Those looking to improve the security of their cloud-based data and applications need to understand the various aspects of cloud security. Only by learning the basics of cloud security can organizations ensure that they will have full control over their stored data and enjoy all the advantages that cloud computing has to offer.
Here are a few of the most important cloud security terms that all users should know:
Cloud access security broker (CASB)
Organizations can use on-site or cloud-based CASBs to reinforce their existing security policies. This service typically comes in the form of software that creates a secure bridge between a company’s on-premises cloud solution and a cloud vendor’s system. More importantly, CASBs often combine the security efforts of both infrastructures to improve security compliance and strengthen existing policies for safeguarding information. This software can also assist in other vital security operations such as improving cloud visibility and enhancing threat mitigation efforts.
One of the best ways for organizations to minimize their cloud security concerns is to implement a cloud firewall. These virtual systems can afford a number of benefits to those who use them. For example, cloud firewalls can increase the protection of organizations’ data centers by controlling the users that have access to stored files and information. Firewalls also help users better manage their data by providing all the tools that they may need for file reporting, managing access control, and performing other crucial security tasks.
Cloud firewalls often come in one of two models: The first, which is commonly known as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) firewall, is a basic data-protection product. The second type of firewall involves a more advanced system that operates from within an online data center and creates a point of protection for all cloud-based applications.
A facet of cloud compliance, cloud governance helps organizations determine how they will adhere to the various standards that govern cloud security operations. These practices help managerial teams understand which team members must take part in cloud security efforts and how they must go about this important work. Moreover, cloud governance ensures that organizations will be able to develop and implement new security procedures throughout their infrastructure.
As part of these responsibilities, entities must be able to oversee their own cloud systems as well as those that they do not wholly control. Overall, cloud governance plays an important role in safeguarding all cloud users and ensuring the proper management of cloud-based services.
Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
Within the cloud industry, there are numerous entities, such as the CSA, that advocate for standardized cloud security practices, thereby helping create a safer cloud environment for all users. Both individuals and professional organizations may join the organization, which offers a variety of informational resources, meetings, and educational courses that are geared towards cloud security. In addition, the CSA aims to create a space in which different entities can come together and work towards improving cloud security for all users.
Organizations that implement cloud services always need to adhere to certain sets of regulations or guidelines that govern the way they secure their data. The term compliance refers to either the process that entities complete to obey these specifications or the act of following them.
As one of the most prominent aspects of cloud security, compliance ensures that all organizations remain on top of the various regulations that control their work. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 are only two of the most common business standards with which companies must comply in regards to cloud security.
Encryption refers to the process of translating information into the form of ciphertext. Once converted, these files are inaccessible to any party that does not possess the keys necessary to decrypt the data. Encryption generally takes place before an organization migrates its data to the cloud, thereby allowing them to protect everything from cloud connections to specific data points. In order to ensure that they will receive the proper security levels, cloud customers should always vet their providers for their encryption practices. When implemented properly, this procedure affords the highest level of data protection.
Malware is a type of software that infiltrates online systems and causes varying levels of harm to the information contained within. Whereas some types of malware can result in data theft or destruction, others can open up new connections between unauthorized parties and secure data. Malware can even infect cloud-based information, thus making it a pressing cloud security concern for any organization.
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
Similar to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a VPC allows cloud users to increase their security by segregating certain cloud-based elements from the public cloud and using them to create a more private infrastructure. This transformation essentially enables organizations to develop a private cloud environment within their larger public cloud system. In addition, some VPCs allow cloud users to create a connection between items that are inside and outside of the cloud. This configuration provides improved security and more storage options to the organizations that use it.