and operations—provides tools and methods that allow administrators to operate seamlessly and consistently across on-premises deployments, private clouds, and public cloud providers. More importantly, adopting a DevSecOps model allows your infrastructure to be treated like application code. As a result, the code can be scanned, tested, and checked for noncompliance issues and misconfiguration before deployment.
To varying degrees, the cloud service provider is responsible for different aspects of cloud security:
Nevertheless, whatever deployment or service category is chosen, cloud security should be a shared responsibility between the customer and their cloud provider. This shared responsibility is necessary even with IaaS platforms used with AWS’s cloud security.
Since the cloud is shared by many users, data accessibility and security are among its prime security concerns. Situations in which an organization uses multiple platforms and various technologies make it more challenging to detect and monitor network anomalies.
Cloud-native breaches are attack vectors that leverage vulnerabilities most prevalently found in the cloud. Some of these underlying challenges are addressed by cloud service providers offering access control mechanisms.
However, other problems need to be addressed by adequate IT expertise and tools:
Here are some of the top threats an organization’s cloud security strategy needs to address:
However, a significant amount of security problems stem from the cloud service adoption, with reports showing up to 93% of cloud applications not being enterprise-ready. This often manifests in SaaS sprawl that includes shadow IT, which compounds security risks and introduce compliance concerns. Ultimately, it exacerbates the cloud security challenges by increasing the attack surface vulnerable for exploitation.
Traditional IT infrastructure relies on systems that are located on premises, especially regarding hardware architecture. The cloud alleviates the financial costs and administrative burden of maintaining on-premises software systems.
However, one of the most salient differences between the cloud and traditional IT is with regard to their approach to security.
The first and foremost priority of traditional IT architectures is to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to the system. This perspective lends itself to a “castle-and-moat” approach to strengthening network perimeter defenses. But the “trust but verify” philosophy is flawed because it grants too much trust to those already inside the network.
Traditional IT architectures have proven ill-suited for the dramatic increase in remote work and the proliferation of endpoints as a result of BYOD policies. The perimeter-based defense of traditional security is a poor match for the sheer volume of endpoints due to the explosion of mobile and IoT devices.
Zero-trust architecture is based on the negative premise that all network traffic is malicious. It repudiates the false sense of security regarding perimeter defenses, especially in the light of high profile data breaches over the past decade.
Zero trust’s foundational assumption is that anything inside the network shouldn’t be automatically trusted. So, instead of implicitly trusting the users inside the network, it operates on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” Moreover, it makes cybersecurity defenses more effective by narrowing their scope from overly wide network perimeters to more manageable micro-perimeters.
Instead of being network-focused, zero trust removes implicit trust and shrinks the security perimeter. It does this by enforcing least privileges and the creation of segmentation zones to control sensitive resources and prevent lateral movement within the network.
The cloud is a constellation of servers that need to be protected from threats. This entails scrutinizing the traffic reaching the servers to ensure only non-malicious traffic is allowed.
Web application firewalls and filters are used to prevent malicious requests so legitimate users can gain entry into the system. Firewalls allow administrators to configure a network so internal services aren’t exposed to external threats. On the other hand, filters blocks access to certain web content.
Zero trust is one aspect of network protection. With zero-trust security protocols, sensitive portions of the cloud environment can be strategically isolated. Workloads are isolated from one another through the creation of zones called microsegments.
Microsegmentation uses container technology to segment applications and their operating environment. The trust boundaries created minimize the damage an attacker can wreck because there’s a huge barrier to lateral movement from an infected host to others.
Zero trust also bolsters cloud security by leveraging the least privileges concept. This only grants users the particular resources they need to perform specific tasks.
The other aspect of network protection applies to traffic already flowing inside the network. A cloud-based solution should avoid the perimeter-based defenses used by traditional on-premises environments. Instead, the borders of network protection should extend granularly down to the user level.
This is where identity security, which is another component of zero trust, is vital. Identity security is needed so users and entities can only access what they need to perform their duties. Likewise, machines and devices must be constrained to communicate with only the applications they require to execute their tasks.
IAM mechanisms are used to map machine and user identities with the privileges they need to access confidential information.
Data protection is primarily enforced through encryption. The best data protection mechanisms ensure sensitive data is encrypted through the data life cycle. Hence, encryption should be applied whether the data is at rest while in storage or in transit.
Cloud security should enable organizations to gain visibility in order to understand what’s happening inside their networks. This requires continuous monitoring of their cloud environment for vulnerabilities, threats, attack vectors, and anomalies.
Cloud security does not occur in a vacuum. You need to fortify your cloud infrastructure with adequate cloud security tools and methods that safeguard your digital assets and business operations such as the following:
The cloud offers businesses a competitive advantage, with 26% of small and medium-sized businesses using the cloud experiencing faster growth and 21% higher gross profits. However, cloud security has become crucial to cloud computing. This is buttressed by 94% of businesses pointing to an improvement in security after cloud migration.