HelpSystems Blog

Cloud Watching: Ensuring Security in Every Cloud Environment

Though the common vernacular is “The Cloud,” the truth is, there are multiple cloud environments and providers available to organizations looking to utilize this growing technology. Read on to learn about the different types of cloud environments, and the biggest security obstacle each presents.

Cloud Watching

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Cloud Types

Terminology in cloud computing is growing almost as rapidly as the technology. The following list outlines the important differences between the most common types of cloud deployments:

  • Private Cloud – Private clouds are created for a single organization, either internally or by a third-party service.
  • Public Cloud – Public clouds are created for use by multiple organizations. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a public cloud utilized by many businesses.
  • Community Cloud – Like a public cloud, community clouds are used by multiple parties. Unlike a public cloud, a community cloud is a collaborative effort, in which infrastructure is shared amongst the users.
  • Hybrid Cloud – A hybrid cloud environment is made up of two or more cloud types from different providers. For example, an organization could utilize both the AWS platform as well as private cloud. Hybrid environments may also refer to a combination of cloud and on-premise servers.
  • Multicloud – Similar to a hybrid cloud, multicloud environments, also known as a Polynimbus cloud strategy, use multiple clouds for storage and development. However, a multicloud environment uses multiple clouds that are all of the same type. For example, an organization may engage the services of AWS, Azure, and Rackspace, which are all public clouds.

Configuration Confusion

Hybrid cloud and multicloud models have become increasingly popular, as it allows organizations to mix and match to have the exact cloud arrangement that suits their needs. However, this aggravates the main problem plaguing cloud security: misconfiguration.

Outsourcing your development and data storage capabilities across different vendors is inevitably complex. Learning the ins and outs of each cloud environment, synchronizing these clouds together, and coordinating IT teams are just the beginning. With all of these balls in the air, it’s no wonder that configuring cohesive security settings often falls through the cracks.

Unfortunately, misconfigured cloud servers can lead to disastrous consequences. Breaches, data theft, compliance violations, and lost revenue are only a few of the possibilities.

A United Front

Understanding the potential dangers of misconfiguration is critical when assessing how to best approach cloud security. Cloud providers oversee the security of the cloud, but you are responsible for the security of the data that you place in that cloud. Requiring a unified security policy across your domain is the best way to ensure that misconfiguration doesn’t place your system at risk.

Cloud adoption is only growing, with Gartner analysts predicting that cloud computing will be a $300 billion business by 2021. However, Gartner also predicts that organizations using the cloud will be responsible for 95% of all cloud security issues during that time. With misconfiguration as the major catalyst to security issues, streamlined configuration simply cannot remain a manual task.

Powertech Security Auditor centralizes and automates security administration across all environments. It documents your security policy and can implement or make changes to your policy across multiple servers at the same time, manually or automatically. Security Auditor tackles consistent configuration for you, allowing your organization to make the most of your cloud environment.

Want to learn more about preventing cloud misconfiguration?

Download "The Truth About Cloud Security" to learn more about securing your data and for an overview of the most common cloud security issues.