The global pace at which technology is evolving and accelerating is incredible. People and businesses are less and less concerned about having “physical” assets or solutions. Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media, said: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, has no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, doesn’t create content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest hosting provider, doesn’t own any real estate. Something interesting is happening. “
This also applies to cloud computing. During the pandemic, companies were forced to adapt to cloud solutions or suffer major business disruptions or shutdowns. The cloud is attractive to many organizations. It is scalable in a way that companies may not achieve with their own solutions, allows flexibility in data storage and employee access, and is a lower investment than traditional data center environments.
It is easy to assume that because data is not centralized in a single system, it is more secure. To the extent that this is true, cloud solutions offer flexibility in the face of power outages. Not all computers in the building become a very stylish paper floor. Cloud solutions can mitigate this by ensuring that financial ramifications are not widespread and that employee and customer confidence is not completely broken.
In the cloud, data stored in different environments can be an advantage over outages. But it also makes information quieter and intrinsically more difficult to manage and evaluate. A cloud system may seem attractive as it creates an “ecosystem” of different segments that work together and complement each other, but relying on a cloud ecosystem instead of an internal “island” makes continuous monitoring and control almost impossible.
There will be risks in traditional data environments and cloud computing environments. It is impossible to escape security threats. But evaluation and monitoring in conventional data environments have been tried and tested for decades. The same cannot be said for the cloud. Cloud security issues are relatively new monsters facing organizations.
What are the security risks of cloud computing?
Risk 1: Decreased security protocols
By transferring data and services to cloud providers, organizations lose some of the visibility and control of these assets. Part of the responsibility for data security management shifts to the cloud service provider (CSP) and it can be difficult to see where gaps in security controls lie.
It becomes a challenge in cloud environments to get a comprehensive view of security protocols. That is, there may be an aspect that your CSP excels in monitoring and address / security, but another area may fall short. It is difficult to determine where these security gaps are when using a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud solution. Being able to identify and identify sensitive data and where they reside is critical to managing confidential data.
There is a third party aspect to CSP that can also be dangerous. Yes, your employees can access the data they need whenever they need it, but CSP employees can also access that data. They may be able to abuse their authorized access to infiltrate critical systems. It would be more difficult for an organization to identify leakage, such as continuous control automation i automated risk assessment there are still no options for cloud solutions. Having nothing that can be integrated with both AWS and Google Cloud is also a hurdle.
There is a great deal of confidence in CSPs that could haunt a company again.
Risk 2: Overwhelmed security professionals
Cloud adoption introduces complexity into most IT operations. Managing and integrating data, employees, and systems through cloud applications can easily overwhelm and stress cybersecurity professionals who are already dealing with equipment and tight budgets. Learning a whole new system and integrating it with local solutions can lead to team overcapacity. The way old IT departments were built doesn’t translate well to cloud security equipment. Finding out about new titles, new team structures, and new job requirements adds another element of the mental tax to employees.
Staff must learn to integrate and manage cloud storage quickly, even at the expense of cutting security protocols. Data moves to the cloud without assessing the full extent of the risk and fully understanding what key management and encryption services are in a cloud-based space.
The tools needed to monitor servers in the cloud vary between CSPs, making it more difficult for security teams to have a multi-cloud solution, which increases the complexity of the whole operation and the likelihood of gaps. security. There may also be emerging threats / risks in hybrid cloud deployments due to technology, policies, and deployment methods, which add complexity.
Risk 3: compliance and regulation problems
The lack of visibility of operations in the cloud limits an organization’s ability to monitor compliance. Industries such as healthcare, banking or government have strict regulations that they must comply with. Where data is stored, who has access to it, and how it is protected are key in these highly regulated industries. While storing this data in the cloud certainly increases ease and accessibility, this also increases vulnerabilities and threats, especially because the CSP partially controls compliance maintenance. Data breaches in these sectors can be costly and catastrophic.
If a company does not put in place the proper protections, it could be legally liable or receive significant fines or disciplinary action. Accept the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR introduces extensive requirements for any organization that does business in Europe or stores data on EU residents. The consequences for non-compliance are serious, including fines of up to 4% of global annual turnover / revenue or € 20 million, whichever is higher.
To combat the problems of regulation and compliance in cloud computer security, companies should have a high level of maturity and possibly take advantage of third-party automation tools such as CyberStrong to control risk and improve its ability to meet compliance requirements.
Risk 4: Evolving technologies
Technology is constantly evolving and at a pace that is difficult to maintain, even for technology companies. But in a cloud environment, it is sometimes necessary to keep up with technological developments or updates to continue using the CSP and remain compatible. This means that security teams may have to restructure their systems more often to continue using their CSP. This can stress security teams and other employees and also introduces more risk factors, as as technology evolves and systems are restructured, critical controls could be accidentally left out of new settings or threats that were not previously they were frequent they could take advantage of an unproven / weakness.
Administrative restrictions could also come into play here. Inevitably, only a few key employees will have access to cloud configuration and storage, meaning that if a problem arises, there will be a bottleneck in who can fix it, thus increasing the time it can take to respond to an incidental security.
Companies need to make the necessary adjustments to retain qualified safety equipment that can mitigate risks responsibly and in a timely manner, balancing it with innovation factors that will put them ahead of the industry, but not with too much innovation that the lack of knowledge or education will be a limiting factor to the whole company.
While cloud and multi-cloud solutions have certain advantages for organizations, they do have their drawbacks. Mainly: the cloud is such a new solution that proper risk and assessment are still in their infancy.
However, a first-risk approach to any level of data protection is essential to keep up with evolving technologies, compliance and regulatory issues, mitigate the decline of security protocols and ensure that safety equipment is not overly stressed.
To learn how CyberSaint can help you take a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, contact us.