As more organizations switch to cloud computing to increase their business’s scalability and usability of their IT assets and processes, one glaring issue that many are not tackling is how to secure cloud networks. Thankfully, many cloud service providers (CSPs) offer their own security systems for their products, and various third-party cloud security vendors can be added to existing CSP offerings. This document will summarize cloud security, including how it is utilized, why it is essential, possible risks involved with cloud computing, and how an organization can benefit from increased confidentiality, availability, and integrity of its data.
Cloud computing is often described as merely using another’s hardware over the Internet. For example, instead of needing to keep expensive and high power consumption servers at a company’s physical location, they can instead use a service such as Google’s cloud storage to both store and process data. While cloud computing has a long list of benefits, such as being able to access data from around the world and transferring some of the company’s risk to another organization, the fact that the data is so accessible leads to increased security concerns. In the present time, COVID-19 has ravaged typical business operations, thus forcing many employees to work from home; due to this, cloud computing is an excellent method of enabling this transition.
Similar to securing assets at an organization’s physical location, cloud security relies on enhanced authentication and verification protocols such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and the ability to quickly and effectively back up data. Cloud security service providers offer the ability to quickly respond to security events, provide continuous monitoring of access logs, and allows organizations to keep track of updates and patches. Several cloud security providers exist, and finding the right one for the specific situation involves carefully deciding what needs to be protected, the skill level and the number of cybersecurity personnel on staff, the possible ramifications of a breach into the cloud networks, finding a suitable contract, and above all, the available funding devoted to purchasing cloud security services.
While more cloud security providers seem to appear every day, I will share three highly-rated companies and share how they secure, their cost, and possible benefits from utilizing their services.
Datadog utilizes real-time monitoring of cloud networks, as well as physical assets. One thing that makes Datadog stand out is its over 450 vendor-backed built-in integrations, including Gsuite and AWS Cloud. Datadog’s full-stack cloud and infrastructure security and analytics allow one to visualize the security of their entire organization from a single interface using numerous dashboards (Datadog, 2020). As cybersecurity relies on the immediate identification and remediation of threats, Datadog allows cybersecurity staff to have the tools they need to keep up with the always-growing number of cyberattacks out there.
Datadog, starting at $5.00 per function per month, provides a unique Software as a Service (SaaS) model that allows for various pricing tiers. As the interface is everything regarding software, Datadog offers a clean and information-laden visual experience that is quite simple to learn. While Datadog has several benefits, such as having simplified cloud hosting and customizable alerts and notifications, it does, however, have disadvantages when compared to other cloud security vendors in the market. Datadog isn’t primarily focused on monitoring network hardware and does not offer automatic detection of devices, something that makes setup a breeze (Brame, 2020).
More information on Datadog can be found here.
Don’t let its name dissuade you; HackerOne is one of the highest-rated hacker-led cloud security providers. HackerOne utilizes world-renowned hackers in finding threats before those like themselves can exploit them against organizations. HackerOne differs from its competitors in that it includes cybersecurity experts who are trained in numerous areas, all with the goal of security an organization’s protective measures. Thanks to HackerOne’s prestigious penetration tests, a complete analysis of an organization’s security status can be provided, continuously tested, and issues can be immediately fixed.
HackerOne generates revenue by earning commission on bounties, or in other words, paying a hacker to attempt to bypass your security or locate bugs. HackerOne’s reports can be pretty challenging to understand for those not well-versed in technology, and the product would require an additional cloud security service to provide continuous protection, as HackerOne is merely a form of a penetration test and bug locator (HackerOne, n.d.). With the digital realm always under attack by hackers and cybercriminals, using their skills to one’s advantage is an excellent option.
More information on HackerOne can be found here.
Cisco, the makers of a wide variety of networking products, offers its own cloud security services, including Cisco Cloud Security, Cisco Umbrella, and Cisco Cloudlock. Cisco’s cloud security services can protect in real-time against threats found on the Internet, email security in Office 365, SaaS applications, and multiple networks and workload protection. Cisco offers several trials of all of their security services, allowing an organization to see how effective their product are before purchasing them (Cisco, 2021).
Cisco’s pricing models vary on details such as company size and what needs protection; however, its many services allow for protection on all forms of attacks, ransomware, and provides encryption. Alerts and notifications allows cybersecurity members to quickly address security concerns and Cisco’s reporting features grant the ability to see the entire business’s IT assets at a glance (Cisco, 2021). Overall, Cisco is a fine choice for organizations who wish to utilize a single company for all of their security needs, especially those who already use Cisco products.
More information on Cisco’s Cloud Security can be found here.
Summary and Final Suggestion
Overall, each of the three cloud security providers would greatly benefit organizations of any size or type. While each has its own strengths, Cisco’s security software catalog provides more features than the rest; however, the price can be dramatically higher. For many organizations, Cisco’s networking products are the ideal choice in terms of functionality and security, so sticking with the same company for securing their assets is the logical choice. As the threat landscape in the digital realm is continuously changing, relying on merely cybersecurity professionals to quickly identify and correct potential threats and bugs is not recommended; instead, purchasing a cloud security provider’s services may be costly, but the price to recover from a ransomware attack or hack is far greater.
Datadog. (2020, May 18). Datadog. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://www.datadoghq.com/dg/security/cloud-security/?utm_source=Advertisement&utm_medium=Advertisement&utm_campaign=SoftwareTestingHelp-CloudSecurity.
Brame, D. (2020, June 30). Datadog review. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/datadog.
HackerOne. (n.d.). Hacker-powered security, bug bounties, & pentests. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://www.hackerone.com/.
Cisco. (2021, February 17). Cloud security products and solutions. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://www.cisco.com/c/en_in/products/security/cloud-security/index.html.
Shostack, A. (2014). Threat modeling: Designing for security. Indianapolis, IN. Wiley.