Head in the Cloud? Time to Face Cyber Security Reality

April 2, 2020

Stop what you’re doing and look around you. What do you see? People on their cell phones, Smart watches, tablets, and computers. Some of them are taking selfies to upload to Facebook or Instagram, while some of them are listening to their favorite Podcast. Others are watching the news for tips on staying safe during the Covid-19 Pandemic and some are sending emails to their boss. Whenever we tap into cyber land, we are living with our heads in the cloud. This is not to say that the cloud is not useful. Cloud services offer many personal and professional benefits. For instance, the cloud can be used anyplace in the world with an internet connection. (Prokaza) That means if you have a deadline for a major project and you start the process at home, you can use a cloud service to pick up where you left off at in a completely different location. There is also more space in the cloud to store information as well as the capacity to run more applications. (Prokaza) Therefore, it is ideal for major corporations who use multiple aps through the cloud such as data analytics. These features provide a lot of flexibility and the potential for growth but it’s time to face reality and put our feet back on solid ground. The cloud has some major issues.

Here are some current cloud security issues to keep an eye on:

Change: Quick and sudden changes to the cloud environment are a security threat because software may not have the capability to adapt along with those changes. According to an article on Security Boulevard titled, “5 Cloud Security Challenges Facing Enterprises Today,” it is always difficult to find “security platforms” that match the ability of the cloud and can provide adequate protection. (Wiens) Another major change that needs to take place is attitudes towards using the cloud. Many users believe that the cloud is the safest bet when saving and backing up important files. However, security issues arise when organizations fail to add their own security strategies in addition to that of the cloud provider. Sandeep Bhargava, managing director of Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) stated that “cloud platform providers are responsible for securing cloud services”. (Thomas) Customers must be able to protect their data once it is in the cloud. He continued “To minimize cloud risks, organizations need to have a multilayered security strategy across on-premise and multiple clouds to provide, detection, response, and remediation” (Thomas). Therefore, modifications must be made to security infrastructures and attitudes about cloud security for optimal use of the cloud. In other words, the security controls of the cloud provider do NOT let customer off the hook!

Connection: Connection issues are on the rise with the use of multi-cloud deployments. According to the results of a survey conducted by Propeller Insights, IT leaders believe the top benefits of multi-cloud deployments include “Maximizing availability and reliability, meeting regulatory and compliance requirements, and leveraging best-of-breed services from each provider” (Hainzinger} At the same time, IT leaders agreed that the biggest challenges for multi-cloud deployment are, “Secure and reliable connectivity between providers, different support and consulting processes, and different platform services” (Hainzinger) The highest rated issue, with 60 percent of the votes, was the need for secure and reliable connections between providers.

Climate: People, or shall we say the lack of people is a major concern for the cloud as well. In order to provide more security and better connections, there must be the (wo)manpower to do so. The current job climate for cyber security professionals is not very promising. An article by the Commercial Integrator titled, “The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap Should Concern Everyone – Including AV Integrators,” included a recent study from Cyberseek which stated that the United States has about 500,000 cyber security job vacancies. (Comeau) The same article included information from an (ISC)2 report that stated that the worldwide gap in cyber security professionals is nearing 4 million. (Comeau) There are programs being developed to help bridge the gap. For example, IBM and NIST are both privy to the shortage of cyber professionals and have educational trainings and plans they will use to help educate more people looking to join the field. (Comeau) Despite these efforts, the lack of qualified job candidates remains. Not only is there a shortage of women and minorities in the field, but there is also a shortage of educators certified to train any perspective students. (Comeau)

The reality is that the cloud is everywhere. Cloud services make life a lot easier but there are also setbacks to living with our heads in the cloud. Can you think of more cloud service issues businesses are currently facing? Which problems do you think are the most challenging?

Phoenix TS offers the following cloud certifications and training courses:

For information regarding these and more cloud course options at Phoenix TS, visit phoenixts.com or call us today @ 240-667-7757 to speak with a cloud security training and certification specialist.

Works Cited

Comeau, Zachary. “The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap Should Concern Everyone – Including AV Integrators.” Commercial Interrogator, Emerald, X LLC. 17 Feb. 2020, www.commercialintegrator.com/security/cybersecurity-workforce-gap-av-integrators/.

Hainzinger, Brittany. “Why Multi – Cloud and Edge Deployments Are Hard.” App Developer Magazine, 9 Mar. 2020, https://appdevelopermagazine.com/why-multi-cloud-and-edge deployments-are-hard/

Prokaza, Julian. “What Is the Cloud and How Does It Work? Eight Things You Need to Know.” Home.bt.com, 11 Mar. 2019, home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/computing/cloud-computing/eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-cloud-11363891172534.

Thomas, Winston. “Stop Hiding Behind Cloud Security Nyths .” CDOTrends , 9 Mar. 2020, www.cdotrends.com/story/14702/stop-hiding-behind-cloud-security-myths.

Wiens, Christian. “5 Cloud Security Challenges Facing Enterprises Today.” Security Boulevard, MixMode, 5 Mar. 2020, securityboulevard.com/2020/03/5-cloud-security-challenges-facing-enterprises-today.

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