The Cloud Is Not Secure
The Cloud Is Not Secure – The Myths and Non-Myths

Cloud infrastructure is not secure

The biggest myth plaguing the thought process of whether to move to cloud from a security perspective is that people tend to believe cloud infrastructure is not secure enough. Businesses are still wary of putting their data onto cloud migrating from their “safe” on-premise data centers as they believe it can be easily infiltrated into by the bad guys of the internet.
Cloud Service Providers or CSP need to adopt stringent measures to make their systems are less prone to security breaches – they need to conform to a multitude of regulatory compliances, faltering will surely throw them out of business. In fact, CSPs have got more technical strength and expertise in securing the cloud network and they put in place an array of security frameworks to mitigate risks. Most organizations using IT services don’t have network security as one of their primary competencies which is one of the core selling points of cloud computing. On average, data in the cloud is more secure than residing in on-premise systems as the latter suffer from a higher number of breaches than public cloud.

Cloud security is the provider’s responsibility

Cloud service providers employ large, expert teams of security technicians to design, implement and maintain cutting edge data security controls. But it is not true that the security mechanism in place by the CSP is enough to make an application and its data safe running in the cloud environment. A business needs to have its own strong security and governance policy tackling the management of passwords, the release of software patches, user roles and security training of staff and vendors. In fact, it is wise to outsource the security operations to an expert company who will manage the security operations with professionalism. A user must be knowledgeable enough to dig deep into the underlying facts of cloud security and understand the provisions given the CSP and decide critically on disaster prevention, disaster recovery policies and then implement the needed data security to help mitigate risks. The onus of backing up of clean data on a regular basis to another cloud solution or to an onsite center lies on the application owner and not the cloud providers. It is very essential to have in place a robust backup & restore solution so that in an unlikely event of a security breach, data can be restored successfully.

Data control & security is lost in cloud

Users are concerned about data security in cloud computing space because of public cloud permits sharing network space, compute and storage among tenants. It is very difficult for a tenant to attack and steal another one in public cloud. Multi-tenant systems provide additional layers of content protection via hypervisors so even logging into the same infrastructure different group of users can only access their own data. CSPs can be asked to furnish clearances from 3rd party auditors and audit logs to determine if they have implemented the best practices to ensure the right users have access to your data and no Tom Dick or Harry can meddle with it.
Users don’t lose control of the data being deposited in the cloud storage; it is the choice of the organization which data to store in the cloud and how to distribute that among users. CSPs can be evaluated whether they are abiding by the highest security compliances and thus working with them can provide you a transparent picture about how your data is being processed and transmitted.

Cloud cannot meet compliance requirements

There is a valid concern regarding geographical storage location of data, more so for businesses involved in dealing with confidential records. Regulatory and compliance standards of various countries might bar you to transfer data overseas. Nevertheless, this kind of limited data transmission can be controlled with cloud storage. Global CSPs operates data centers across different countries and are well versed with regulations and laws.
Meeting or exceeding compliance standards on the cloud depends solely on the capabilities of the CSP and thus it is instrumental in choosing a quality service provider that can ensure data residency according to the choice and requirements of your business.

Cloud security is too complex to maintain

All the best practices and standard operating procedures for maintaining security, that was in place before moving to the cloud, can be tweaked somewhat to deal with cloud-specific concerns and re-used to monitor and maintain the security of a cloud environment.
Many organizations are moving towards a hybrid cloud approach and that makes IT architecture quite complex; it is a mix of public cloud resource with an on-premise infrastructure to harness the benefits of both worlds. Finding a consistent, reliable and secure way to manage this ensemble of vendors, services, and assets is challenging.

Cloud is self-managed

Cloud environments managed by a single CSP can have widely varying configuration and depends mostly on the contract between the business and the provider and it is imperative to understand the security measures that your CSP will be taking to make your environment secure. Cloud infrastructure is a managed service, but the security of the applications hosted on the cloud is dependent on the organization. Security needs to be considered from the very first stages of developing an application. Firewall configuration, penetration testing, monitoring logs, system, and network activities, setting up intrusion detection systems are some of the disciplinary processes that need to be carried out by the hosts of a cloud.
Blindly trusting the who’s who of the cloud service providers for providing bulletproof infrastructure security may lead to severe damages to a business in case a glitch or leak takes place. So beware. Considering outsourcing the cloud security operations to a dedicated secOps firm is a wise idea that many of the organizations do so as to ensure that their application stack and data is secure.
See Also:
Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021 White Paper – https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/white-paper-c11-738085.html
Cloud Adoption Strategies Will Influence More Than 50 Percent of ITO Deals Through 2020 – https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-02-22-gartner-says-worldwide-public-cloud-services-market-to-grow-18-percent-in-2017

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