SecOpsJan Kahmen8 min read

What does Cloud Security Mean?

So-called cloud security encompasses numerous approaches, technologies and protocols. You can increase cloud security by securing the environment as well as the application and the data store.

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Ensuring that all data stored in the cloud is safe from potential attackers is a central component of a good IT security concept. Cloud security encompasses numerous approaches, technologies and protocols. They can increase cloud security by securing the environment as well as the application and data storage. Many security aspects in cloud computing are in the hands of back-end developers. Nevertheless, you can contribute to improved cloud security yourself. In particular, the configuration of the cloud services, but also the usage habits can be influenced - and increase your cloud security significantly.

Why is Cloud Security so Important?

While it was still common in the 1990s to store data locally, sensitive corporate data is now preferably located in the cloud. It offers companies numerous advantages including location-independent access and high scalability. However, the constant availability of information requires you to rethink the security aspects of cloud computing. In particular, re-evaluating cloud security is a key aspect of being able to store data securely in the cloud. The reason for the increased demands on cloud security is that it is no longer sufficient to keep attackers out of the room. Instead, protected networks, secure cloud storage and well thought-out applications are the basis for a secure cloud. There are three main reasons why the security aspects of cloud computing are becoming increasingly important.

1. Centralization and Storage

Thanks to modern software solutions, you can access private data as well as sensitive information online via your company's core infrastructure. The basis for this is a web-based connection, which is basically possible at any time. To protect this information, not only is secure cloud storage necessary. Compliance with the most important security standards is also of enormous importance. Because if you neglect security in the cloud, attackers could collect data on a grand scale. The result would be immense data loss, which could damage your company's image.

2. Convenience and Comfort

Both in the workplace and for personal use, more and more people are relying on the cloud. If you consider the key security aspects in cloud computing, this technology offers you numerous benefits. Yet many users underestimate the importance of cloud security. A saved log-in, an insecure cloud storage or a lack of configuration pose a high risk potential. This is because they weaken security in the cloud and thus open a gateway for cybercriminals.

3. Potentials (and Risks) of the Cloud

The high potential of cloud-based applications is not only of interest to enterprises. Hackers also know that it is much easier to intercept this data than it would be with centrally stored data. Even a basically secure cloud can be attacked with the right tools. Therefore, you should definitely attach importance to comprehensive cloud security. To this end, cloud providers define so-called security roles in advance. These define how many users can access the data available in the cloud. Nevertheless, it is not always possible for them to take every customer-specific security aspect into account.

The Right Hardware: The Physical Security of the Cloud

Physical security in the cloud is a central aspect of successful cloud security. This means that a secure cloud requires a robust and secure data center that provides the necessary hardware. This includes measures to keep unauthorized third parties away from the hardware. High security measures guarantee that a secure cloud is possible at all. Therefore, the hardware environment of the cloud solution should regulate access via defined processes. Classic examples of this are access cards, locks and extensive video surveillance. Although at first glance these steps have little to do with security in the cloud, they are essential. After all, providers can only offer comprehensive cloud security if the basis of the cloud is also protected accordingly.

Good Software Solutions: The Security of Cloud Applications and Platforms

The fact that cloud applications are sometimes very complex makes it all the more difficult to guarantee comprehensive security in the cloud. For greater cloud computing security, it is therefore necessary to consider application security as early as the development process. Once these developments are complete, regular checks help to test the individual components for vulnerabilities. These checks guarantee that you can store your data securely in the cloud. In this way, you also increase the general cloud security in the long run. In addition, it is advisable to pay attention to a cloud security certificate. Such a certificate indicates that it is a secure cloud in Germany. In addition, certified providers strive to keep your cloud computing security up to date at all times.

Data Protection: Maximum Information Security from Cloud Storage

The laws enacted as part of the Data Protection Regulation help ensure that you can store your data securely in the cloud. This means a secure cloud in Germany must meet certain guidelines and protect sensitive information. For this to succeed, providers of such solutions must take into account various security aspects in cloud computing. One important aspect is always that the data is based on secure cloud storage. In addition, third parties must not be able to access it. A secure cloud in Germany therefore resorts to various methods. A common approach to increasing cloud security is to implement comprehensive identity management. This includes, for example, the strict separation of identifiable characteristics from user data. The advantage of this is that you can benefit from DSGVO compliance and store your data securely in the cloud. The "cloud law" also contributes significantly to the security of clouds. The focus of this legal basis is on the restrictions that providers must adhere to. This legal basis is intended to provide a high level of security for clouds, but it can also restrict one's own privacy. For example, U.S. federal law allows law enforcement to view data stored here.

Identity and Access Management

To ensure a secure cloud in Germany, every access to your system components must be secure. This area of cloud security is also known as "identity and access management". These are underlying processes that make unauthorized access more difficult. These mechanisms enhance cloud security by allowing only authorized individuals to access critical system components. Secure cloud storage, hypervisors and firewalls are elements that are important for cloud security.

Last but not Least: Secure Networks and Servers.

A secure cloud requires versatile security measures. In order for you to safely store your data in the cloud, protected servers and networks cannot be missing. In fact, both are among the most important aspects of your cloud security. There's a good reason for that: both the servers and the network represent the first line of defense against attacks from cybercriminals. The security measures you implement allow you to separate data streams from different cloud customers. At the same time, the approach allows you to secure server configuration, which significantly increases security in the cloud.

CIS Benchmarks

A proven strategy ("best practice") for making the setup of a target system as secure as possible are the so-called CIS benchmarks. These were developed by the Center for Internet Security and include, among other things, various security measures for cloud providers. Thus, CIS benchmarks are a guarantee for the highest cloud security.

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