Understanding Cloud Computing Security
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Cloud computing and security has been a hot topic since the advent of the cloud. Initially, an idea that seemed as nebulous as its name, enterprises hesitated to use cloud technology due to the perception that if they didn't have control over it, it couldn't really be secure. The thought of not having direct control over all company-owned data made companies and businesses uneasy.
Now cloud computing has become a must for organizations, businesses, and governments seeking to accelerate collaboration and innovation. And because of that, so has cloud computing security, sometimes shortened to cloud security.
Instead of keeping files on a local storage device or privately-owned hard drive, with cloud-based storage they can be saved to a remote database. This makes cloud computing a popular option for a slew of reasons, such as increased productivity, cost savings, performance, speed and efficiency, and security.
Security and control concerns were initially a barrier to the acceptance of cloud computing, so exactly what is cloud security, and how does it work?
What Is Cloud Security?
Cloud security (cloud computing security) is a set of procedures and technologies used to protect cloud-computing environments from internal and external cyber security threats, such as hackers, malware, unauthorized access or use, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, and other risks. These measures are designed to protect cloud data, maintain regulatory compliance, and preserve customers' privacy while setting authentication rules for users and devices.
From filtering traffic to authenticating access, cloud computing security can be configured to meet the exact needs of your business. And since these rules are configured and managed in one place, administration overhead is lower, and IT departments can focus on other areas of the business.
How Does Cloud Security Work?
Cloud security works by bringing protective measures together to keep data safe. These protocols protect online access to files by blocking traffic from unauthorized and suspicious users. Cloud security includes a set of compliance rules that must be strictly followed to make sure the database is safe and secure. They are governed by laws and regulations to ensure that the protection and privacy of a client's information are maintained.
Some of the leading cloud security technologies to keep data safe include:
This allows only authorizes users to access data. If a hacker or other malicious actor gets into a business' cloud and finds data that is not encrypted, they can take a variety of malicious actions such as sell it, leak it, use it for further attacks, and more. When the data is encrypted, they will find scrambled data that they can't use. Encryption ensures that data cannot be leaked, stolen, or otherwise exposed.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM products track who a user is and what they have permission to do. They also authorize users and deny access to unauthorized users as needed. It is the user's identity that determines their access, not their device or location. IAM helps reduce the threat posed by unauthorized users getting into the system and accessing internal assets, as well as keeping authorizes users from accessing sensitive data. IAM also protects businesses from insider attacks and account takeovers.
Most people are familiar with firewalls as a layer of protection that blocks malicious web traffic. A cloud firewall differs from a traditional firewall in that it is hosted on the cloud. It sets up a virtual security perimeter around cloud infrastructure.
Benefits of Cloud Security
Cloud computing offers businesses flexibility, security, and a plethora of other benefits. By using cloud security solutions in Florida and nationwide provided by Flagler Technologies, businesses can reap the many benefits of cloud security.
Centralizes Data Protection and Security
Cloud-based networks are made up of many devices and endpoints that can be a challenge to manage. Cloud security centralizes data protection with enhanced web filtering and traffic analysis, streamlines monitoring of network events, and requires fewer software updates.
Cloud Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Protection
DDOS attacks are a continual threat for businesses, especially for retail and online gaming. If an attack is successful, it may result in loss of revenue and a damaged reputation. Cloud security services protect businesses from these attacks with resilient solutions and provide post-attack analysis.
Eliminates Hardware Problems
If a business has a problem or issue with a physical server or needs to add more memory, they can lose valuable time as they make improvements. With cloud computing, they can do this without downtime by running their site on a different virtual server. In addition, an infected server won't bring down an entire site. The site can be loaded from a different source, isolating it from the issue.
Faster Disaster Recovery
Without proper protection and a disaster recovery plan, businesses not only lose days of real-time productivity but also run the risk of losing weeks, months, or sometimes years of work. An event like this could cripple a business. Cloud computing security removes some of the stress caused by worry about natural disasters. In addition, virtual backup is easier with cloud computing security services. You can set a regular backup schedule that keeps your data safe and up-to-date.
Reduces Business Costs
Cloud computing and security eliminates the need for hardware, reducing capital expenditure and lower administrative overhead. In addition, it can make data more secure. Traditional IT teams often fight security issues reactively, while cloud security offers proactive security measures that provide 24/7 protection. Constant security updates and manual security configuration can be a huge drain on a business's resources. When businesses move to the cloud, all the security administration is centralized and fully managed with up-to-date methods.
Most companies expect to grow, but servers have been historically unfriendly to growth, causing companies to purchase servers too big for their needs as they anticipate future growth. Expanding server size with unnecessary storage can be expensive. Cloud computing reduces growing pains by offering a model that grows with companies and can be downsized if necessary.
In the Internet age, as working from home becomes more common, mobility becomes more important. A traditional server can only be accessed when users are physically at their workplace. Cloud computing makes files, applications, programs, and data available from anywhere through an Internet connection. With cloud computing, systems incompatibilities are not an issue, as data can be accessed from all devices, including tablets, laptops, and mobile phones.
This mobility of access makes businesses more efficient. Instead of being tied to a physical workplace, employees can have the flexibility to work anywhere, which increases productivity. When businesses don't have to provide space for all employees, they can save on rent and utility bills.
Availability and Reliability
Cloud computing offers increased availability and reliability. A security solution that provides real-time support is now a business necessity. Cloud computing delivers website content and functionality on a global scale. With proper cloud security measures put in place, users can safely access applications and data no matter what device they use and where they are.
Importance of Cloud Computing and Security
Organizations increasingly realize the many benefits of moving to the cloud. The ability to quickly scale up or down, reduce the costs of technology, and use agile systems gives them the competitive edge.
As data centers and business processes increasingly move to the cloud, data security also becomes increasingly important. Cloud security provides the functionality and protection of traditional IT security while allowing organizations to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing without worrying about data privacy and meeting compliance requirements.
Because so much is moving to the cloud, it is critical that businesses have absolute confidence and trust in their cloud computing security solution and that all their data, systems, and applications are protected from data leakage, corruption, deletion, and theft.
Even cloud computing security threats constantly evolve and becoming increasingly sophisticated. For this reason, it is essential to find an IT solutions provider in Florida, such as Flagler Technologies, that stays on top of the latest security technologies and can customize a solution to fit your business' needs.