Aug 08 2018

As an executive or senior manager you’ve doubtless heard about the benefits of moving your technology to a cloud. A combination of on-demand pricing, enormous flexibility, quickly-scalable storage, and centralized management can make it an attractive proposition for businesses like yours.

But, there’s one thing that could be stopping you — perhaps it means you don’t sleep quite as soundly — and that’s the risk of getting compromised. As more organizations move their infrastructure and applications into the cloud, it’s vital to understand how cloud-based cyber security works.

Here at Red8, cyber security in the cloud is something we think about a lot — after all, if you’re going to trust us with your data and operations, we need to demonstrate best practice and robust security across all environments, It’s why we’ve put together this brief primer for cloud-based cyber security.

The Main Types of Cloud Environment and Implications for Security

There are three main types of cloud environment generally available to businesses.

Public Cloud Infrastructure and Security

These are publically-available cloud services offered through products like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Any user can create an account and environment in the public cloud which can be expanded as needed.

Standard security protocols apply to the public cloud, such as user logins, robust passwords, multi-factor authentication, single-sign on, and dedicated application access. Many public cloud options can be integrated with strong security management tools to reduce the risk of data breaches. Just one example of security integrations are Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB). Organizations are increasingly turning to CASB vendors to address cloud service risks, enforce security policies, and comply with regulations, even when cloud services are beyond their perimeter and out of their direct control.

A combination of data separation, good profile, password, and authentication management, and vendor / third-party tools (like CASBs) means that public cloud security will be sufficient for most users & businesses.

Private Cloud Infrastructure and Security

Businesses like HP Enterprise, VMWare, and others provide dedicated private cloud environments. In private clouds, all of your cloud-based infrastructure is operated separately & solely for your use, normally protected behind a firewall and can also incorporate your other security protocols that enforce your policies (for example: completely exclude any attempt at external Web access). For businesses who have a greater need for segmentation & security, a private cloud provides all the benefits of the public cloud with an extra layer of protection on top.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure and Security

A hybrid cloud uses a combination of at least two or more “clouds” (public, private, your on-premise data center.) Because there are more “working parts” and integrations in a hybrid cloud, it’s vital to look at all the ways data is stored and transmitted across cloud networks and between your business and the cloud. Business may use a public cloud to scale up quickly with demand on their web sites, while maintaining internal line-of-business operations to their private cloud/data center.  Obviously with the right monitoring, management, and security protocols, hybrid clouds can offer up a robust defense against hackers or unauthorized access.

Cloud Security vs. Traditional IT and On-Premise Security

In most cases, cloud-based infrastructure is as secure, or more secure than an on-premise data center or infrastructure. That’s for several reasons:

  •      Cloud vendors have large, dedicated security teams who continuously optimize cloud infrastructure for security and performance.
  •      Any potential vulnerabilities in cloud-based infrastructure are quickly patched by the vendor’s teams.
  •      Cloud vendors have more resources to dedicate to keeping your data and infrastructure secure.
  •      You can easily deploy third-party security monitoring, reporting, and alerts on your cloud-based servers.
  •      Cloud services typically utilize “data separation” which means your IT team can configure cloud-based infrastructure so only certain people can access certain data.

If you use a reliable vendor for your cloud-based services, AND run them through a dedicated IT team or an expert managed service provider, you’re mitigating your risks around cyber security. Here at Red8, we’re experts at understanding, designing, deploying, managing, and securing cloud-based technology, so if you’ve got questions, we’re here to help. Contact us to discuss your cloud needs.