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[Infographic] Introduction to Cloud Security
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Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 by

More and more organizations decide to migrate to the Cloud to facilitate collaboration, create efficiencies and reduce costs. In fact, over 80% of enterprises have adopted two or more public Cloud infrastructure providers, whereas nearly two-thirds are currently using three or more.

Although most organizations have made (or are planning to make) the move towards Cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 or Google Cloud Platform, many are still at a loss when it comes to securing their Cloud environment properly.

In this blog article, we’ll discuss what Cloud security is and how Cloud migration enables executives and business owners. You will learn more about the difference between cloud security and traditional IT security, and find out why it is important to secure your cloud environment before, during and after cloud migration.

 

Cloud Migration as Business Enabler

Cloud computing changes the way that information systems and data centers are designed and utilized. Cloud computing dematerializes technology infrastructures (networks, servers, storage) to the benefit of service consumption (email, office automation, business applications).

Figure 1: Cloud Impact – Executive Initiatives Enabled by Cloud Migration (Source)

 

As illustrated in figure 1, businesses typically choose to migrate to the Cloud for the following reasons:

  1. Agility: Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses that require a high level of agility in their operations. Cloud environments enable today’s increasingly distributed workforce to work anytime, anywhere.
  2. Cost Control: Cloud computing cuts out the cost of expensive hardware investments. With Cloud platform services, businesses can choose a subscription-based model that’s easy on their cash flow and facilitates economies of scale.
  3. Growth: Cloud environments enable new opportunities for growth by accelerating access to functionalities and offering better collaboration with supply chain and other business partners.
  4. Productivity: With Cloud computing, you can work as soon as you have functional internet connection. Documents and other files can be shared (and edited) easily, thus facilitating collaboration and increasing productivity.

 

What is Cloud Security?

“Security in the Cloud is much like security in your on-premises data centers – only without the costs of maintaining facilities and hardware. In the Cloud, you don’t have to manage physical servers or storage devices. Instead, you use software-based security tools to monitor and protect the flow of information into and of out of your Cloud resources.”

(The Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Security, Amazon Web Services 2019)

 

The objective of Cloud security is keeping your data secure in the Cloud.

Although Cloud projects are becoming widely popular, an increasing number of executives and business owners is concerned with how to secure their Cloud environment against cyberattacks, data breaches and intrusions – and that, rightfully so.

According to Gartner, organizations should never assume that using a Cloud service automatically means that whatever they do within this Cloud environment will be secure.

As opposed to traditional IT security, Cloud security solutions typically use third-party data centers, require less upfront investments and are extremely scalable and efficient (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Difference Between Cloud Security and Traditional IT Security

 

Securing Your Cloud Environment

Too many businesses implement complex Cloud migration projects without keeping the security of their Cloud environment in mind.

In fact, business owners and IT executives need to make Cloud security a priority during the three main stages of a Cloud adoption project.

  1. Before Cloud Migration: Before going to the Cloud, organizations must assess their readiness to the Cloud aligned with their business risks, legal and technical considerations. During this phase, organizations must understand their objectives of moving to the Cloud, possible risks and expected outcomes.
  2. During Cloud Migration: As the Cloud environment is ever-evolving, it is important to prioritize security all while moving your data to the Cloud. During the Cloud migration phase, it is important to adopt a risk-based approach to secure Cloud adoption to avoid potential pitfalls.
  3. After Cloud Migration: Just because a Cloud migration project has been completed doesn’t mean that your Cloud environment is secure. Instead, organizations must continue to evaluate their Cloud security posture on a regular basis, monitor their Cloud environment and be vigilant about documenting any changes or potential Cloud risks.

 

In Closing

If your organization is planning to move to the Cloud (or has already done so), it is important to keep Cloud security in mind throughout the Cloud migration project.

Organizations can no longer assume that whatever they store in the Cloud is automatically secure. Instead, they must conduct thorough planning, evaluation and monitoring exercises before, during and after their Cloud migration.

 

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