Cloud Security 101: Understanding the Fundamentals and Key Concepts

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Cloud Networking Explained

Cloud networking refers to hosting hardware, software, data, and other networking resources in the cloud. More and more organizations use this Information Technology to manage their networks.

Cloud networking systems present cloud-based services and applications. Organizations can keep their data resources, apps, and other network elements in the cloud without needing on-site or physical devices. A simple Internet connection is enough to connect you to the cloud systems. Cloud technology store data, information, and apps in virtual services. Cloud technology offers traditional on-premises network features via virtual environments.

There are several advantages of using cloud networks. They offer centralized, simple, and budget-friendly services. On the other hand, cloud networks bring some security challenges that organizations should take further precautions.

 

Cloud Network Security

We live in a world that is full of cyber threats and risks. The prevalence of cloud networks increases the risk in terms of data security. This fact forces organizations to level up their security measures and make them compatible with cloud network threats.

Although the cloud network security definition diversifies, it refers to a security architecture that includes policies, technology, administration, and controlling tools to prevent data breaches, unauthorized access, and exposure.

 

Cloud Network Security Fundamentals


1. Data Protection

First, a cloud network security architecture must take data security into account primarily. Data security is the most vital element of any security architecture. Organizations process tons of data every day. Data is valuable more than ever. For instance, cybercriminals attempt to capture sensitive personal data because they can sell them on the dark web at high prices. Data is the power of the modern world.

*In 2006, Clive Humby shouted, “Data is the new oil.” (learn more on Clive Humby) In the past 17 years, we understood how data could be the new oil of our world.

On the other hand, organizations have legal responsibilities in terms of data protection. Several national, regional, and international data protection regulations have sanctions in case of a breach. For all these reasons, cloud network security must cover data safety procedures, policies, and tools.


2. Automated Monitoring and Audit

An ideal cloud security model supervises user activities and servers to detect vulnerabilities and threats. Automated monitoring in cloud networks refers to continuous observation and detection of network activities. Monitoring provides behavior assessment and risk analysis. It is vital for organizations to detect vulnerable parts of the network and classify user activities.


3. Identity and Access Management

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is also a vital pillar of cloud security. You can consider IAM as a cybersecurity discipline. IAM prompts the idea of continuous identity control and access authorization regulations. Cloud network security is a shared responsibility between the cloud service provider and the users. It means that both parties have some responsibilities in terms of network security. 

Today's organizations have multi-cloud environments. They connect remote and on-premises users at the same time. Furthermore, they use cloud-based networks like Software as a Service (SaaS). Increasing utilization of cloud environments hardens security measures. Thanks to IAM, organizations can manage access privileges and limits. Identity and Access Management avoids unauthorized access to the delicate company resources and diminishes the attack surface.

 

Cloud Security Best Practices

 

Zero Trust

Zero Trust embraces never trust, always verify motto for user authorizations. It means that all users are hostile until they prove otherwise. It is remarkable because we can not see this in traditional security methods. We mentioned before that cloud networks are easy to access. Users can use cloud networks via an Internet connection. This fact increases the risk of unauthorized access to vulnerable data resources. Network assets become more prone to cyber-attacks.

Zero Trust uses different security tools to verify user credentials. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of them. MFA presents multi-layered protection compared to passwords. In MFA, users should confirm their identities with biometrics, one-time codes, e-mail confirmation, etc. Passwords are not enough to access company resources since they are not reliable at all.

Zero Trust is based on strong verification and fewer privileges. All developed authentication methods can be used in Zero Trust architecture. Besides, organizations should regulate user privileges to diminish attack surfaces. Users should have limited access to the resources. To sum up, Zero Trust is a recommended security practice for cloud network security.

 

Micro-Segmentation 

As the name suggests, micro-segmentation separates the network into smaller segments. It is easier to monitor and audit smaller groups. On the other hand, micro-segmentation avoids threats to spread out.

Micro-segmentation is beneficial for cloud network security. First of all, it decreases the attack surface. We know that cloud environments are more prone to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Micro-segmentation enables security solutions to go deeper and offers comprehensive protection for the whole company network. It adds an extra layer of protection to the network. Furthermore, micro-segmentation makes legal compliance more smooth. Companies can decide whether they take different precautions or not according to segments' requirements.

 

Cloud Security Policy

Creating a comprehensive cloud security policy is a must for cloud security architecture. You can consider these policies as guidelines on your cloud security journey. Organizations should have policies on specific subjects. First of all, they need to determine the purposes and weak points. What do they aim to protect? What are their vulnerable parts? These questions can be a good start to creating a robust cloud security policy.

Technical precautions, crisis precautions, and prior threats should also be regulated in policies. Documentation is a vital part of policies. Precautions, control mechanisms, and other liabilities can take place in these policies.

 

Last Thoughts on Cloud Security

Cloud environments are becoming more prevalent day by day. Although cloud computing has several benefits it has some challenges in terms of cybersecurity. Legacy security solutions are not available to protect cloud assets so organizations need further protection methods. The important thing is to perceive cloud security fundamentals. Identity and access control, data protection, and monitoring skills are the main pillars of cloud environment security. Organizations can robust their security levels by considering these pillars. Zero Trust, micro-segmentation, and policy creation are the prior security practices for virtualized cloud environments. As a company owner or IT manager, you can check these security solutions to make your cloud network safer than ever. 

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