Cloud computing is the new ‘trend’ that every organization is hopping on. It has made our lives easier cloud computing is the reason we can see a tremendous change in work cultures across the globe. But it comes with its own set of challenges. Let’s take a deeper dive through this cloud security monitoring guide to understand the basics of cloud computing and the importance of monitoring in cloud computing. 

cloud computing advantages

What is Cloud monitoring? 

Cloud monitoring describes a reviewing, monitoring, and managing series that controls a cloud workflow. Cloud monitoring can use manual and/or automated monitoring services or tools to verify a cloud is operational.  

This security- and management-based process has become crucial for businesses that rely on cloud technology. It can be implemented as an automated software that gives cloud administrators complete insight into the health and performance of the cloud.

Types of cloud environments

When it comes to cloud-based security, there are three main types of cloud environments to consider. Public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds are the most popular options on the market. Each of these environments has different security concerns and benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences:

1. Public clouds

Public cloud services are hosted by third-party cloud service providers. To use the cloud, a company does not need to set up anything because the provider handles everything. Web browsers are typically used by clients to access a provider’s web services. Access control, identity management, and authentication are critical security features in public clouds.

2. Private clouds

Private clouds are typically more secure than public clouds because they are usually dedicated to a single group or user and rely on the firewall of that group or user. Because these clouds are only accessible by one organisation, their isolation helps them to remain secure from outside attacks. However, some threats, such as social engineering and breaches, continue to pose security challenges. These clouds can also be difficult to scale as your business’s requirements grow.

3. Hybrid clouds

Hybrid clouds combine the scalability of public clouds with the greater resource control provided by private clouds. These clouds connect multiple environments, such as a private cloud and a public cloud, allowing them to scale more easily on demand. Users can access all of their environments through a single integrated content management platform in a successful hybrid cloud. 

Why is cloud security important?

Because most businesses already use cloud computing in some form or another, cloud security is critical. Gartner recently predicted that the global market for public cloud services will grow 23.1 percent in 2023, reflecting the high rate of adoption of these services.

IT professionals are still concerned about moving more data and applications to the cloud because of security, governance, and compliance issues that arise when their data is stored in the cloud. They are concerned that highly sensitive business information and intellectual property may be compromised as a result of unintentional leaks or increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. 

Protecting data and business content, such as customer orders, secret design documents, and financial records, is a critical component of cloud security. Preventing data leaks and theft is critical for retaining your customers’ trust and safeguarding the assets that contribute to your competitive advantage. The ability of cloud security to protect your data and assets makes it critical for any company transitioning to the cloud.

Benefits of Cloud Security Monitoring 

Cloud security monitoring provides the following benefits:

  • Maintain compliance. Almost every major regulation, from HIPAA to PCI DSS, requires monitoring. To avoid compliance violations and costly fees, cloud-based organisations must use monitoring tools. 
  • Identify vulnerabilities. Monitoring solutions that are automated can quickly alert IT and security teams to anomalies and assist in identifying patterns that indicate risky or malicious behavior. Overall, this improves the observability and visibility of cloud environments. 
  • Prevent loss of business. An unnoticed security incident can be exorbitant and even result in the shutdown of business operations, resulting in a decrease in customer trust and satisfaction — especially if customer data has been leaked. Cloud security monitoring can aid in business continuity and data security while preventing a potentially disastrous data breach. 
  • Increase security maturity. An organization with a mature infosec model takes a proactive, multi-layered approach to security. A cloud monitoring solution enables organizations to include the cloud as one of those layers and provides visibility into the overall environment. 

Cloud Security Monitoring Challenges

There is no cloud security strategy. Many businesses rush to the cloud to support remote work without first developing a clear cloud security strategy.

Key stakeholders should be able to answer questions like:

How can we gain visibility into changes in cloud policy or configurations?

How do we keep track of our cloud assets and who has access to them?

How will we handle backups? Will we have backup copies?

Will our cloud provider have access to sensitive company information? If that’s the case, what can they do about it?

An organization will not be able to fully reap the benefits of a cloud security monitoring solution unless it has a clear strategy in place.

Alert fatigue. Many cloud monitoring products are noisy, which can leave IT and security teams unsure of what to prioritise. According to a FireEye study, some organisations receive up to 10,000 security product alerts per month. Cloud monitoring solutions with prioritised alerts can reduce noise and the likelihood of receiving false positives, resulting in greater security value.

Lack of context. Logs and alerts are only useful if a company knows how to interpret them. Security teams must understand what they want to monitor and why; once alerts are received, they must know what actions to take. In addition to prioritised alerts, a best-in-class threat detection and response platform will provide remediation steps and playbooks.

Cloud Security Monitoring Best Practices

  • Separate the Crucial Metrics – A collection of customised cloud monitoring solutions is available on the market. To successfully implement this online monitoring system practise, follow the guidelines below:
    • Determine the inventory of resources used in your organisation first.
    • Make a list of all the data attributes you want to collect. 
    • Make a joint decision on the software that best suits you. 

The aforementioned points aid in making employees feel at ease while implementing a security monitoring strategy. For example, a software developer may want to learn the basics of cloud security management and monitoring services in order to design new software with appropriate security features.

  • Automate the Monitoring Process – One of the most important aspects of cloud security management is scripting. Reporting and monitoring procedures can be scripted to allow for automated system operation. Because cloud operations are virtual, it is simple to implement monitoring software. Additionally, the logging and red-flag system can be automated for alerting purposes. For example, an automated machine can be scripted to send an instant alert email to the administrator if unauthorized access is detected.
  • Consider Cloud-based Apps Security – Even in this day and age, some people believe that their online content is less secure in the cloud. They prefer traditional IT infrastructure to cloud architecture. Such users must cleanse their minds of such useless thoughts. They must understand that security is required on both on-premises and off-premises storage platforms. If security is a major concern, off-premises architecture provides more features than on-premises architecture. Top-tier data protection technology and personnel are being invested in by trending data centres. It’s just that online information security is a shared responsibility that necessitates equal contributions from both cloud service providers and clients. Adopting a cloud service in an organization doesn’t mean that you are free from the stress of organization content protection. Alike on-premises security, enterprises have to take care of information stored on the cloud.
  • Use CASB Solution In Your Workstation –  Adopting a separate security monitoring software in cloud computing is insufficient. Cyberthreats are on the rise these days, and no one can predict where the hacker will strike next. This means that both cloud service providers and their clients must safeguard online data. Ignoring the security aspect while maintaining data monitoring is not a solution to the problem. It is preferable to implement a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solution in the business, which provides a suite of cloud security solutions. These software packages, at the very least, comprise the data monitoring system’s device restriction, time restriction, and access restriction policies. Organizations are advised to use CASB service providers to improve business confidential information security.

Conclusion

Cloud security monitoring strategies are critical in today’s scenario. It will assist people in determining which employee is working with what type of business data at what time and from which location. Industries are advised to take precautionary measures before things become unexpected and unmanageable.