Cloud Security: Fundamentals and Challenges

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Cloud security: Fundamentals, Challenges… everything you need to know!

Cloud computing has been one of the most concentrated business management forms, adding to a more streamlined and robust approach for catering to business solutions. With over 90% of businesses adapting to the cloud to execute their business operations, the data present over cloud servers need improved protection. Moreover, considering the rate at which cyber-attacks have scaled up in terms of their frequency, over 88% of organizations have come across such phishing attempts in the year 2019 alone. 

With such stats in the picture, businesses of every shape and size decide to re-allocate a portion of their budget for improved cloud security over their cloud. But, what is the term exactly? Let’s have a look:

What is Cloud Security?

Also known as Cloud Computing Security, the term Cloud security complies of a set of protocols, policies, procedures, and controls that come together to serve as a means to different cloud-based systems, infrastructures, and data. These security measures allow improved cloud data protection, protect customers’ privacy, and support regulatory compliance, besides aligning the strategies with authentication rules for individual devices and users. 

A compound delivery of various hosted services, Cloud security includes everything, ranging from your storage to software and the Internet. From authenticating access to run the internet traffic smoothly to configuring protection solutions over one platform, cloud security is the immediate need of businesses. 

Now, let’s explore how cloud security is different from our traditional guarantee.

How is Cloud Security different than Traditional Security?

To answer the question in a nutshell: Traditional security fails to cover your business over cloud environments as it cannot process at a similar speed.

Due to its nature of providing limited security to a business, we need cloud security. 

Let’s explore the difference further…

Perimeter based vs. Component-based architecture

It is a fact that the traditional security centers are designed to perform under a set perimeter. Its architecture can be infiltrated easily, making it easier for the attackers to quickly get through the core of operations to cross the firewall. Perimeter based architects are generally a FREE REIGN for phishers. 

On the other hand, if your business is accustomed to a well-architected cloud environment, the systems performing in your network will allow segregation based on individual components. This way, even if your plans are compromised or attacked, the attacker might not be able to access the other part of the resource.  

Scaling security on demand

When you are using traditional security forms, your most common security devices around the data center include WAFs, Network Firewalls, IPS, & IDS. In a situation where your business operations demand scaled up security, you will generally require a week’s worth of work, paired with many person-hours to either configure your network scalability or add more devices.

In a cloud environment, your network systems are protected by DDOS protection (without incurring any extra cost). Further, all the firewalls (on web level and network) can be accessed programmatically, allowing you to scale your network requirements within hours.

While cloud security might be a reliable means of protecting businesses against threats, even the platform has its own challenges. Let’s have a look at the various challenges faced by executing operations over the cloud.

Challenges of Cloud Security 

  • Misconfiguration and Inadequate Change Control

One of the most common challenges that you will come across the cloud-based platform, having misconfigured AWS Simple Storage Service (S3), can lead to a potential threat. Further, the loss of overall service visibility is also a common experience over shared data services. Various cloud service providers fail to offer uniformity of the same level over administration and management.

  • Insufficient Credential, Identity, Access, and Key Management

When you pair your business processes to the cloud, the system is exposed to several changes, ranging from management practices to access & identity management. These issues continue to repeat themselves over periodic intervals, and cloud security impacts credential and access management identity. Further, adapting from the data center to the cloud also poses several challenges in creating relevant data storage and protection programs.

  • Lack of Cloud Security Architecture and Strategy

Moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud is one of the most favored push by all organizations worldwide. A major challenge faced during this transition is implementing appropriate safety measures in the security architecture to withstand cyberattacks. Unfortunately, due to a lack of expertise in the area, many organizations fail to adapt to the system, leaving a gateway for attackers. When focused on the “lift-and-shift” of a part of the management, there are high chances of a lack of security and understanding of shared security.

  • Account Hijacking

Due to their nature that allows the cloud infrastructure to be availed via an account, the user accounts are the most significant threat to businesses & organizations. Even cloud-based accounts or subscriptions are not safe from malicious attackers. However, a way to overcome the challenge is to upgrade your firewall continually. 

  • Insecure Interfaces and APIs

Businesses that use cloud computing expose themselves to several user interfaces (UIs) and APIs, which allow them to interact and manage with the various cloud hosts. Now, it should be noticed that the availability of general cloud services relies on the security of these APIs. The challenge with these interfaces is that they are the most significant phishing attacks’ targets from accessing control to authentication. Their design plays a significant role in their security. A poorly designed API can easily lead to an attack; you have to ensure the best design and safety.


Yes, cloud security might come up with its own set of challenges. However, services over the cloud are the need for the present and, more importantly, one of the best means to scale business and adapt to the ever-changing business environment. While this was just the tip of the iceberg, cloud security is a vast ocean of possibilities!   

Cloud Security: Fundamentals and Challenges

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