The Five Pillars of Cloud Security

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As more employees move to remote work, more of today’s business environment is shifting towards the cloud. Indeed, approximately 90% of companies use at least one cloud-based service.

While it brings great benefits, the cloud also brings challenges, including properly securing cloud-based assets. Cybercriminals are well-versed in corporate cloud usage and are successfully exploiting that knowledge. In the past year and a half, nearly 80% of companies suffered a cloud-based data breach. And attacks have hit everyone from the smallest companies to the biggest names, like Accenture, Yahoo, Facebook, and more.

Many companies are failing to adequately protect themselves in this shift to the cloud, as cloud security is more complex than simply applying existing on-premise security policies and protocols in a cloud environment. Moreover, companies cannot simply rely on their cloud providers to deal with security. Organizations need to understand their responsibilities for cloud security, the unique security strategies that come with the cloud, and the steps they should take to ensure they have the most secure environment possible.

Five Steps Every Organization Should Take to Strengthen Its Cloud-Based Systems

1) Know Your Responsibilities

It’s tempting to believe that because you obtain cloud services from an outside vendor the vendor has full responsibility for the security of those services. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Most cloud service providers employ a shared responsibility security paradigm. Your degree of responsibility depends on the type of services you employ and the degree to which you have transitioned services and data to the cloud. Responsibilities vary significantly from companies that solely use software-as-a-service (SaaS) and those that move to the cloud more fully, using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

While the levels of shared responsibility may differ from provider to provider, Microsoft Azure’s shared security chart offers one clear example of how responsibilities can be delineated.