4 Tools Cloud Providers Use to Ensure Security

    Over 90% of organizations now use IT services based in the cloud. As practical and cost-effective as it is, this does raise some security concerns. In a recent 18-month period, almost 100% of organizations using the cloud reported at least one data breach. These breaches take on various forms. Some examples are as follows:

    • Ransomware attacks. Perpetrators of these breaches seek to hold data or systems at ransom for financial gain. An example is the 2021 attack on Accenture. Some 6TB of data was held at ransom for $50 million.
    • Web crawlers. In 2019, Alibaba experienced an attack that lasted eight months. Twenty million user accounts were affected.
    • Data scrapers. In 2021, Cognyte, a cyber analytics company, left sensitive databases insufficiently secured, allowing five billion records to become exposed to malicious hackers.

    Given the rising security concerns, what challenges do cloud providers face, and what tools are available to meet these challenges?

    What Security Concerns Do Cloud Providers Have?

    More and more organizations are migrating to cloud-based environments, some security concerns predominantly arise during migration, while others may have to do with keeping data and systems secure after migration. The ever-evolving nature of digital transformation demands a proactive and relevant security posture. Here are some of the challenges currently being faced:

    • Access management. By nature, organizations leveraging cloud services and environments allow off-premises access, and employees may even be allowed to use personal devices and computers. Without a comprehensive security posture for managing user and device access, the system and data can become vulnerable.
    • Regulatory compliance. Organizations must comply with local and federal laws regarding data privacy and use. The lines of regulatory compliance can become blurred or conversely complex when using hybrid or public cloud services.
    • Data access visibility. Cloud services are often accessed off-premises, and access may even be granted to third-party service providers or vendors. It can become increasingly complex and almost impossible to track who is accessing what and what they do with the accessed data.
    • Comprehensive safety. Public cloud service providers may host numerous clients, meaning an attack on one may be an attack on all. The security of all organizations using the cloud may depend on the weakest link.
    • Cloud misconfigurations exposed over 33 billion records in a recent two-year period. If proper policies are not enabled and enforced, privacy is more easily compromised.

    What Tools Do Cloud Providers Use to Address These Concerns?

    1. Business Continuity

    Breaches or outages can happen even to organizations with the best security posture. The key to recovery is having a proactive and effective response strategy. Disaster recovery tools and tools for identifying new vulnerabilities are essential. Business continuity tools are often platforms that include other cloud security tools, such as secure compressed data backups, incident management and response, alerts and notifications, and automation.

    2. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

    DLP tools are intrinsic to maintaining data security, but additionally, they aid in maintaining regulatory compliance for sensitive or private data access and use. Comprehensive data loss prevention can include preventative measures for securing data storage and encrypting data during transmission, plus remediation tools for a system of alerts for suspicious access.

    3. Identity and Access Management (IAM)

    IAM services and tools provide organizations with the means to deploy and enforce policies for user and device access to the system. Creating digital identities, establishing permission hierarchies, and monitoring access are all components of a comprehensive IAM strategy.

    4. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

    SIEM refers to tools and services that provide organizations with the ability to orchestrate and automate comprehensive security solutions across their network, improving visibility and centralizing control. The tools are driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and can be integrated across multiple platforms, consolidating deployment and enforcement of security policies and threat identification and management.

    Responding to the Evolving Demands of Cloud Security

    Numerous approaches to cloud security management have been successful against the rapidly evolving threats to cloud-based services. For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has outlined best practices based on the five pillars of a framework for cybersecurity: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.

    Additionally, technologies are emerging to address specific cloud security concerns. For example, cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions specifically focus on reducing the risks caused by misconfiguration.

    GSI has the industry experience and professional resources to help your organization bolster its cloud security posture and protect sensitive data and systems. Request a professional consultation today to see what solutions best fit your needs.