3.5 min to readDigital WorkplaceCloud Services

4 reasons every organization needs cloud security

Bala SethunathanDirector, Security Practice & CISO

As you may already know, deploying a cloud environment is no small task. You have to find a cloud service provider that is the right fit for your organization, onboard team members, make sure their skill sets are up to par, juggle credentials, and more. While it is an exciting and complex journey, there is one aspect that absolutely cannot falter, and that is cloud security.

While many organizations may believe a cloud environment can be deployed within their existing security infrastructure, this isn’t the case. Cloud security requires a different set of policies and controls that needs to be aligned with the organizations information security policies. Let’s take a closer look at four reasons why cloud security is essential to your organization, and what should be in place as you build out your security program.

1. The shared security model

When it comes to cloud security, it is of the utmost importance that you have a thorough understanding of the shared security model, also known as the shared responsibility model. Many Cloud Customers operate under the false notion that their cloud service provider will take care of their cloud security needs. While a service provider will secure some aspects of your environment, you will have to play a role as well. If you don’t understand what your role is, you may be leaving your organization in danger.

What does the shared security model entail?

Essentially, it is the idea that cloud security should be maintained by both the customer and cloud service provider. In this model, the cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining secure access to and for the cloud, while the customer is responsible for the security of the data within the cloud and the credentials to key software like your operating systems databases and applications.

While you won’t have to worry about securing such components as storage or infrastructure, you will need to know how to provide the security of things such as your customer data, network and firewall configuration, server-side encryption, and more. Speak with your provider to understand what each of your responsibilities are so you can ensure you’re building the strongest, most secure foundation for your cloud environment.

2. Various cloud consumption models carry different levels of risk

As more cloud consumption models come into play, your level of risk increases since SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS can all put a heavy weight on your organization’s security infrastructure. This is because as more of these models enter your organization, the chance for a security breach grows. Cloud consumption models should be monitored closely to give your organization a complete view into what is being used, how much it is being used, and where it is being used.

Without full visibility into your organization’s cloud consumption, you could easily end up paying far more than you’d like to and, ultimately, put your business at serious risk. In order to prevent a security breach, you should look into what your cloud service provider offers in terms of tools and procedures. Managed security services will help to monitor, alert and respond to cyber-threats while managing the cyber-risk. To get the ball rolling, run a shadow IT assessment for a closer analysis of the situation. This will help you identify gaps and better steer clear of compliance and security risks.

3. Internal threats and data leakage

More often than not, the biggest threats to the cloud come from within. These internal threats are typically the result of authentication and authorization mismanagement, where credentials are distributed too liberally. IT teams should take care to ensure that credentials are only granted to team members who absolutely need them and know how to use them. Otherwise, data could mishandled, resulting in modifications or deletions that could cause major damage to an organization.

Speaking of data, leakage also makes a strong case for cloud security. Data can be lost or leaked from cloud storage for many reasons such as security breaches, cyber-attacks, and the aforementioned increase in cloud consumption. If you aren’t backed up, you may lose that data for good. With cloud security, you will be able to design a disaster recovery strategy in order to recover what has been lost. Without a disaster recovery strategy, your main data storage location could be at risk. Make sure every team member understands your disaster recovery process so data loss or leakage is kept to a minimum.


4. Increasingly sophisticated threats

The cloud is always evolving. Unfortunately, as the cloud becomes more sophisticated, so do cloud security threats. Advanced threats will target everything from cloud environments to public cloud services, which means you have to stay on the defense at all times.

API vulnerabilities are one of the biggest cloud security threats – beside malware infections and misconfigured cloud services. Cloud applications typically interact with each other via APIs (application programming interfaces), and it’s tempting to put all of your faith and trust in those APIs. Unfortunately, companies haven’t historically been successful at securing their APIs. Malicious actors can exploit insecure APIs by launching denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and code injections, both of which allow them to access company data. And the problem is only getting worse — by 2022, APIs will become the most targeted attack vector, according to Gartner.

The popularity of remote work has additionally introduced new cybersecurity threats to both cloud and on-prem environments. Malicious actors are taking advantage of the increased opportunities for attack due to the increased usage of remote work tools such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) — hence the surge of critical vulnerabilities such as BlueKeep and DejaBlue. That’s why it’s important to bolster your cloud security controls with tools such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR), identity and access management and antivirus protection.

As you build out your cloud security program

Designing your cloud security strategy isn’t easy. Organizations must carefully move forward with their buildout, continue to learn, and always ask questions, working hand in hand with your cloud service provider. One of the most important parts of your cloud security process is remembering that you’re stronger together. Once you’ve got that down, you’ll be able to create a cloud security strategy that can adapt and evolve alongside your organization.

To learn more about how our Cloud Security Services can help your organization, head over to our solutions page. Or, if you’d like to speak with a team member directly, contact us today.

Cloud Security

Harden your cloud security with 24x7 policy-based configuration scanning.

Cloud Security

Harden your cloud security with 24x7 policy-based configuration scanning.


Bala Sethunathan
Director, Security Practice & CISO