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What is Cloud Security & Why is It Different Than Regular Cyber Security?

June 4, 2024
Reading Time: 4 mins
Author: Katherine Spanner

It’s easy to assume that the cyber security measures that you’ve been using for years will be enough for your cloud computing environment. However, cloud security isn’t the same as traditional cyber security. Cloud security is typically confined to your cloud-native systems, while general cyber security lives both inside and outside your cloud infrastructure.

 

“Cloud services are generally more secure than on prem systems. However, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.” - Ray Sweeney, Chief Commercial Officer, Sensible Business Solutions

 

Another key distinction between cloud security and regular cyber security is the shared responsibility model. The shared responsibility model means that both the service provider and the client play active roles in ensuring security. In fact, 43% of IT decision makers don’t realise that the onus to protect cloud apps and data is on them.

Given these distinctions, familiar cyber security terms like data security and infrastructure security will mean something different in the cloud. This article is here to clear the air on what makes these well-known frameworks different in the cloud.

 

 

What Is Infrastructure Security in Cloud Computing?

Infrastructure security in cloud computing refers to the measures and protocols put in place to protect the foundational elements of the cloud environment. These elements include the hardware and software, such as servers and storage units.

Cloud infrastructure security is where you can really see the shared responsibility model in action. While the provider typically secures the physical infrastructure, you must manage the security controls and configurations that protect your cloud resources.

What Is Cloud Workload Security?

Cloud workload security involves protecting the different tasks and processes that run in your cloud environment. Given that most cloud-based tasks intentionally involve data transfer, it’s important to keep your data protected during its travel.

Data encryption is generally how this is done. Although it's estimated that 70% of internet traffic is encrypted, people tend to let their guard down when it comes to internal communication over public clouds. Australia is lagging behind on this even more than other countries. Only 7% of Australian businesses have encrypted a minimum of 60% of their cloud-based data.

It’s best to encrypt everything that you plan to share through your cloud server, even if it’s only going to an employee you trust. Hackers can gain access to your information by intercepting data in transfer. Encryption ensures that even if they do, they can’t use anything that they stole.

 

Learn More About The Cloud & Keeping It Secure

 

What Is Data Security in Cloud Computing?

Data security in cloud computing is the practice of protecting sensitive data stored in the cloud from unauthorised access, theft, or corruption throughout its lifecycle. As businesses have migrated to cloud environments, so has the attention of cybercriminals (39% of businesses experienced a data breach in their cloud environments in 2023).

Since the cloud involves storing data off-site and sometimes sharing resources with others, securing data in the cloud is a bit different than securing data on your own computers or networks.

The tools and methods you use to keep data safe need to work well in an environment you don't physically control. For example, monitoring tools can be good for spotting suspicious activity or potential threats to your data off-site.

 

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What Is Network Security in Cloud Computing?

Network security in cloud computing means taking steps to protect the network that connects to your cloud services and the data that travels across it. This type of security focuses on keeping hackers and malware out of your cloud network.

Since the cloud lets us access data from anywhere, its network security also means making sure that only the right people can connect to your cloud services. Secure VPNs for remote access can help ensure that data stays safe even when employees access it from home or while travelling.

 

What Cloud Security Threats Do You Need to Worry About?

When you move to the cloud, you’ll face some new security issues that wouldn't be a concern if all your data were kept onsite. These threats come with the territory of storing data on servers you don't physically control.

However, recognising and addressing these threats doesn't mean the cloud is less secure. It simply means that security measures need to adapt to this different environment. Here are a few to watch out for, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

ThreatHow It HappensWhat You Can Do
Misconfiguration RisksIncorrectly configured cloud assets can expose stored data to the public.Regularly review security settings and follow best practices.
Insecure Access PointsLack of security around how people access your cloud increases your risk of data breaches.Ensure that people must use strong passwords and/or secure portals to access your cloud network.
Shared Technology VulnerabilitiesUsing the same cloud service as others might lead to shared risks if someone has a security issue.Choose providers that isolate resources effectively and keep your data encryption strategies in check.
Insufficient Identity and Access Management (IAM)Poor management of user access and credentials.Implement strong access control policies and practices.
System VulnerabilitiesThe platforms that run cloud services can have their own vulnerabilities.Make sure your cloud service provider keeps their systems up to date and secure.
Side-Channel AttacksAn attacker can gather information about you by observing your behaviour in your cloud network.Ensure your cloud provider uses strong isolation measures for shared resources.

 

Now That We’ve Answered All Those Questions – Where Can You Look For Your Cloud Security Solutions?

Given everything we just said about the shared responsibility model, you might be left a bit hesitant about cloud services. While you always need to do your due diligence when it comes to cyber security, choosing a cloud provider you can trust should quell those fears.

Sensible Business Solutions offers a secure cloud solution in SensibleCloud. Alongside that, we also provide expert consultants who can help you with the move, outsourced cloud experts to manage everything, and a reliable IT support desk to answer any questions.

Reach out to us today to get started.

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