Cloud Security Resources
Today’s cloud-first, access-data-from-anywhere network model challenges the way small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) approach IT security. With systems, data, and applications now dispersed among one or more clouds, SMBs are bolstering traditional network defenses with advanced cloud security protections that keep pace with evolving cyberthreats. Learn about cloud security technologies, best practices, and strategies that provide the ultimate protection for your data, users, and systems in the cloud.
Cloud computing security or cloud security is the practice of securing your off-premises data, applications, people, and devices from cyberthreats. Rather than solely protecting critical resources behind a network perimeter as traditional security practices do, cloud security uses advanced cloud security solutions and techniques to secure the business beyond its established perimeter.
As your business scales its use of the cloud, it faces an ever-growing number of new security challenges. To protect against emerging cloud threats & vulnerabilities, organizations must approach security differently. Securing your business has evolved from a “set it and forget it” strategy to a continuous improvement process that utilizes various cloud security methods and services to enhance defenses to create a secure cloud ecosystem.
In addition, security in the cloud is a shared responsibility between the cloud vendor and your organization. Cloud application vendors are focused on securing their infrastructure and applications to prevent cybercriminals from entering through the, in essence, back door. However, they are not in control of everything. It is up to the organization itself to manage who has access to its data and apps in the cloud vendor’s environment, essentially controlling who is coming in the front door.
For example, your staff may be using weak or the same passwords across personal and work accounts. If a password gets compromised, there is little the cloud application provider can do to keep the hacker from accessing their environment. Your organization must be in control of its users’ identities, data, and devices. If not, your business exposes itself to many unnecessary risks, ones that can be avoided with right cloud security controls.
As your business moves to the cloud and your network becomes dispersed, cloud security mitigates cyber risks, protects digital assets, and safeguards remote workforces. Benefits of incorporating cloud security as part of your overall IT security defense strategy include:
MODERNIZE SECURITY: Safely navigate the cloud by continually implementing and refining modern security techniques and controls to combat cybercrime.
PRODUCTIVITY: The cloud provides a never-ending source of tools to help businesses improve operational efficiencies. With the right cloud security approach, your business can create a secure, flexible, work-from-anywhere environment that enables employees to use cloud productivity tools to get work done efficiently securely.
FLEXIBILITY: Employ a cloud security strategy that positions you to adopt new cloud capabilities in order to boost productivity, maintain a competitive advantage, and support a hybrid workforce.
COMPLIANCE: Heavily regulated organizations will benefit from a cloud security strategy that meets their industry’s security framework needs. The right tools tuned to your business needs can strengthen your security posture and help with audits.
RISK MANAGEMENT: Risks are constantly evolving, and every business wants to reduce its risks. First, companies must extend their IT security risk management practices to incorporate the cloud; followed by creating a dynamic cloud security strategy that helps the organization mitigate risks presented by the cloud.
REPUTATION: Business reputation is a priceless asset. The way your organization approaches and manages security has an impact on your reputation. Your investment in security signals employees, clients, and partners, that your company takes security seriously and can be trusted with their sensitive information and processes.
At the core of an effective cloud security strategy is a Zero Trust security model. The Zero Trust model requires organizations to move from an “always trust model” to an “always verify model” where nothing and no one is trusted, whether inside or outside the network.
What is Zero Trust?
Traditional network security methods deem all activity behind a business firewall as “safe.” Zero Trust flips this thinking on its head as it assumes every access request is a breach attempt. It uses multiple verification methods and signals to validate each attempt. This approach operates on the least privilege access principle, which means a user is given just enough access to the data and apps they need to get their job done.
Zero Trust has three overarching principles:
All of your available data points are used to verify that that user is who they say they are. The device that they are connecting from is one that you trust and is secure. Also, the data or application they’re accessing is something they should have access to. This verification includes both the user data and the device data to make sure that the access request itself Is valid.
Least Privileged Access
Known as just-in-time (JIT) or just-enough-access (JEA) permissions, this strategy involves giving people just enough permission to access the application, data, or the connection methodology they need to get their job done.
Every authentication attempt is treated as though it could potentially be malicious. This approach assumes your users authentication session is guilty until proven innocent. Analytics are used to drive the visibility, detection, and continuous improvement in those policies so they evolve and grow with the end-user, the application set, and the way users are working today.
As cybercriminals continually refine their attack methods, securing your business in the cloud needs a dynamic, continuous improvement strategy. An effective cloud security defense requires nurturing to tune security protections to your individual business needs and address the latest threats. SMBs can accomplish this by conducting regular reviews of their environments to determine what security measures are needed to protect the organization in the cloud.
SMBs benefit significantly from working alongside experienced cloud security experts who are adept at security and risk management. These experts can help SMBs craft a dynamic cloud security strategy and deploy advanced cloud security solutions to create a solid cyber defense and meet the cybercriminals where they need to be me.