Transitioning to cloud services offers a diverse range of advantages for organizations. Just a few years ago, the combination of flexibility, agility, scalability, and affordability was primarily associated with forward-thinking companies striving to innovate and gain a competitive edge. However, recent data and thought leadership suggests that since 2019, adopting cloud solutions has become more than a strategic choice – it is now a fundamental business necessity. Organizations opting not to embrace the cloud run the risk of swiftly becoming outdated or behind the curve.

While there are various cloud platforms, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are experiencing rapid growth. Nevertheless, Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the established leader in the field. Regardless of the chosen cloud platform, safeguarding your cloud workloads must be a top priority. It is essential to comprehend the evolving challenges in cloud security based on new data and innovate perspectives.

Regrettably, a considerable number of significant cloud security threats can be mitigated and are often the result of self-inflicted mistakes. While achieving invulnerable cloud security may be an unattainable goal, many major challenges stem from a lack of comprehension regarding AWS security or straightforward configuration errors. New data and insights emphasize the importance of addressing these avoidable issues to enhance overall cloud security.

Shared Responsibility Model

Securing an on-premises data center is a relatively straightforward process. These servers belong to you, run your applications, store your data, and connect to your network. It’s evident and expected that you bear the responsibility for ensuring robust cybersecurity within your own data center.

The complexity increases when transitioning to the cloud. Many organizations assume the cloud platform provider shoulders the entire burden of cloud security.  However, this assumption can be a critical and costly mistake. Contrary to misconceptions, AWS security is comprehensible when viewed through the lens of the shared responsibility model.

Under this model, AWS is accountable for maintaining, updating, and safeguarding the services it provides, as well as the underlying infrastructure supporting the cloud. On the other hand, your responsibility extends to everything you deploy or input into the cloud, including servers, applications, and data. Recognizing and understanding this shared responsibility model is key to ensuring effective security measures in the AWS environment.

Challenges of AWS Security

Upon grasping the shared responsibility model and discerning your role within it, addressing challenges become imperative for ensuring robust security in AWS. The cloud environment surpasses the complexity and dynamism of on-premises data centers, rendering traditional cybersecurity tools and processes ill-equipped to handle the cloud’s volatility and scalability.

Achieving comprehensive visibility emerges as a critical requirement. Effectively securing a rapidly changing hybrid or multi-cloud ecosystem, spanning various locations and platforms with diverse servers, applications, and data, demands a real-time and accurate understanding of the environment.

Following the establishment of visibility, implementing tools becomes essential for identifying vulnerabilities and configurations errors. This includes deploying solutions for log managementintrusion detection, and container security to effectively pinpoint suspicious and malicious activities, enabling the blocking of attacks, or triggering alerts for timely IT intervention.

Ultimately, the presence of skilled cybersecurity experts is indispensable. Their knowledge and proficiency play a pivotal role in recognizing and responding to potential threats. Even with visibility and detection capabilities, effective cloud workload protection hinges on having the right expertise to manage and mitigate security challenges successfully.

Fortra’s Alert Logic Managed Detection & Response (MDR) is a fully managed cloud-based suite of security and compliance solutions, delivered as-a-service for AWS. Learn more about how we keep your AWS environments safe and compliant.


Zuri Cortez
About the Author
Zuri Cortez
Zuri Cortez is a Solutions Engineer based in Austin, Texas, and has worked for Alert Logic for three years. He previously worked at Logichub, AlienVault, and AT&T as an SE, as well as in Capitol Metro and the US Army as a Network Engineer.

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