Cloud Security

What is cloud security?

Cloud security is the entire set of related policies, tools, processes, and personnel that protect cloud computing environments from harm. Therefore, you need to understand cloud computing in its entirety, from the bottom up and from every layer. Cloud security is based on the same fundamental concepts as traditional on-premises cybersecurity. It also uses many of the same best practices but uses different technologies. The latter components help defend against sophisticated threats in the cloud, protect a dissipating network perimeter, and adequately distribute security responsibilities between cloud service providers and their customers.

Why is cloud security important?

With organizations shifting more of their workloads into cloud computing environments, it’s vital to secure the applications and customer data in those environments. Cloud security is to protect your cloud infrastructure. It’s the key to delivering a secure, flexible, and efficient IT environment. Objectives include:

  • Secure the cloud infrastructure against DDoS attacks, API exploitation, and data corruption vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure your software applications are being used to comply with all applicable regulatory requirements, like the statutes that govern where your data can be stored and the security standards that apply to your cloud provider.
  • A good cloud infrastructure means visibility of cloud services and associated metrics, making it easier to secure the environment.
  • Zero trust security models enforce access controls and authentication for cloud users and their devices, regardless of location.
  • Give the service provider access to the information needed to do the work.

It’s important to remember that cloud security is inherently a shared responsibility. The specific components of the cloud security that the cloud provider and customer will both manage determine the cloud security architecture for each business relationship.

What is a cloud security architecture?

A cloud security architecture determines how security responsibilities are divided up between the cloud provider and the customer, usually by requiring the customer to take responsibility for certain aspects of security or giving them the right to decline certain security areas. For example, the cloud app provider will be responsible for any technical elements necessary to secure the cloud app itself. However, the customer will also need to ensure that adequate controls are in place to block access to the cloud app.

Examples of security measures for apps include:

  • Data Encryption Algorithms and Protocols for Securing Cloud Data.
  • Web application firewalls (WAFs) and bot management solutions are software products that help businesses reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
  • Malware detection and removal and prevention of data loss through comprehensive security tools are essential to ensuring your organization’s information systems are adequately safeguarded from cyber threats.
  • Monitoring and logging requests, cybersecurity events, and all other activities and endpoints across the cloud environment.

Examples of security measures for access to apps include:

  • Network security solutions, such as a customer’s secure access service edge (SASE)architecture that combines SD-WAN with a secure web gateway and cloud access security broker
  • Authentication, typically with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) to provide solid yet streamlined protection beyond passwords alone
  • Access management mechanisms that often entail alternatives to virtual private networks (VPNs), such as VPN-less proxies within secure digital workspaces

Your cloud security architecture must be well-documented and supported to avoid the many pitfalls that cloud security poses. With the ever-increasing adoption of cloud services, organizations are increasingly dependent on a public cloud environment, where unmanaged devices access data, there is no traditional network perimeter, and sophisticated cyber security risks.

These are the four service models for cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Each central cloud service model has its distinctive security architecture managed by the cloud provider and customer. The security architecture will differ depending on whether the cloud in question is deployed as a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. In addition, organizations rely on other cloud infrastructures in different categories.

Who is responsible for cloud security?

Depending on the service and deployment model, it’s either the service that shares or the customer that shares responsibility for security. For example, with IaaS from a public cloud services provider, the provider manages the physical network interfaces, hypervisors, and data storage. The customer handles the operating systems, applications, and data on top of them.

This architecture is sometimes referred to as the cloud provider overseeing the cloud’s security “. Essential hardware and Software are included like databases and compute capacity, while the customer focuses on the security “in” the cloud, namely, how that organization grants or denies access requests, configures its firewalls and performs other activities in the ordinary course of using a cloud service. The cloud service provider is responsible for handling a more significant share of security for public cloud PaaS, SaaS, and DaaS.

Your cloud strategy may have a private or hybrid cloud component or you manage all of the infrastructures in a private cloud to run your applications. In some ways, a hybrid cloud offers more security benefits than private or public clouds since it’s not as dependent upon sharing infrastructure as the public cloud is. However, the best way to keep it safe may take more effort from the customer.

What’s different about cloud security?

Although some traditional cybersecurity practices, such as Single Sign-On (SSO), fit nicely into a cloud security architecture, cloud security is fundamentally different from on-premises security on the customer side due to several factors.

More accessibility and availability over the Internet leads to larger-scale threats. Cloud applications, available from almost anywhere, are more accessible than traditional applications, which must be installed locally. As a result, more attacks will be launched against them. In addition, cloud computing is a significant security threat for applications. There are SQL injection, DDoS attacks, and many other security concerns.

Multi-cloud environments are magnets for hackers and must be carefully monitored. Imagine a world where your digital customer journeys are as safe and seamless as before the advent of bots. Unfortunately, improperly secured APIs can enable unauthorized access that precipitates data breaches. So again, it’s a shared responsibility.

Cloud computing is different from traditional computer security because it is a shared responsibility. For example, if you are trying to control access to a private area of your site, the cloud customer is not in complete control of security. This is an obvious example of shared responsibility. Instead, the cloud service provider handles the security and malware defense of the customer’s data. Therefore, the service-level agreement (SLA) from the cloud service provider and its security record is crucial cloud security components.

It’s different for different applications. Highly centralized, perimeter-defined models of on-premises security do not scale well to today’s cloud environments.

Cloud app access can’t be fully secured by using VPNs or firewalls alone, which assumes users inside a company network are trustworthy. For example, one VPN can let you access the web and give you trust for wide-ranging access. It’s feasible to have this type of access in a small-scale environment but not so in the realm of cloud applications

What are the top cloud security challenges?

Security isn’t just about protecting the server. There are several unique security challenges associated with the cloud, including:

  • Traffic filtering, monitoring, and blocking: Cloud security is all about securing networks and protecting them from unwanted network activity. If you aren’t properly filtered, monitored, and blocked, this traffic can carry malware and requests from malicious bots.
  • API protection: There’s a lot of information in the cloud. If left open, it can result in a costly data breach, for instance, when a misconfigured API allows improper data transfer.
  • Bot identification and management: Botnets, which are used by cybercriminals to launch automated cyberattacks on websites and networks, must be adequately identified and managed.
  • Malware, APTs, and cyberattacks: Public cloud computing stacks are under constant, widespread pressure from various cyber threats, which can disrupt access and compromise sensitive information.
  • Improper or insufficient cloud security controls: Companies that migrate applications to the cloud often don’t update their security controls and may fail to account for the shared responsibility of a cloud security architecture.
  • Misconfigurations: Cloud resources are often misconfigured, leading to security issues that remain undiscovered for long periods.
  • Network/WAN security: When it comes to security, moving applications from MPLS WANs to SD-WAN and supporting SaaS breakout requires new security mechanisms and architectures, like SASE, to help support secure breakouts.

How should you approach cloud security?

Cloud security is one of the most significant challenges facing any organization using a cloud model. However, it’s a shared responsibility.

cloud security

A prudent cloud security strategy involves several key components:


An organization can stop threats with a Web application firewall (WAF). A WAF provides holistic security for web traffic and web services, shielding them from SQL injection, cross-site scripting, etc. This can protect cloud apps and APIs by applying consistent security policies across all appliances on which it is installed for a uniform security posture.

API protection

Cyberattacks can be mitigated by companies using a layered security approach. When it comes to API security, there are two main threats: known and zero-day attacks. These threats require different defenses, and the cloud must be protected. Better API protection means fewer data breaches.

Bot identification and management

Any business that doesn’t have a plan to manage botnets will find that they can be an effective attack vector, causing DDoS campaigns or brute force attacks against their critical cloud apps. BotScore is a free service that uses advanced rules to evaluate if a chatbot is a legitimate (helpful, not malicious) or security risk that must be blocked to mitigate cyberattack risk.

Data protection and encryption

Organizations can protect data by encrypting it and monitoring it. The exact encryption approach will depend on which cloud service you use, whether it’s infrastructure. Data sources should be carefully monitored to ensure no leakage from a database misconfiguration.

Zero trust security

To protect against cyber threats, organizations can use zero trust security for access control and authorization. This entails assessing users, devices, and requests contextually and continuously via mechanisms like MFA and evaluating multiple relevant criteria, including device patch level and user geographic location.

Comprehensive visibility

Solutions for endpoint management and network monitoring are essential for understanding what people are doing with your system. In addition, visibility is a crucial factor in any complex hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environment, where there are multiple deployments and services at play.

AppViewX solutions for cloud security

AppViewX offers a variety of cloud security solutions that enable safer use of and access to applications of all types, helping support more efficient remote work environments and multi-cloud deployments:

  • AppViewX RBAC provides adaptive access and authentication for cloud users and their devices while supporting zero-trust network access (ZTNA).
  • AppViewX create a unified approach to SASE that protects users and data across all locations.
  • AppViewX workspace builds upon SSO and MFA to make it easier for cloud users to work remotely.