Cloud adoption has grown tremendously in the last few years – companies across all industries and sectors today host their data, applications, servers and even entire data centers in the cloud. This evolution has also resulted in a sizable increase in cyberattack risks.
That’s why assessing and configuring the right security posture for your organization’s cloud platform is critical for protecting your assets. In addition to all the reasons you want to protect your corporate assets and brand, prevention of any data or system breaches will also save your organization hefty penalties for non-compliance.
The cloud enhances your organization’s competitive edge by driving digital transformation and improving productivity. But despite its many advantages, cloud comes with significant risks and challenges to any size business, which is why it is wise to be extremely proactive about cloud security.
A cloud security assessment will help you understand your current state, gaps, and intended future state. To achieve the optimal ROI for cloud investments, at times organizations do their migration without validating cloud environment’s security posture.
Insecure APIs and interfaces
Misconfigurations and account hijacking risks
Data breaches and compliance challenges
Identity Access Management issues and privilege creep risks
Inadequate logging and monitoring
A thorough cloud security assessment will provide actionable insights into misconfigurations and departures from cloud security recommendations, empowering organizations to uncover, curb, and recover from unwelcome incidents. It is critical to invest in security assessments and strategies to maximize the value of cloud computing.
Cloud security works on a shared responsibilities model. The cloud provider and cloud customer responsibilities vary based on IaaS/PaaS/SaaS Service, as detailed in this graphic.
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This means that the overall security of the cloud itself is the purview of its provider, while the protection of an enterprise’s data and apps within the cloud is a responsibility assumed by the client. While cloud providers certainly do provide assurances of a secure environment that would replace the traditional on-premises network perimeter, the boundary between cloud provision and data security imperatives is unclear.
Therefore, it necessarily becomes your responsibility as the client to safeguard your data and applications against external and internal vulnerabilities. Rather than relying on a provider, whose involvement in protecting your data sits in an ethical and technical gray area, you should position yourself advantageously from the very beginning.
Your organization must take proactive ownership of its security posture instead of scrambling to assign blame and find solutions in the aftermath of an attack and a tremendous loss of data.
Considering that in the next five years more than half of enterprise data, apps, and infrastructure will be cloud-based – and more than 90% will transact using mobile devices – security must be proactive and hyper-vigilant to ensure a safe, incident-free business environment for all stakeholders (source).
Assessing your enterprise’s cloud security posture is the key to achieving this. Through this process you will be able to test the safety of your cloud environment and improve your understanding of your enterprise’s cloud maturity, cloud vulnerabilities, and how to ensure your cybersecurity is well above standard.
To conduct an assessment, companies typically partner with a firm that offers thorough cloud security services – i.e., people who do this for a living. These experienced consultants will carefully study your cloud environment to give you tailored recommendations based on a current-state and gap analysis.
A cloud security vendor will also collaborate with your enterprise’s business and IT leadership to align them on an overarching security strategy. Many offer strategies and road-mapping to get from point A to point Z in achieving cloud security while meeting the scaling and analytical needs of the enterprise.
The ultimate goal is to establish a culture of cloud security throughout the organization so that every member of your team actively implements these strategic measures in each interaction with the cloud. Coupled with regular audits, this company-wide, security-oriented mindset will ensure that your data and applications can reside in the cloud safely, allowing you to focus your energy and resources elsewhere.
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