NordLayer - Network Security

The cloud is everywhere in the modern world. Around 67% of business infrastructure is now delivered in the cloud, which stores 60% of corporate data. The average business uses over 1,200 cloud services every day.

As a result, cybersecurity now entails more than securing on-premises network assets. Companies must lock down cloud apps at the point of access. Understanding cloud security could make the difference between reliable operations and massive data losses.

Cloud security architecture offers a single security solution for cloud protection. It combines data integrity tools, monitoring, encryption, access management, and many other security features. Let's explore why single cloud security solutions make sense, and the challenges they overcome.

Security benefits that Cloud Security provides

There are many good reasons to choose a managed cloud security solution to protect SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS assets. Important cloud security benefits include:

Cloud-native access management

Managing access points is vital in cloud computing. A robust cloud-native security solution includes access management tools that lock down portals. Security teams can assign role-specific privileges to every user. Users must supply multiple credentials to access cloud applications, while threat monitoring services instantly highlight suspicious access requests.

Centralized security

Gathering security functions in one place is one of the most significant benefits of cloud computing. Standalone solutions for malware checking, segmentation, access control, encryption, firewalls, and traffic management are not required. Centralization reduces the risk of human error and gives security teams total control over every aspect of security management.

Complete visibility

Cloud-native data security solutions provide full-spectrum visibility across every aspect of an enterprise network. Security teams can use centralized monitoring tools to track user activity, traffic spikes, device setups, and more. Staff can block off dangerous apps or flag maintenance issues when the need arises. Companies know much more about the security metrics that matter.

Simple endpoint protection

Cloud-based security dispenses with traditional perimeter protection. There is no need to install firewalls or VPN clients at every endpoint. Security teams do not need to update malware or virus scanners on every device. Network users can also roam wherever they like while accessing cloud resources securely. This flexibility is a huge benefit for companies reliant on remote work.

Customization

Users of cloud computing solutions can roll out the features they need whenever they desire. Companies may create an IAM solution before adding DNS protection, next-generation firewalls, or end-to-end encryption. When the time comes, companies may scale up to a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). With cloud security, you can set the pace of digital transformations and create a custom setup that suits every situation.

Quick deployment and easy scaling

IT teams can deploy cloud-based data security solutions in minutes. There is no need to store security tools on-site or add extra hardware. When companies add new devices or apps to the network, cloud-resident security tools extend protection almost instantly. Managers can cover new user groups or third parties at the click of a button.

Critical cloud security challenges

These benefits of cloud protection make a compelling case for an enterprise-wide security strategy. But when companies transform their security practices, they will also encounter several security challenges:

Cloud security threats

The cloud environment faces many critical security threats. Distributed-denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks can flood cloud providers with traffic and take down client services. Credential theft attacks can work around access portals, allowing malicious actors to access confidential data or sensitive workloads. Ransomware attacks can affect cloud services, making them unavailable until ransoms are delivered. Security teams need effective mitigation strategies for every threat.

Ensuring visibility of cloud assets

Companies may not always enjoy complete visibility of how employees use cloud services. Cloud providers may conceal information from customers at the infrastructure level, resulting in large security blind spots for users. Companies may lose visibility of user behavior, miss code-base alterations, and even lose sight of the extent of their cloud deployments.

Shadow IT and DevOps

Cloud resources play a critical role in DevOps projects, but this can be a security challenge. DevOps teams may alter the code of cloud-based applications, creating new vulnerabilities. Cloud computing solutions must include tools to ensure data integrity and prevent unauthorized changes.

Dynamic environments

Another challenge is tracking how cloud environments change. Large companies may use thousands of SaaS apps. Without a solid security strategy for the cloud, IT teams may lose track of services in use and who is using them. Multi-cloud environments or hybrid settings compound these problems. Only cloud-native monitoring systems can deliver valid information in those situations.

Compliance

Companies must secure all confidential data to meet compliance standards. Cloud compliance falls under many regulations, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR. Security teams require tools that meet compliance standards and provide evidence proving that companies are meeting regulatory goals.

Access and privileges management

Complex cloud environments can be hard to manage, especially when they involve hundreds of users and multiple teams. Users may enjoy excessive privileges, compromising databases and apps. Poor management of orphaned accounts may expose credentials to external attackers. And poor application-level management can expose encryption keys to outsiders.

How do you manage security in the cloud?

Cloud-native solutions secure cloud services by covering every endpoint and access portal. On a practical level, a robust security posture may include:

  • Next-generation firewalls to exclude unauthorized users from the network. Security measures like network micro-segmentation limit user movement within network boundaries.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools assign and verify user privileges. Multi-factor authentication delivers extra protection, requiring multiple credentials before granting access.
  • Encryption via transport layer security (TLS) and VPN anonymization hide data in transit. VPNs also offer secure connectivity for remote workers as they access cloud resources.
  • Active threat monitoring to detect intrusions or malicious agents. Traffic monitoring to detect DDoS attacks, with dispersal mechanisms to divert traffic from critical applications.
  • Backups of crucial application data and resilient disaster recovery processes to restore critical cloud apps.
  • Comprehensive commissioning operations to research third-party cloud partners. Risk assessment processes to check privacy and security features.

These security features work together as a unit. They also form the basis for Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) strategies. ZTNA applies strict policies to manage security and adopts a default "zero trust" position until users supply authentication data.

Solid cloud computing security is fundamental to modern network management. Protect against data breaches by adding cloud-native security tools to your setup, and lock down cloud computing assets against critical cybersecurity threats.