Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Omar Rbati
on February 21, 2024

Before cloud computing gathered speed between 2000 and 2010, most businesses had to bear the brunt of shared and centralized on-prem resources. 

During its inception, early adopters of cloud computing were thrilled by the capabilities of file storage, accounting, enterprise planning and advanced CRM technology.

Over time, the craze of migrating from on-prem infrastructure to the cloud was fueled by financial and efficiency gains. But, what most businesses failed to recognize was a security threat growing in quantum proportions.  

Data that is at rest, in transit, and cloud-based applications are vulnerable to both internal and external threats. 

This makes it essential to have robust cybersecurity measures to manage and safeguard the entire cloud ecosystem, including the on-premise infrastructure. 

Read along to discover cloud security and its importance. 

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security is a set of measures, policies, controls, and technologies used to safeguard cloud applications, data, and infrastructure from potential threats. 

The concept of cloud security has evolved from a fortress model to a more flexible and agile one that allows free movement. In the past, on-premise security systems restricted movement by locking users inside “fortresses.” 

However, with cloud security, you have the freedom to move around with a bodyguard-like protection system that stays with you everywhere you go. 

This security model is not restricted to a physical location; you can access it from anywhere - whether you are inside the network, outside, or even in a coffee shop. 

Unlike traditional security models that focus on securing the entire organization, cloud security is built around individual users, ensuring that each user has their own “fortress of protection.”

Who is Responsible for Cloud Security?

A common misconception is that the responsibility of securing a cloud environment solely lies with the cloud service provider (CSP). In essence, cloud security is a shared responsibility between the CSP and the users. 

Shared responsibility means that there is a division of security and compliance responsibilities between the CSP and the customer. The precise division of responsibilities may vary depending on the type of service model being used.

The CSPs are responsible for securing the cloud infrastructure, including physical and network security, as well as the hypervisor or underlying software. They also manage the security configuration of the cloud services they offer, such as identity and access management, encryption, and monitoring.

On the other hand, users are responsible for securing their data in the cloud. This includes data encryption, access control, and application security. They must also configure their cloud services securely by setting appropriate access controls and configuring security features provided by the CSP.

The shared responsibility model is based on the premise that both parties work together to ensure a secure cloud environment.

Businessman selecting settings icon in a cloud environment visualization.

What are the Top Security Issues in Cloud Computing

Cloud security encounters various issues, and being aware of them can help you stay safe. Some of these issues include:

1) Cloud Visibility

Cloud visibility is the organizations’ ability to monitor and gain insights into their cloud environments. To proactively secure these environments, you must have visibility of the activities within the cloud. 

With access to the activities, analysts can properly evaluate vulnerabilities and risks and design actions based on each organization's digital environment.

Lack of adequate visibility into the cloud environment can pose significant security challenges, leading to issues like the following: 

  • Limited insight into cloud infrastructure 
  • Inadequate monitoring of cloud services
  • Complexity of multi-cloud environments
  • Limited visibility into shadow IT and shadow data
  • Insufficient logging and audit trail

To address these visibility issues, companies must implement comprehensive monitoring and logging solutions that provide real-time visibility into cloud environments. This may involve deploying cloud-native monitoring tools and leveraging cloud service provider APIs for collecting telemetry data.

Furthermore, companies should establish clear visibility requirements and enforce policies for monitoring and logging across all cloud environments. Regular security assessments and audits can ensure that visibility measures are effectively implemented and aligned with security objectives.

2) Unauthorized Access

Any type of access to the assets without adhering to current security policies is considered unauthorized access. The assets can be the system, network, data or any resource owned by the organization.

Unauthorized access poses risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and resources stored in the cloud. Often, the issue manifests in various forms and stems from different vulnerabilities within the cloud environment. 

Some key aspects to consider include:

  • Misconfigured identity and access management;
  • Weak authentication mechanisms;
  • Inadequate access controls;
  • Unauthorized API access;
  • Third-party access risks;
  • Insider threats and
  • Data leakage.

3) Shadow IT

Shadow IT is the use of IT systems without explicit approval from the IT department. It can be related to hardware, software and cloud services that are not actively controlled by the security team.

A good example of shadow IT is CRM or Productivity tools such as Google Suite. They are independent third-party software and are not subject to the same protocols as corporate systems.

Implementing proactive measures like conducting regular audits can help mitigate the security risks associated with shadow IT.  Additionally, IT and business units should collaborate to choose secure cloud services that meet business needs.

4) Denial of Service Attacks (DoS)

DoS attacks aim to disrupt service provision by overwhelming the system with a high volume of traffic, requests, or other malicious activities. These attacks can render cloud services inaccessible to legitimate users, causing financial losses, reputational damage, and operational disruptions.

5) Cloud Compliance

Simply put, Cloud compliance is the adherence of cloud computing services to regulatory standards.

It ensures that the cloud service provider meets the security, privacy, and data protection requirements of its customers and that the customers are able to comply with their regulatory obligations. 

Cloud compliance is an important aspect of cloud computing that helps maintain trust and confidence in the use of cloud services.

6) Insecure Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

These play a critical role in enabling communication and interaction between different components of cloud services, applications, and users. 

Because they serve as the primary interface for accessing and managing cloud resources, attackers seek to exploit their vulnerabilities for unauthorized access, data exfiltration, or service disruption. 

To address insecure API security issues, organizations must implement several preventive measures as follows: 

  • Adopting robust authentication for API users.
  • Implementing relevant authorization rules to guarantee that, in accordance with their roles and privileges, API users have the right access permissions.
  • Implementing input validation and output encoding to mitigate injection attacks and other types of input manipulation.
  • Using industry-standard encryption to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data.
  • Putting secure error handling procedures into place to reduce the amount of private data that is exposed in error responses.
  • Establishing measures for rate limitation and throttling to reduce the possibility of misuse and DoS attacks.
  • Implementing reliable logging and monitoring systems to keep an eye on unusual activity.
  • Evaluating and auditing third-party APIs on a regular basis for vulnerabilities and compliance.

7) Misconfigurations

Misconfigurations occur when settings, permissions and improper security controls pose a threat to your system. 

A common example is when a default setting is not modified, creating a vulnerable spot. While this may seem like a minor issue, misconfiguration often leads to massive problems. 

Pillars of a Robust Cloud Security Framework

1) Zero trust 

Before this, models would trust anyone within the fortress. However, it became risky because if an external user had access to the fortress, it could be easily compromised, and a new model, Zero Trust, was introduced. 

Zero trust assumes that no entity, whether inside or outside the organization's network, can be trusted by default. 

Instead, it advocates for a comprehensive approach to security that will verify and validate every user attempting to access resources, irrespective of their location.

Zero Trust is particularly relevant in cloud computing environments where traditional network perimeters are increasingly becoming porous due to the distributed nature of cloud services.

2) Threat intelligence

Threat intelligence involves collecting, examining, and implementing information about possible and existing cybersecurity threats. It covers a broad range of data sources and analysis techniques to offer organizations practical insights into emerging threats and trends in the cybersecurity landscape.  

Because organizations need to secure their assets, it is necessary to be aware of possible threats that may target them. This helps the security team develop specific strategies and solutions to prevent and deal with cyber attacks. With threat intelligence, the goal is to avoid cyber attacks and, whenever needed, to have an appropriate response to them.

3) Managed Detection and Response (MDR)  

MDR focuses on the monitoring of the network and the investigation and response to incidents. It proactively identifies, investigates, and responds to security incidents in cloud environments. 

Some of the benefits of MDR include:

  • Threat Detection and Analysis;
  • Continuous monitoring;
  • Incident Investigation and Response;
  • Threat Hunting;
  • Forensic Analysis and Reporting;
  • Threat Intelligence Integration.

4) Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

XDR extends the monitoring to outside of the network, offering more visibility and another layer of security to avoid threats. It gathers security data from various sources like computers, networks, and cloud services to provide a unified view of security incidents.

Additionally, XDR gives alerts on suspicious activities and helps security teams investigate these cases further. With this, you can automatically take action to contain security threats before they cause harm.

5) Managed XDR (MXDR)

This is double security achieved by combining MDR and XDR, as an advanced detection and response solution. It involves outsourcing the management of your organization's cybersecurity tools and processes to a third-party provider like CrucialLogics; our solution uses Defender and Azure Sentinel to enhance cloud security.

6) Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM is an IT tool that oversees and controls user access to technologies, resources, systems, and data. Its primary objective is to minimize identity-related risks and ensure that only authorized individuals can access resources and data in the cloud. 

IAM enforces security controls to protect against unauthorized access and misuse of resources, thus maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data.


Visual representation of data and hardware in the cloud security environment.

Importance of Cloud Security

We are in a digital age where cyber threats continue to evolve, and effective cloud security measures are essential to safeguard against threats. Here is why cloud security is important:

Compliance Requirements

Without cloud security, it’s impossible to comply with the requirements for specific departments. Through cloud security, organizations can implement robust security controls that align with regulatory standards and industry best practices. This keeps them in check with the law, ensuring no violations.

Advanced Cloud Protection

Better cloud security makes things safer by adding an extra layer of protection. It's like having a guard who looks out for trouble before it even reaches your door. This means we can stop problems before they even get close, making our security even stronger and keeping our stuff safer.

Cost savings

While ensuring cloud security has its costs, the benefits cannot compare to the expenditure. It's much cheaper to prevent security breaches than it is to fix them later. Plus, if data gets leaked, it can result in a multitude of legal problems.

These legal issues could mean fines, penalties from regulators, damage to the organization's reputation, and loss of trust from customers.

Trust and reputation 

Nothing is more important than establishing trust with your customers. With cyber-attacks becoming more advanced, you have no choice but to stay updated and have a plan to respond to them.

Good security doesn't just protect your data and finances; it shows customers and others that you take their data safety seriously.

Cloud Security vs Cloud Computing

Cloud security focuses on protecting data, applications, and infrastructure deployed in cloud computing environments from unauthorized access, data breaches, cyber threats, and other security risks.

It uses several procedures, controls, and technologies designed to safeguard cloud-based assets and mitigate security threats. This is how organizations ensure confidentiality, integrity, and cloud data and services availability.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, is the provision of computer services that let users access and use computer resources on demand. This eliminates the need for physical infrastructure or hardware ownership.

With cloud computing, you get service models like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each provides different levels of abstraction and management responsibilities for users.

Implement Zero Trust Cloud Framework With CrucialLogics

If you want to establish trust with your customers, ensuring cloud security should be at the top of your priority list. It is only possible to achieve this if you have a trustworthy partner to handle your cloud security matters. 

With CrucialLogics, you can rest assured that your cloud security is in good hands. Our Zero Trust Cloud Security framework secures your infrastructure by treating every user trying to access your network as a potential threat until proven otherwise, whether they're knocking from within your network walls or tapping at the digital doorstep from miles away. 


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