4 Reasons to Pick a Security-First Cloud Solutions Provider
1. The public cloud introduces new security considerations.
As more companies move to the cloud – especially the public cloud – a host of new information security challenges are emerging. In fact, CSO recently put together a list of the top 12 cloud security threats, which include:
- Data breaches
- Insufficient identity, credential, and access management
- Insecure interfaces and APIs
- System vulnerabilities
- Account hijacking
- Malicious insiders
- Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
- Data loss
- Insufficient due diligence
- Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
- Denial of service (DoS)
- Shared technology vulnerabilities
We’ve heard about many of these threats in the media – and we recently wrote about ransomware attacks on our blog – because these threats affect businesses of all sizes.
For instance, in the first half of 2019 alone, we heard about data breaches increasing by 54% from the previous year. And, with an estimated 3.4 billion phishing emails being sent out daily worldwide, almost all of us can say we’ve been on the receiving end of a phishing email.
Sure, not all of these cyberthreats target the cloud specifically, but with the cloud being accessible online, many of them do.
The takeaway: While security threats are a part of life regardless of where your data is stored, and the cloud introduces several new cybersecurity concerns, a good cloud solutions partner will understand these security threats and take them seriously. Most importantly, they will offer 360 insight on how to mitigate your risk – so your business can stay focused on leveraging the immense power of the cloud to benefit growth.
2. It’s up to the cloud customer (not the cloud service provider) to protect business data.
Did you know that cloud security is a shared responsibility? The best way to illustrate this is to take the example of a condo building. It’s up to the building owner to ensure adequate security is in place to protect the building – like having control over the front door and installing working smoke detectors in hallways and public spaces. However, what you do inside your condo is your own responsibility. If you leave a pot boiling on the stove and forget to replace your smoke detector battery, it’s at your own risk. Likewise, if you let someone into your unit and they steal your jewelry, that’s your mistake.
The same goes for the public cloud. Cloud service providers (like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform) are responsible for the security of the cloud, but it’s the customers (you) who are responsible for the security of what gets put into the cloud and how that information gets accessed.
This is an important distinction to remember, since the majority of security failures are a result of a customer not taking appropriate action to protect themselves or monitor for threats.
In fact, Gartner found that “through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”
The takeaway: You have a shared security responsibility when using the public cloud, with you holding a good chunk of that responsibility. Rather than face this responsibility alone, a good cloud solutions partner that prioritizes security will help you engineer and maintain your cloud in a way that minimizes your risks and provides continuous threat monitoring, detection and mitigation.
3. Cloud security compliance challenges are changing all the time.
When speaking about the latest round of research on cloud security compliance, Gartner’s VP of Research, Jay Heiser, notably said, “CIOs must change their line of questioning from ‘Is the cloud secure?’ to ‘Am I using the cloud securely?’”.
This is a great way to look at it. There have been countless articles written and debates had over the question “is the cloud secure?” and “will I be more at risk if I move to the cloud?”, with customers looking for definitive answers. The truth is, the cloud, like anything else, will always be vulnerable to a mix of changing threats.
For instance, we’ve recently been hearing more about the threat of container software vulnerabilities, cryptographic exploits and meltdown or spectre as cybercrime becomes increasingly complex and sophisticated. Plus, internal threats will always remain a concern. The truth is, threats will never go away, so how you approach and handle them is what matters.
The takeaway: A cloud solutions partner that takes cloud security seriously can help you navigate these threats as they change from month to month and year to year. Threats will never go away, so adopting a mindset of “am I using the cloud securely?” will help you engage effectively with a partner that’s focused on adaptive risk assessment and mitigation.
4. There are steps that can be taken to mitigate risk.
Just as threats change monthly, so do technologies, tools and procedures designed to mitigate risk. A knowledgeable and up-to-date cloud partner can help you identify and navigate your vulnerabilities, so you can make an educated decision about your cloud strategy.
Some of the solutions that can be put in place may include:
- Engineering your cloud environment using security best practices
- Implementing or maturing security operations centers (SOCs)
- Strengthen your existing security and governance procedures
- Providing advanced threat detection and automated threat mitigation
- Setting up continuous security monitoring
- Ensuring good API hygiene
- Providing managed endpoint protection and DDoS protection
- Offering training to employees on threats like phishing and account hijacking
- Looking at ‘passwordless’ methods of access management
- Setting up procedures to review security analytics
- Responding to incidents quickly and effectively
The cloud offers a huge range of benefits for businesses large and small. With almost 50% of data worldwide expected to be stored in public cloud environments by 2025, the cloud has shaped the world of computing in a whole new way.
By working with a cloud solutions provider that prioritizes cloud security compliance, you can put your energy into leveraging the incredible power of the cloud – while also making informed decisions about risk and enabling adaptive approaches to risk mitigation.
Need help protecting your cloud? WatServ is a security-focused cloud solutions provider that helps companies safeguard their cloud through CloudOps advanced managed services. Speak with one of WatServ team members today to learn more.
What Does Good Cybersecurity Really Mean?
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