Cloud computing is more than just a trend. It has become a prevalent force, bringing economies of scale and breakthrough technological advances to modern organizations. Over the last decade Cloud computing has evolved at an unprecedented speed. Now, in almost all organizations, it is entwined with the technological landscape that supports critical daily operations.
This ever-growing cloud environment gives rise to new types of threats. Business and IT security leaders already facing many challenges in protecting their existing IT environment. They must now also find new ways to securely use multiple cloud services, the underlying technical infrastructure, and the support applications.
Key features of Cloud Services
Organizations are rapidly adopting cloud services, attracted by the ease of procurement, relatively low set-up cost, and the opportunity to replace legacy technology that no longer meets business needs. Managing security is troublesome due to the unique and varied features intrinsic to using multiple cloud services.
Cloud services cover a vast range of offerings such as business applications, document storage solutions, databases, and virtual servers, which can all be purchased on-demand from CSPs through a public network or the internet.
As organizations move to cloud computing to enhance their business operations, they tend to favor the acquisition of cloud services over the expansion of conventional, on-premises IT data centers. Countless organizations have adopted this approach. For many organizations, this means that almost all their entire IT Infrastructure will eventually be hosted in the cloud environment.
The need to use cloud services securely
There is a surge in business processes supported by cloud services, and It has been well evidenced that organizations are using cloud services to store confidential data in the cloud environment. However, most are still unsure whether to entrust cloud service providers (CSPs) with their data when using cloud services. CSPs usually provide a certain level of security, but cloud-related security incidents do occur.
CSPs cannot be entirely responsible for the security of their customers’ critical information. Cloud security relies similarly on the customer’s ability to execute the appropriate level of information security controls. To deploy and maintain core security controls, Lack of a consistent approach is often a challenge, as the cloud environment could often be complex and diverse. To successfully address the cyber threats that increasingly target the cloud environment, It is essential that organizations are conscious with their practices and attain their part of the responsibility for securing the cloud environment.
The rise of the multi-cloud environment
As organizations acquire new cloud services, they typically choose these from a selection of multiple CSPs and therefore need to deal with a multi-cloud environment, which is characterized using two or more CSPs.
Organizations favor a multi-cloud environment because it allows them to pick and choose their preferred cloud services across different CSPs (e.g., AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Salesforce). However, each CSP adopts its own jargon, its own specific technologies, and approaches to security management. The cloud customer, therefore, needs to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge to use different cloud services from multiple CSPs securely.
Organizations require a range of different users to securely access cloud services from within the organization’s network perimeter through secure network connections (e.g., via a gateway). However, organizations also need their cloud services to be accessed from outside the internal perimeter by stakeholders and users traveling off-site or working remotely, all connecting through a selection of secure network connections as dictated by the organization.
Overcoming cloud security challenges
Organizations need to be sensible of their security commitments and deploy the necessary security controls When CSPs provide a definite level of security for their cloud services. Organizations need to understand and address the many security challenges presented by the compound and diversified characteristics of the cloud environment.
There are several obstacles identified while operating in the cloud environment.
Here are main challenges:
- • Identifying and maintaining the appropriate security controls
- • Balancing the shared responsibility for security between the CSP and the cloud customer
- • Meeting regulatory requirements to protect sensitive data in the cloud environment
The rapid boom of cloud usage has drawn attention to these challenges and, in some instances, left organizations insufficiently prepared to tackle the security concerns associated with using cloud services.