If you’ve ever used an online shopping service like Amazon or eBay, then you’re probably already familiar with companies that use the cloud in some way. These days, everyone from Amazon to IBM to the little Fitbit on your wrist, organizations use them for various business functions. They’re a crucial cog in a smoothly operating business machine. Maybe you use a small cloud server at your own business or something to keep you safe while browsing at home.
Whether at home or at your business, understanding the difference between cloud and traditional security models can keep you safe while using the cloud and internet to shop, work, or conduct business. This guide should help.
An Explanation of Traditional Network Security
What is traditional network security, anyway? It’s essentially endpoint protection/encryption and firewalls. These digital fences can keep intruders out of your systems and alert you to potential malware, viruses, or potential ransomware attacks. Controlling access to a company’s systems, detecting anomalies, and securing applications are all aspects of a transitional network security. It all revolves around keeping your assets safe while safeguarding your reputation. Layered security adds email protection, business continuity, data encryption, web security, and mobile device security/management to the mix. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) are also critical for protecting an enterprise’s systems with traditional and layered protection.
An Explanation Of Cloud Security
In its simplest explanation, cloud security merely means all data residing within a cloud is being protected from attacks or data breaches. Cloud security requires both the service providers and the customers to work in conjunction with each other to safeguard their data. On the service provider end, security and infrastructure are handled through a Shared Responsibility Model. On the customer side, users need to secure any data they use or store in a cloud. Cloud security uses three different service models – infrastructure and service, platform as a service, and software as a service – that are all strictly regulated to provide services. Four distinct deployment models – public, private, community, and hybrid – are used to store, handle, and move data on the cloud.
Cloud Usage And Security Covers More Areas Than Traditional Network Security
Cloud security is incredibly versatile and structured in a way that’s conducive to providing more powerful perfection than some aspects of traditional network security. Clouds are built on three different service models. Infrastructure as a service is useful for enabling companies to build their own virtual data centers. VDC’s are merely virtual versions of real data centers, complete with all the uses and benefits. Platform as a service lets users build, create, and deploy their own software. Software as a service is functional for allowing companies to use particular software without the need for building a dedicated server specific to that software. Think of your favorite email client for a good example of this service model. Cloud environments can be deployed in public (available to anybody), private (for a single company), hybrid (a mix of the previous two), and community (sharing between organizations) methods. Each has its own quirks and benefits, but all of them are useful for various cloud applications. Security for the cloud isn’t limited to hardware and software like that of traditional security.
Network Security Is Primarily Focused On-Premises
Traditional network security is almost laser-focused on protecting the network perimeter and on-premise resources. To that end, it focuses more on the following:
- Email security
- Monitoring for malicious activity
- Router access
- Malware/virus detection
- Antivirus software
- Virtual Private Networks
- Intrusion detection systems
- Endpoint encryption
- Policy management
- Guarding against identity theft
Most of these elements focus on protecting the data center and enterprise itself. They’re all useful and valuable on their own merits and when used in conjunction with updated cloud security can significantly reinforce your organization’s cybersecurity.
Cloud Security Offers Additional Protections
Whereas traditional network security protects from intrusions and malware at various endpoints, email, and the web, cloud security increases protection with additional services. These include data protection and multi-factor authentication – two things you’ve probably heard about often over the past few years.
Data moves to and from different cloud-based applications and the organizations storage area, it can become compromised. That’s why encrypting the data is so important. With cloud data encryption security methods, users can deploy key-based encryption methods within their data, effectively preventing outside agencies or players from intercepting or otherwise compromising your data. So, how does this help anyone? Ultimately, it prevents data from being stolen while reinforcing your own cloud’s security perimeter and helping you meet regulatory requirements.
At first glance, MFA can seem like a bit of a pain in the neck. After all, it requires two or more different verification factors prior to allowing access to a resource or application. These can come in the form of something as simple as a text message to an email or even something through a VPN. Because MFA requires various forms of verification, it drastically reduces the possibility of an attack or intrusion. By reinforcing security beyond mere usernames and passwords, MFA builds a protective wall around your system to help prevent issues and keep your cloud and other systems safe.