Cloud Security: The Lifeline for Your Business, Today and Tomorrow. Part 1.

Legacy defensive measures could fend off most attacks in the early days of computer systems. However, as threats have become more severe and frequent in the past decade, traditional countermeasures are widely regarded as insufficient. Hackers are now abundant, talented, and determined. Breaches based on bugs and vulnerabilities, ransomware, and other perils have rendered on-premise security protection obsolete. Financial losses aside, client identities and payment details, internal company plans and assets, and legal issues are potential outcomes.

Before a situation arises, a company should minimize potential intrusion through malicious links and webpages, ensure backups of sensitive and crucial information are created and encrypted, cloud configurations are set and validated without errors or incorrect settings. As there have been instances of attackers going straight to the backups as their target, the need for a more robust, secure infrastructure is ever more critical. And as the cloud runs on a 24/7 basis, proper setup and threat response are an absolute must. Defensive measures and methods to isolate and stop the attack should be set, and have a patch in place as soon as possible. Post-attack, dissect and analyze to understand ways to improve defenses and prevent history from repeating itself. Why is cloud security not being used to its fullest potential? Some have insufficient funds allocated for security, others are adamant to stick to legacy on-premise strategies and more. Zero-day vulnerabilities are now a frequent occasion that can easily bypass the most robust on-premise defenses.

Organizational flexibility, cost management, workforce adaptability, risk management are a few examples of factors to consider when setting up a cloud infrastructure, be it of singular or hybrid form. The ability to master these sectors will dictate the success of a company.

With countless potential entry points for hybrid work, there cannot be the same level of surveillance and protection achieved quickly versus a closed private corporate network. WFH or hybrid work considered, not going through the traditional secure network to access results in many security holes and exposed vulnerabilities. Couple that with insufficient security measures, a significant disaster is only a matter of time.

Cloud infrastructure with security measures should be the goal and utmost priority. Training for actions when under attack, maintenance of current systems, and the type of tools used to keep the company protected are just a few examples. Although on-premise security may be enough for some organizations, others may benefit more from a mix of off-premise environments or hybrid-based conditions that cloud security will also play a significant factor.

Cloud-based frameworks not only help keep up with today’s technological climate but will set up well for what changes the next 5–10 or even 20 years will bring. When a company grows, aspects such as the expansion of workforce structure, managerial or policy changes, and increased resources will require a resilient and flexible cloud structure. Doing so will make all these areas and more much easier to execute, and tie up any loose ends, phase out any older routines, systems, and utilities. Greater efficiency, reduced costs, streamlining, future-proof now to remain relevant for tomorrow. The cloud infrastructure, in theory, can handle any demand at a moment’s notice. It is up to each company to understand what is needed, at what scale, and what necessary backup resources to be ready whenever an abnormal scenario occurs. If systems go down, staff are reduced, subjected to DDoS attacks, or a direct hack of other methods; a well-bolstered cloud infrastructure can handle such attacks.

At first, larger companies with more funds were subject to attack in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Monetary losses, disabling computer systems, websites rendered inaccessible, and internet worms were just a few examples of the damages caused. By the mid-2000s, with a widened adaptation of the world wide web, hackers targeted individuals along with small to midsize businesses. Now, the world is ever-more connected, and the stakes have never been higher. Add in WFH or hybrid work, migration of data and systems to the cloud, the importance of cloud-based security has never been more apparent. We will delve into the current state of cloud security with the environment of COVID-19 and what the future holds in the next article.

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