$74.6 billion. That’s the estimated amount to be spent on cloud IT infrastructure in 2021, according to Statista.
The explosive growth of cloud services is creating a unique set of challenges for enterprises seeking improved ways to secure their data.
Security remains a top concern for IT decision-makers, but many are not fully prepared to address the challenges of the next generation of cloud security.
Cloud computing is much more than just technology: it’s an evolution in the way businesses operate and leverage technology. Therefore, the next generation of cloud security must inspire new directions away from traditional cybersecurity approaches.
With the next generation of cloud computing on the horizon, what does this mean for the future of cloud security?
Cloud Security Control
A common topic in cloud data security is the question of who holds responsibility for cloud data. A business that adopts private cloud computing has inevitably accepted this responsibility. (Read also: Who is Responsible for Cloud Security Now?)
For other companies with a public/hybrid/multi-cloud strategy, however, the exact degrees of data management may be much less clear, although most parties already believe that cloud data management is a shared responsibility between providers and users.
Yet, we must pay attention to expert predictions. Gartner estimates that by 2025, customers would be responsible for 99% of cybersecurity failures and that 90% of organisations with poor public cloud strategies will expose themselves to unnecessary risks.
This shows that while cloud services providers must provide secure platforms, providers must likewise enforce the right policies and controls since they (providers) perform the day-to-day business activities on the network.
Samuel Fraga Mateos on Towards Data Science. 👤 represents the customer, and 🏭 represents the service provider. Used with permission.
Distributed Cloud Adoption
Gartner predicts that most cloud services providers would provide some distributed cloud services by 2024.
Distributed cloud brings computing closer to the edge by decentralizing cloud management operations. It helps organizations to enhance how they deal with the increasingly pervasive nature of modern computing.
A critical advantage to leverage is that a distributed cloud strategy puts more control of the public cloud in customers’ hands. Therefore, you can determine how and where you want your data processed and stored. This deals with one persistent enterprise cybersecurity problem, especially in the age of IoT and shadow IT: the lack of visibility.
A compatible security model for distributed cloud is the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), which provides adaptable cloud security. Understanding SASE is key to connecting your multi-layered edge computing resources into a single platform for enforcing security policies.
A key highlight of the rising cloud adoption is that businesses are far less dependent on single cloud sources, choosing a hybrid cloud strategy (80%) instead, or adopting a multi-cloud environment (92%). And for a good reason: a multi-cloud strategy is optimized for flexibility and adaptability, two essential qualities for future-proof organizations.
According to an IDC study, 67% of hybrid cloud adopters did so due to security concerns from using public cloud services. The majority of these adopters report an average of 13% improvement in security and risk reduction.
However, there is no guarantee if you don’t understand what to expect in a multi-cloud environment. (Read also: Best Practices for Managing Cloud Applications.)
One common challenge with adopting a hybrid/multi-cloud strategy is interoperability. Without proper integration between the multiple cloud services in use, security leaks are inevitable.
Internet of Things
IoT devices are among any organization’s most vulnerable assets. In April, researchers exposed a new vulnerability that could potentially affect 100 million IoT devices.
With increasing IoT devices connected to the cloud, companies must take proactive steps to avoid risky exposure.
Basic security hygiene would probably protect you from most IoT security weaknesses. To decisively fix the challenge, however, you must enforce cybersecurity best practices at the management level. That means ensuring that proper cloud configurations, as well as secure authentication, are in place.
Notably, cloud misconfigurations are responsible for at least 7 of OWASP top ten web application security risks, including broken authentication, insufficient logging and monitoring, and broken access control.
As cybercriminals and security threats continue to evolve, so must IT security solutions.
To keep up, enterprises must rethink their security strategies with a next-gen cloud security approach: one that encompasses cloud-native capabilities and addresses the unique needs of the cloud-based environment.
This article has examined the future of cloud security from various angles: policy and control, distributed cloud adoption, hybrid/multi-cloud adoption, and IoT-Cloud compatibility. Other areas to consider for cloud security include implementing zero trust network access (ZTNA), serverless technology and applications of AI and ML in cloud architecture, specifically as it relates to security. These will become greater factors as the technology continues to evolve.
The present challenge is for cloud users to assume greater responsibility in protecting their cloud assets and resources.
For instance, data management is essential to cloud cybersecurity. And if your cloud service is not on-premise, you must ask your provider how your data is stored and whether there are additional data management provisions, such as reserve data centres.