What is Cloud Security?

By TechFunnel Contributors - Published on August 25, 2020
Cloud Security explained

Cloud Security is the set of policies, applications, technologies, and controls that are utilized to protect virtual information such as data, securities, infrastructure, virtual IP, and applications.

Cloud Security can operate within public, private, and hybrid cloud environments in order to implement strategies to help prevent cyber threats that may compromise a system. This is a vital piece of implementing cloud policies into a business.

As cyber-attacks become more advanced, cloud security and its variability and adaptability in its processes help prevent these cyber-attacks. This can also help restrict network usage and facilitate growth amongst other business applications.

How Does Cloud Security Work?

  • Identity and Access Management

    Cloud Security helps a business secure their data through a cloud network and helps protect their data through access by the company. This service helps give the right people on team access to that information.

  • Physical Security

    In a hybrid environment or a physical environment, cloud security can still help by providing a firewall through a wireless and cloud function. This can also help protect data that isn’t connected to a local server. Additionally, having employees with access is another form of security and adds as another barrier of access.

  • Threat Intelligence, Monitoring, and Prevention

    Cloud Security has capabilities to scan all activity going through a system and identify any threats or attacks before they happen. By working in prevention rather than recovery, advanced cloud security can help advance prevention metrics on all private data and information.

  • Encryption

    Cloud Security adds a layer of security to help encode data so that a key or password is required to access it. This gives the right people access to the information it’s protecting.

  • Cloud Vulnerability and Penetration Testing

    The Cloud is not a fail-safe system that is impenetrable, however, the vulnerabilities allow for testing of the system in order to help aid in the prevention of data breach and information leaks.

  • Micro-Segmentation

    This technique divides a data center into segments in order to give the right teams the correct information. This gives teams and individuals the proper workload level and information access. Information technology teams can also be flexible with security policies and can minimize damage in the case of a cyber-attack.

  • Next-Generation Firewalls

    Cloud Security is the next level of firewalls, creating a smarter and more effective barrier than a traditional firewall. This type of protection adds a layer of application-aware filtering in order to protect against higher-level threats.

Why is Cloud Security Important?

  1. Improved Security Updates

    With constant updates, information and data can be more secure as cloud security works with consistent updating. This will keep firewalls and barriers at the top of their game when dealing with advanced technology and cyber threats.

  2. AI Tools and Auto-Patching

    The implementation of artificial intelligence and auto-patching helps automate cloud security. This gives IT teams the chance to update these systems while also focusing on different tasks.

  3. Firewalls

    With built-in firewalls, cloud security can use advanced technology to help protect against any type of cyber threats.

  4. Redundancy

    With the security of a cloud program, this can help free up space for data to be backed up multiple times in order to protect incredibly sensitive information.

  5. Third-party Security Testing

    By having a security system serviced by a third party, this frees up resources and assets for internal teams to operate within the cloud. A third party can handle all cyber security details and could provide benefits such as affordability and ease of access.

( Also Read: What Is Cloud Computing? A Complete Guide )

What are the Benefits of Cloud Security?

  • Protection Against Attacks

    Cloud Security is important to a company in order to protect its precious data. With that information secured, a company can focus on other aspects of their business.

  • Securing Data

    As data is secured, individuals and teams can freely work on their projects without a thought of a cyber-attack. They will still need to be careful, however cloud security and their advanced properties can help easing the mind about possible cyber threats.

  • Better Availability

    By giving information a cloud security system, this can help accessibility across multiple teams and in remote locations. This makes data available.

  • Better Reliability

    With the correct cyber security stem in place, users can easily access data and applications no  matter where they are. This gives team members a sense of reliability in getting their work done and in their company.

  • Complete Compliance

    By keeping this system up to date, this helps companies stay compliant on policies as well as updated policies from a third party system.

  • Cost Reduction

    Overall, a cyber security system can help with costs by saving on IT teams, recruiting and training. In the long run, cyber security in the right company will help save capital on ongoing business ventures and data loss prevention.

  • Fewer Administrative Tasks

    Manual security passwords and configurations aren’t needed in a cyber security system. By regulating to a third party cyber security protection program, it can help place responsibility and access into one place to help out with workflows for many teams.

Common Threats to Cloud Security

  1. Data Branches

    As companies begin to transition into more cloud-based environments, this means their private information and data is susceptible to cloud-based cyber-attacks. By putting their information in the cloud, this gives cyber attackers another avenue to take their companies.

  2. Weak Identity, Credential and Access Management

    When using a cloud security system, it can be difficult to secure it depending on the information due to the amount of access given to the company/employees. Since the data isn’t secured on a local system, it can create issues when looking to give certain teams access. This can also lead to issues in terms of access and credentials for teams.

  3. Insecure Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

    APIs are used as a method of communication to display and monitor customer information through the cloud. If this way is not configured in the right way, APIs can easily be leaked and be a pathway to more cyber-attacks on the business as well as customers and their information.

  4. System and Application Vulnerabilities

    If there are any vulnerabilities within the system before a cloud security system is in place, that can lead to some issues with the system and cyber threats. It’s important to make sure the system and applications are secure and then cloud security can help secure them.

  5. Account Hijacking

    If the property that the cloud security is protected is stolen, this can lead to account login credentials being compromised which can lead to the access of customer information.

  6. Malicious Insiders

    It’s important to know who/what has access to data and also the cloud security system. Sometimes, viruses implanted without knowledge or even malicious intent in the form of a worker can be dangerous to the exposure of data. This can range from former to current employees, as well as contract/temporary workers that may have malicious intent.

  7. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

    APTs are a form of cyber-attack where they infiltrate a system for an extended period of time. With these types of attacks, networks and systems remain compromised for a time and information can slowly leak out as time goes on. These attacks have spying and thief-like behavior that can linger in a system until it is discovered, which doesn’t happen right away.

  8. Data Loss

    With data being secured on the cloud, that can always lead to a loss of information in case anything was compromised on the system. This data loss can range from customer information to important sensitive information relating to the company and business.

  9. Insufficient Due Diligence

    By not doing one’s due diligence, this can lead to numerous problems when implementing a cloud security system. It’s important to understand all the pros and cons as well as all the financial costs that will go into integrating a cloud security system to look after data in the cloud.

  10. Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Services

    It’s important to note the possible ramifications behind the abuse of cloud services. This requires proper training to make sure all applications and services are being used to benefit the company.

  11. Denial of Service

    When providing access across multiple channels and platforms, it’s important to make sure there are no issues regarding denial of service. This relates to making sure everyone has the correct access as well as no one overstepping in terms of accessing certain information.

  12. Shared Technology Issues

    In a pinch, sharing technology can become an issue when regarding access. In addition, shared technology can be seen commonly amongst lower-tier teams which can lead to different access for teams and team members. By addressing this early, it’s easier to organize a team and how shared technology proves to be functional.

Best Practices for Cloud Security

  • Shared-Responsibility Model

    By using a shared-responsibility model, teams can understand sharing different responsibilities regarding information access and compliance. Once responsibility is distributed to the team, it’s up to a shared collective of ownership amongst members in order to protect information instead of leaving it all up to cloud security without a plan.

  • Operations Management

    By establishing a culture in a business that prioritizes planning and executing plans, this helps with implementing a cloud security system. When the operations process is streamlined and well-run, then adding a cloud security system will add another element to that, however, can be integrated seamlessly with the right management.

  • Building Controls and Processes

    Each implementation of cloud security is different, as data/information varies amongst clients. With this in mind, planning controls and processes is vital in order to use the correct tools and best solution practices to ensure that departments are able to maintain their data and security for the company.

  • Data Encryption

    It’s important to have layers of security on data, and this is where cloud security comes in. With data encryption, information is protected at all times and companies hold the keys to unlock this data at any point. This helps with security systems that are local, in the cloud and hybrid.

  • User Identity and Access Management

    Admins in the technology information sector of a company need an understanding of the access of information across all boards. By being able to identify users at any point as well as assess their access, the company will have more control over data and its distribution to keep it within the company’s perimeter.

  • Security and Compliance Monitoring

    In order to ensure that data is secured in the long term rather than having a short term solution, it’s important to maintain and focus on compliance standards as well as having the business continue.

    By working constantly on compliance standards within the company, this can help with updating security protocols to ensure that the operations of the company run smoothly. By implementing methods such as SIEM (security information and event management) businesses are able to come up with proper resolutions to data and information security.

Cloud Security Framework

By creating a framework around the functions behind cloud security, this can help manage and minimize the oncoming cyber threats that may come a company’s way. By referencing security standards and balancing compliance standards, this can help with protocols regarding reacting and handling any cyber-attacks.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology or NIST have created a framework that allows companies to establish unique infrastructures in order to protect their information.

  • Identify

    Being able to understand business requirements for success and completing security risk assessments.

  • Protect

    Protection of data is incredibly important to companies, so placing safeguards around this information as much as possible can be one layer to protection in the event of a cyber-attack.

  • Detect

    Prevention is an area of security that is important to discuss as having solutions to identify threats and solutions before or during an event can help protect information.

  • Recover

    In the instance of a successful cyber threat, it’s important to be able to recover from any lost information as well as protocols in place to salvage any information and prevent it from being leaked or stolen.

  • Respond

    In the event of any sort of threat to a company and the information it’s protecting, it’s important to have processes in place to be able to restore information and security protocols in order to prevent any follow-up or future cyber-attacks.

Cloud Security Checklist

An important run-down of processes and functions in cloud security systems can be found in the following list :

  • Policy Standards and Guidelines
  • Data Ownership
  • Access for Teams
  • Resource Provisioning
  • Software Assurance
  • Access Management
  • Network Security
  • Compliance Standards
  • Business Continuity

Why is the Cloud more Secure than Legacy Systems?

  • Physical Protection

    On-site information keeping can only hold up for so many different types of threats. Having information stored in a place that is not physical can eliminate all problems on that front.

  • Cutting-edge Cloud Security Technology

    As cyber threats adapt and update, so does cloud security in order to counteract these attacks.

  • Technical Expertise

    Experts focus solely on cyber security and that helps with having a state of mind that is at ease when regarding the safety and protection of information.

Final Thoughts

Cyber security is an important asset to protect a company’s data and information. When implemented properly, it can help protect a business reputation, client data, and sensitive information regarding the advancement of an industry.

Depending on the type of information, certain aspects are stronger than others regarding cyber security protocols. When weighing the pros and cons of cyber security, this can give clarity on whether the work of implementation is worth it.


Miguel Pobre is a freelance content creator based in Portland, OR. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business Administration. Alongside writing, Miguel has a passion for photography and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

Related Posts