Companies are continuing to integrate cloud solutions to achieve business goals. According to the 2021 Fortinet Cloud Security Report, over a third of companies utilize 50% of their workloads within the cloud. Whether these organizations use multi-cloud or hybrid solutions, it is slowly starting to become the standard.
As the cyber threat landscape continues to expand, security is still a concern and many individuals are wary about the strength of public and private clouds. As more companies migrate to the cloud, most service providers are prepared to secure their networks. However, cloud service customers are constantly researching optimal ways to protect their data.
In today’s world, cloud security is much more than a short-term practice. It is becoming a foundation for data and security protection strategy. Within the concept of the shared responsibility cloud system, securing cloud applications rests in the hands of the organizations themselves. The trends we list below indicate a growing concern with successfully handling that responsibility.
Below are nine of the most critical challenges and trends that data security groups must understand.
SDLC and DevSecOps within the Cloud
DevOps is becoming more popular as a viable SDLC framework. It allows companies to release effective software programs rapidly while reducing waste and risk. When entities adopt DevOps, they will need solutions for infrastructure management and automation. Cloud services offer reliable help because the entire process must be secure and fast.
When you combine the SDLC process and security task automation, it gives birth to DevSecOps. Technology and people both play a role in facilitating the software product life cycle. Instead of security added on as a top layer, it must integrate seamlessly.
When it comes to cloud computing, security measures must be created to satisfy every phase of the SDLC pipeline. These policies must safeguard the infrastructure data and environment too. DevSecOps, because it applies to cloud resources and app functionality, will need to be improved and tested continuously. This includes evaluating security obstacles, similarity, regulatory compliance, and vulnerabilities.
Lack of Consensus, Cyber Laws, and Privacy Awareness
Governments across the globe have been advocating for strict regulation to ensure that end-users and business clients have adequate cloud security. However, there is an inconsistency between how different countries view regulation. Access violations, security, cyber threat protection, and IP rights are all addressed differently worldwide. Therefore, international companies must adhere to varying rules.
Diversity and unclear regulations will have an impact on cloud security. Data centers and their users are located in different geographical regions, which makes things complicated. Because users have heightened privacy awareness, this will boost the demand for transparency. However, cloud computing customers are deprived of visibility into the security performance of overall cloud infrastructure.
When businesses outline their IT strategic planning and investments, they must factor in government regulations, cloud security, and privacy for the endend-users users. In the future, worldwide organizations will need tightened cloud security rules to account for rising cybercrime threats.
Ransomware and Cybercrime
Cloud computing allows 24/7 access to information from consolidated data centers. The resources that power this are not operated by the customers, and the vendors handle vulnerability and risk. However, the users involved with cloud computing are responsible for safeguarding data against cyberattacks and ransomware.
There are a few reasons why public clouds, private clouds, and cloud data centers are common targets for crypto-mining and ransomware:
● Lack of control and visibility into the infrastructure of the cloud
● Inadequate security
● Inadequate awareness among the individuals
Cloud computing will continue to expose data in three different ways:
● Data utilized – data processed in the cloud or local servers
● Data resting – data stored idle within the data centers
● Data in transit – data transferred throughout the network
So what does this mean going forward? To mitigate the risk of data breaches, leaks, and ransomware threats, organizations will need to take action. To do this, companies must allow end-to-end encryption and oversee data access across the entire infrastructure.
Posture Management for Cloud Security
As more companies utilize services for the cloud platform, this also gives rise to unmonitored risks within the digital world. Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) is vital in automating cloud security management in all aspects of cloud infrastructure.
These CSPM resources enable companies to locate and address risks through automated compliance checklists and security assessments. Misconfigurations are often challenging to consolidate as the cloud environment expands. CSPM solves this issue and boosts regulatory compliance with HIPAA, CCPA, and GDPR. In turn, businesses can build trust and confidence with their clients because of their cloud security.
CSPM resources have many additional benefits, including:
● Evaluating data risks and identifying mismanaged account permissions
● Assessing inaccurate connectivity with the network
● Ongoing monitoring of policy violations within the cloud environment
● Increased compliance with regulations and best practices
Centralized Platforms for Multi-Cloud Security
Right now, many companies utilize more than one cloud provider. One of the biggest struggles is finding a way to streamline and secure those solutions. Organizations also want a centralized method to implement compliance measures and security controls.
One solution to address this is through a cloud security access broker (CASB). This software serves as a critical connector between cloud applications and cloud service users. It continuously scans activity and carries out security rules and policies.
Protecting Data Before it Gets to the Cloud
There is an increasing concern of data breaches in the cloud, which means a set of new standards, regulations, and rules must be developed by organizations to manage their customer information better. Therefore, businesses are taking extra precautions to safeguard that customer data before it gets to the cloud.
Organizations have begun to explore solutions to mask, encrypt, and tokenize data before it heads to the cloud. In addition, this trend yields the increased use of bringing your own key box (BYOK) policies. This solution enhances the data protection process by authorizing individual users to decrypt information at a set time.
Access Control and Identity
Although tokenization and encryption are effective, organizations are also placing greater importance on critical management practices. One strategy companies use to tighten access and identity is a zero-trust model. This system limits access to resources, services, and data to an “as-needed” basis.
Zero-trust models and the cloud are a good pair. Companies that roll out a zero-trust method while creating services in the cloud will save themselves money and time in the form of risk mitigation. A company’s security begins with the user, which is why this model is effective.
Cloud providers now offer a unique platform for identity management that integrates naturally into public and private clouds. Companies also utilize analysis driven by machine language to better understand which users have access to specific areas of the infrastructure. Once businesses know this status, they can then evaluate where permissions should be adjusted.
More Levels of Visibility
Companies are increasing spending on new tools to merge the security stack with all their cloud services. Doing so allows for 100% visibility across all infrastructure and applications.
Because cloud computing will extend the technology stack for innovative companies, it gives rise to obstacles in system maintenance and visibility. Frequently, the larger companies utilize multiple PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS providers. Each solution shares a responsibility, which means businesses are prone to software risks, misconfiguration, redundancy, and human error.
Therefore, companies must be more mindful of these challenges and complexity. They must anticipate the complications that technology integration brings, which means increased protection across their databases, applications, and infrastructure.
More Spending on Intelligent Security
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have established themselves as transcendent requirements within the cybersecurity technology space. Cloud service expansion has given rise to new applications involving ML and AI that reach far past malware protection.
Security automation, a staple in future cloud security services, can effectively decrease the time and money needed to maintain user access. At the same time, automation reduces human error in the process. While the cybersecurity workforce shortage increases, ML and AI will serve as vital tools to eliminate data breach threats and foster business integrity.
To recap, here are the essential ideas that data security teams need to consider when developing their strategy:
● The combination of SDLC and DevSecOps in the cloud optimizes the software product life cycle
● Ambiguity and lack of agreement with cyber laws increase the need for transparency
● Rising cybercrime and ransomware threats will force businesses to be proactive in end-to-end encryption
● Cloud security posture management (CSPM) will heighten a company’s ability to monitor risks through automation
● Centralized platforms for multi-cloud security will enable organizations to monitor activity and roll out security policies and rules
● Extra steps must be taken to protect data before it arrives at the cloud
● Zero-trust models are becoming more common to regulate access control and identity better
● Businesses will be boosting investments into newer tools to marry the security stack with their cloud services
● Investing more into security automation