Moving to the cloud provides a wide variety of benefits for organizations. Just a few years ago, the combination of flexibility, agility, scalability, and affordability was reserved for cutting edge companies striving to innovate and gain a strategic advantage over competitors. In 2019, moving to the cloud is essentially a business imperative, and companies that choose not to embrace the cloud face the threat of quickly becoming obsolete and irrelevant.

There are many cloud platforms to choose from. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are growing quickly, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the established leader. Regardless of which cloud platform you choose, though, protecting your cloud workloads has to be a primary focus, and it’s crucial to understand how the challenges of cloud security.

Sadly, many of the biggest cloud security threats are avoidable and self-inflicted. There is no such thing as invulnerable cloud security, but many of the biggest issues come down to a lack of understanding of AWS security, or simple configuration errors.

Shared Responsibility Model

Securing an on-premise data center is fairly straightforward. They are your servers, running your applications, storing your data, connected to your network. It’s obvious and expected that you are responsible for ensuring effective cybersecurity of your own data center.

Things get a bit more complex when you move to the cloud. Many organizations assume the cloud platform provider is responsible for all cloud security. That can be a crucial and costly mistake. However, AWS security is relatively simple when you step back and look at it. You just need to understand the shared responsibility model.

AWS is responsible for maintaining, updating, and protecting the services it is providing and the underlying infrastructure that the cloud is running on. You are responsible for everything you run on or put into the cloud. Your servers, applications, and data are your responsibility.

Challenges of AWS Security

Once you understand the shared responsibility model and your place in it, there are some challenges you need to deal with for effective security in AWS. The cloud is more complex and dynamic than an on-premise data center, and traditional cybersecurity tools and processes are not equipped to deal with the volatility and scalability of the cloud.

Comprehensive visibility is crucial. You need to have an accurate view of what is going on in your environment in real-time—which can be difficult when trying to protect a rapidly changing hybrid or multi-cloud ecosystem with servers, applications, and data spanning locations and platforms.

Once you have visibility, you need tools in place to identify vulnerabilities and configuration errors, and log management, intrusion detection, and container security solutions to detect suspicious and malicious activity and block attacks or alert IT personnel to take action.

Finally, you need skilled cybersecurity experts with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond to threats. Visibility and detecting issues and threats doesn’t help with cloud workload protection if you don’t have the right expertise to manage it effectively.

You can download our free AWS security checklist today and get a list of 9 best practices for securing your web apps running on Amazon Web Services.

AWS re:Inforce

Alert Logic is a sponsor of AWS re:Inforce—taking place in Boston, June 25 and 26. This is the first AWS conference focused specifically on cloud security. Visit Alert Logic to learn more about AWS security and how Alert Logic MDR platform can help you address the challenges of AWS security effectively.

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