Cloud benefits are large in scope making it applicable in various areas. Primarily, it enables speedy deployment, provisioning and scaling of IT resources and on this account, users can easily incorporate business operations and gain competitive edge more quickly while at the same time lowering costs and increasing the overall business efficiency. Regardless of this, one of the most over-hyped concerns regarding the use of cloud is security. There is a lot of confusion about the security of the cloud to the extent that it has given rise to a number of industry myths.
To separate facts from fiction, here are the 13 all time greatest myths about cloud computing security.
Table of Contents
- The cloud is inherently insecure
- It’s an uphill task to maintain cloud security
- I have better protection and security because I’m not using the cloud
- External Internet threats can endanger the cloud even more
- Perimeter can be built around cloud applications
- Certifications are just standard measures for providing assurance to cloud subscribers
- You don’t have to vet the security of big cloud providers
- Data control is impossible once in the cloud
- Single tenancy is more secure than multi-tenancy and vice-versa
- Cloud security is exclusively the responsibility of the cloud provider
- Cloud security is a service or product
- Ignore BYOD and be more secure
- Mobile devices can’t save cloud data
The cloud is inherently insecure
This is one of the biggest myths of cloud computing since many people insist that the data in the cloud is not always safe. The majority of people insist that data is safer on their own networks based on the natural feeling that things out of direct control are innately less secure.
However, the real thing is that cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are tirelessly working to ensure that the cloud environments are very secure in manners that the ordinary users can never do. Besides, cloud providers are highly placed with greater expertise than that of ordinary users or organization staff.
It’s an uphill task to maintain cloud security
It is common to hear people say that maintaining security in the cloud is very difficult. Instead, people believe better security is easier when it is maintained on-premise, which normally leads to compromised security for most IT applications and resources – especially the critical ones.
IT researchers disputes this common myth by stating that security issues are similar and because of this, cloud security issues are addresses in exactly the same way as on-premise. VPNs, firewalls and other security penetration configurations are similarly maintained either on-premise or on the cloud.
I have better protection and security because I’m not using the cloud
Despite the fact that many may try to deceive themselves by following the common myth that they are better protected because they are not using the cloud, they are misguided. We all use online services which makes us vulnerable to the same security threats.
That said, provided one is using systems connected to the Internet, they are surely utilizing the services of the cloud. The most important thing is taking precaution when connecting devices or deploying any software to the public Internet.
External Internet threats can endanger the cloud even more
Some of the greatest myths of cloud security are associated with data breaches, insecure APIs, account hacking and service denial. As a result, there is increased perception that external Internet threats can highly endanger the cloud systems. As much as external Internet threats are real, they cannot harm the cloud compared to any other service delivery environment.
A variety of defense systems such as vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection, firewalls and multi-factor access control are put in place to ensure stronger cloud security. Besides, cloud providers incessantly work day and night to ensure external Internet threats, such as malware and botnets, are reduced to the minimum.
Perimeter can be built around cloud applications
Corporations, enterprises and some individuals utilizing cloud applications tend to think that they can build a perimeter around their applications. This is a very big misconception and to make matters worse, there are those who still try to protect their cloud apps with reverse firewalls and proxies.
In other words, there isn’t a single silver bullet that can be used to create boundaries for cloud applications. The only sure solution is the use of multiple layers and comprehensive risk management program to fight against hackers.
Certifications are just standard measures for providing assurance to cloud subscribers
Frequently, it is believed that the certifications issued by cloud providers are just standard measures for gaining client’s trust. What is not known is that the certifications are similar to the traditional IT service delivery environments which aim at assuring security compliance within the hosting environments. In debunking this myth, certifications are good reference points for making certain that the subscriber’s security and compliance needs are met.
You don’t have to vet the security of big cloud providers
It may seem obvious that reputable cloud providers have the best security standards in the cloud computing market. Based on this assumption, those who adopt the services of the cloud tend to trust the established cloud providers without necessarily vetting or verifying their security provisions.
Regardless of the fact that these huge network providers have enormous industry recognition, it is important to have their security standard verified as even a small security glitch can result in serious damage. Fully understanding the security provisions together with the support of a skilled IT team is the surest way of having a completely secure cloud environment.
Data control is impossible once in the cloud
We’ve probably heard of this myth almost everywhere cloud computing is mentioned. The truth of the matter is that once the data is on the cloud, it is mainly under the control of the third party cloud providers. In spite of this, there are regulations disallowing the complete dominance over user’s data particularly for crucial and personal information like private health information, identification information, tax information and financial information.
In debunking this myth, data control can be easily addressed by choosing a cloud provider that offers data accountability and give users the authority to have a say on their data.
Single tenancy is more secure than multi-tenancy and vice-versa
To begin with, there are no absolutes in cloud security. Put differently, cloud tenancy can as well be viewed as one of the greatest myths of cloud computing. The use of either multi-tenancy or single-tenancy does not affect the security of the cloud. Multi-tenant systems only offer two security benefits over single-tenant systems.
This is mainly because an additional layer of content protection is needed in multi-tenant systems to ascertain that the security patches are always up-to-date. They are designed in this manner to help check against inside-perimeter attacks. With single-tenant systems, the security requirements are different as the most essential element is the security of the clients’ virtual machines.
Cloud security is exclusively the responsibility of the cloud provider
This is perhaps one of the top myths of cloud security. Once the services of the cloud are acquired, users have a tendency of assigning the security responsibilities to the cloud providers. They believe that the cloud providers have all the necessary gears for creating and implementing their security needs.
While users are allowed to transfer most of their security concerns to their cloud providers, they also have to bear in mind the need of reinforcing their own security measures to experience better cloud services. Some of the best examples of localized security measures include password policies, management of user roles, data management policies and software management patches to reduce the level of attack or comprise.
Cloud security is a service or product
This is another myth within the cloud security domain. However, cloud security can never qualify as a service or a product. According to Galeas Consulting’s Scap, cloud security is a process. Galeas Consulting’s Scap emphasize that it a process which must involve network segmentation of a specific service or application, monitoring of logs, firewall deployment, creation and following of security policies and procedures, access decisions, and having a planned criteria that can be used in case of a security breach.
Ignore BYOD and be more secure
More security is not earned when BYOD policy is not supported and implemented. In actual fact, it might heighten the risks of a data breach whenever a vulnerable situation presents. Besides, the BYOD usage is yet to stay as an aspect of cloud computing. The best thing to do is the deployment of a mobile content management (MCM) solution because it will ultimately protect the data.
Mobile devices can’t save cloud data
It’s common to hear people speak about cloud computing while saying that their data is safe as if they are not storing any of their data on mobile devices. This normally exposes data within the devices to lots of security risks even without the knowledge of the users. As reported by a CEO of a top ranking cloud computing firm, the apps connected to devices constantly cache data and the cached data is stored on the mobile devices. When this data is not protected, it can be hacked or breached.