The Security Risks of Cloud Computing & How To Combat Them

As the world swiftly moved to enable workforces all over the world to work from home in 2020, cloud became the norm for businesses and governments. While most organisations are now operating with some form of cloud, there is still some resistance to it’s many attractive features as some organisations grapple with data security concerns.

In short, the main security risks of cloud computing are:

  • Compliance violations
  • Identity theft
  • Malware infections and data breaches
  • Diminished customer trust and potential revenue loss

While this concern is understandable, the reality is the cloud can be safe if implemented correctly. Think of it in the same way a building is made secure – there are steps you can take.

How secure is the cloud?

To help you fully understand cloud security, let’s first define what exactly is a cloud. Essentially, cloud providers make IT resources and applications available as a metered service, which users consume via the Internet. Typically, cloud services are classified

into Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

A good cloud security provider will offer scalable solutions that detect threats before they reach the data centre, which helps allay the following security concerns:

Loss of data

Cloud computing involves some ceding of control from the customer to the service provider – it’s core to how it functions. While this leaves you more time and resources to focus on your business, there’s also the risk that sensitive data is in someone else’s hands. This is only really of concern if the cloud service is breached – which could allow hackers access to IP or personal files.

Malware infections

With a high volume of data stored on the cloud, requiring an internet connection to store this data, anybody using cloud services is potentially at risk of cyberattacks. An increasingly common threat is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where hackers send unprecedented volumes of traffic to a web-based application, causing the servers to crash.

Legal/compliance issues

With increasing legislation on data protection, staying compliant is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s important for companies to have steadfast rules governing who can access what data and what they can do with it. With cloud computing’s easy access to data on a large scale, it can be difficult to keep track of who can access this information. And the reality is, human error is still the weakest link to cloud security, so adequate training is a good idea.

Data security in cloud computing

While these concerns are valid, there’s a wide variety of security measures in cloud computing – many surpassing the standards of traditional IT. The security advantages are based on two things. Let’s look at them:

Economies of scale

With cloud, you can spread the cost of data security for large volumes of customers across multiple cloud data centres. This means that they can allocate more human and financial resources to security measures, including physical, technical and operational security.

This increased resource often surpasses that of many corporations or even government agencies. To help reduce the risk of loss, data can also be replicated across many different data centres.

Division of labour

As above, enterprises can allocate more resources across the business to security when using cloud services. However, they can also rely on cloud providers to focus solely on delivering IT services. A managed cloud provider brings in a new level of expertise to the data security operation that cannot be matched by traditional, non-cloud-based solutions.

How we help safeguard data security

We’re proud to partner with Aruba Networks, who’s Edge-to-Cloud Security solutions for the Intelligent Edge deliver full visibility, control, and enforcement with a built-in foundation for Zero Trust and SASE frameworks.

Adopt holistic security

There are many definitions of Zero Trust. Only Aruba provides the key elements for implementation: Complete visibility, authentication, policy-based access authorisation, and attack detection and response.

Eliminate VLAN sprawl

Zero Trust with Dynamic Segmentation leverages user and device identity to set role-based IT access permissions enforced by the network infrastructure–independent of how or where the connection is made.

Integrate security ecosystems

Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager integrates with 150+ third-party security solutions. It updates those solutions when users and devices access the networks, automatically changing access rights to respond to issues detected by our partners.

Device discovery and profiling

ClearPass Device Insight, an important starting point for Zero Trust, delivers the visibility and intelligence needed to address the risk of unidentified and unmanaged devices on the network.

Network Access Control for wired, wireless, and WAN

ClearPass Policy Manager protects IT resources with centralised user and device authentication, role-based access policies, and continuous attack response.

Unified threat management for SD-WAN

Edge and cloud-based security controls to preserve the performance and cost-effectiveness of your cloud and broadband connections. Protects LANs and WANs from internal and external threats.

Secure remote access VPN solutions

Provide the same level of protection in the home as in the office. Solutions feature military-grade encryption, policy-based access control, and cloud management.

Policy Enforcement Firewall

Next-generation role-based user, device, and application policy enforcement firewall (PEF) provides automated Dynamic Segmentation functionality for wireless and wired access security in any Aruba environment.

Integrated protection for Aruba WLAN

RFProtectTM software prevents denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks, and mitigates over-the-air security threats.

If you have any concerns across your network security footprint, please get in touch. Our team would love to take the worry out of your cloud-enabled solution.