For more than a decade, the biggest gating factor in cloud computing adoption was perceived security risks. IT professionals and business leaders alike were often extremely concerned about a perceived loss of control of mission-critical data and essential applications when moved to the cloud.
But as organizations have stepped up their usage of cloud services and become more comfortable and familiar with how to work safely and securely in the cloud, it has become clear that working with cloud service providers often results in an improved security posture. This is due, in large part, to both the often-discussed shared-responsibility model of cloud security and enhanced infrastructure security in the cloud.
That’s not to say that cloud security is a given, or a slam dunk, even when working with reputable, reliable public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. It is vitally important for organizations to make smart, strategic investments in cloud security to avoid security gaps, unanticipated threats and the challenges often brought on by users’ poor cloud security hygiene. That’s a big reason why cloud security has become a very large and fast-growing market: Research indicates that more than $12 billion will be spent annually on cloud security by 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of more than 25%.1
Organizations need to make cloud security a priority for a number of reasons, including:
- The ease of purchasing and use of cloud services has spawned an unstoppable movement toward cloud self-service, but this trend can be fraught with problems caused by issues such as shadow IT and the lack of data encryption when important data is stored in the cloud.
- The dramatic uptick in the Internet of Things systems developed and deployed in the cloud has created exciting new business opportunities, but many organizations still are learning about the need to secure seemingly mundane devices such as printers, copiers and loading dock portals against cloud security vulnerabilities.
- Configuration routines and inflexible policy management frameworks designed for traditional on-premises infrastructure do not always “lift and shift” seamlessly to the cloud.
- Too many organizations falsely equate their decision to partner with a cloud service provider with relief from ongoing, strategic investments in their own security tools, personnel and awareness.
The result: A big spike in cloud security risks, resulting in negative financial, regulatory, legal, operational, and branding implications.
The solution, however, is readily available. Enterprises need to become infinitely more proactive in reducing security threats as they accelerate their journey to the cloud by adopting a flexible, scalable and dynamic cloud service management platform built with cloud security in mind. Only by making a commitment to proactive security monitoring, management, detection and remediation―in a platform where automation, rather than armies of security analysts, is the rule―can organizations stay ahead of vulnerabilities often associated with the cloud.
Decision-makers―not just security and IT professionals, but especially business executives―also need to understand and commit to the shared-responsibility model of cloud security. In this model, cloud service providers are responsible for security “of the cloud,” while enterprises are charged with ensuring security “in the cloud.” This approach provides the broadest and most reliable security coverage, even as cloud computing adoption expands outside the sphere of IT and security professionals’ immediate visibility.
To help overcome potential cloud security challenges, organizations should evaluate solutions such as CloudHealth, a leading cloud service management platform that uses the principles of proactive defense, automation and intelligence. Using the CloudHealth platform to create guardrails for their cloud environments across data, applications and services, organizations can receive real-time alerts indicating potential problems such as data breaches, unauthorized usage, compliance violations and zero-day threats before data is compromised and exfiltrated.
CloudHealth offers enterprises of nearly any size, industry and geography the highest degree of flexibility when it comes to cloud service providers, since it closely partners with AWS and Azure.
CloudHealth also offers an invaluable resource―CloudHealth Security Policies for AWS―to help organizations validate their AWS cloud security readiness with proactive monitoring for vulnerabilities and alerts.
Collected data is transmitted from the CloudHealth platform securely over the web using HTTPS, and it is stored in CloudHealth’s secure databases using AES 256-bit encryption. This security architecture aligns with the shared-responsibility model of cloud security, giving technical and business executives the peace of mind they need to move more data and strategic workloads to the cloud.
For more information, please visit www.cloudhealthtech.com.
1 “Cloud Security Market by Service Type, Security Type, Service Model, Deployment Type, Organization Size, Vertical, and Region – Global Forecast to 2022,” MarketsandMarkets, April 2017