Discussing the concept of Cloud Security over breakfast with my kids (yup – poor kids I hear you say!), I was thinking about the current state as one of constant (and accelerating) evolution and improvement. As more businesses adopt cloud computing, the need for robust and effective security measures has become increasingly important. While cloud hyperscalers have made significant investments in securing their platforms, the responsibility for implementing and maintaining effective security measures ultimately falls on customers or those they entrust to manage their platforms on their behalf.
There are many challenges that businesses face when it comes to cloud security and far too many to go into in a TekBytes thought of the day, but let’s look at a few.
One major challenge is the lack of visibility and control over the infrastructure and data that are hosted in the cloud. This can make it very difficult to identify and address security vulnerabilities and threats. Another challenge is the complexity of cloud security, which can be exacerbated by the use of multiple cloud providers, each with their own security protocols and standards. Finally, we have a huge lack of skills in the market, and those few people with the skills are constantly being tempted by offers of outrageous salaries, so retaining your talented teams is really tough!
Despite these, there have been really significant advancements in cloud security in recent years. The hyperscalers have implemented many new security measures, such as encryption, improved access controls and policies, significantly better monitoring tools, to help protect their platforms and their customers’ data. Post-Covid, with customers moving to the cloud in even larger numbers, it’s also great to see that customers have become more aware of the importance of cloud security and are taking steps to prioritise it.
The threat landscape for cloud security continues to evolve, with new and extremely sophisticated attacks emerging all the time. Businesses need to keep up and be proactive in their approach to cloud security.
So, a couple of quick tips to think about if you haven’t already started taking your cloud security seriously?
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). A bit like when you hear sports commentators or coaches talking about a losing team, the common thread is simply not doing the fundamentals / basics well. One of the most effective ways to improve cloud security is to require MFA for all users accessing cloud resources (not just root). Lack of MFA is like leaving your car door unlocked and crying out to have your vehicle taken for a Ferris Bueller-style joy ride!
- Regularly review and update security policies. It’s important for businesses to regularly review and update their security policies to ensure they are aligned with current best practices and standards, and these best practices are constantly evolving. Things like access controls, password policies, data encryption, and incident response plans. By keeping security policies up-to-date and ensuring that all employees are aware of them, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches.
- Investigating the used of third-party security tools and services. Tools (if properly implemented) provide additional layers of protection, such as threat detection and monitoring, vulnerability scanning, data encryption, etc. Engaging security experts one-off or regularly to provide recommendations for improving their security posture, or simply outsourcing management of their cloud estates.
I’m genuinely hopeful that the emerging (and frankly astounding) improvements in artificial intelligence will have a positive and significant impact on businesses who don’t or can’t spend the time and resources to protect themselves and their customers effectively. If they don’t we’re only going to see a proliferation of more high profile and high impact cases in the news!