In recent years, cloud computing has grown in popularity as a means for businesses to store, process, and manage their data. This is because cloud services provide numerous advantages over traditional on-premises infrastructure, such as scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. As a result, many enterprises today extensively use cloud services at scale and are looking to move further workloads to the cloud.
This rapid adoption of cloud services has, however, not been accompanied by an equal emphasis on cybersecurity measures. While cloud providers provide some security measures, the enterprise assumes the ultimate responsibility for data and application security. An attack could be devastating; according to IBM, the average total cost of a data breach is $4.35M. While it’s important to look at the numbers, data breaches also result in other costs such as reputational damage, legal issues and decreased levels of trust.
Organisations are leaving the door open for bad actors and hackers to exploit vulnerabilities as a result of this gap in cybersecurity measures. Cyberattacks on cloud systems are becoming more common, often with catastrophic consequences. 69% of organisations reported data breaches because of multi-cloud security configurations. These attacks can cause data breaches, sensitive information theft, and even business disruption. Enterprises must take a proactive approach to mitigate the risks associated with cloud-based cybersecurity threats.
Organisations have a legal and ethical responsibility to comply with all relevant regulatory requirements, and this is especially true when it comes to cloud security. The consequences of non-compliance can be severe, including the imposition of fines, potential legal disputes and a loss of goodwill. Many regulatory frameworks, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have specific requirements for cloud security, including data encryption, access control, incident response planning, and regular security assessments.
Failure to comply with regulations for data protection may result in severe penalties. Under the GDPR, organisations can be fined up to 4% of their annual global revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater, for failing to comply with regulations. Noncompliance can result in reputational harm and loss of customer trust, in addition to financial penalties. Data breaches often make the news headlines, with social media leading to greater awareness of incidents. Furthermore, regulatory compliance is a legal requirement in some industries.
The healthcare industry, for example, is highly regulated, and organisations that fail to comply with regulations such as the Data Protection Act can face significant fines and reputational harm. When highly sensitive information or personal information is involved, regulatory compliance takes on a whole new dimension. IoT and the growth in mobile technology have resulted in companies possessing data that is far more sensitive than before.
Therefore, organisations must prioritise regulatory compliance and ensure their cloud security measures are as extensive as possible and align with relevant standards. By doing so, organisations can reduce the risk of penalties and protect their reputation and customer trust. It is also essential for organisations to regularly review and update their cloud security policies to stay up-to-date with changing regulatory requirements and emerging threats.
The phrase “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies to the cloud. Observability in the context of cloud security refers to the ability to monitor, measure, and analyse various aspects of the cloud infrastructure, such as applications and data flow, to detect security threats and vulnerabilities before they occur. With data volumes constantly growing and the threat landscape becoming more complex, cybersecurity teams are under pressure to keep up with a range of shifting demands and requirements.
Because observability provides visibility into the various components of the cloud infrastructure, security teams can detect anomalous behaviour or suspicious activity that could indicate a potential security threat. Furthermore, observability can assist organisations in better understanding their cloud environment, such as how data flows through the network, what resources are being used, and who is accessing them. This data can be leveraged to develop more effective security policies and controls, as well as to prioritise security investments based on the most critical infrastructure areas.
Ultimately, ensuring cloud observability is critical for successful cloud security. It enables businesses to stay ahead of potential security threats and vulnerabilities and to respond quickly and effectively in the event of an incident. Organisations can ensure the security and integrity of their cloud infrastructure and protect their valuable data and assets from cyber threats by investing in observability tools and practices. A window to the future can make all the difference between a successful and unsuccessful cloud security strategy; Cybersecurity measures must keep up with the pace and scale of the cloud.
Cost of Implementation vs Cost of Inaction
Businesses face numerous challenges in the digital era, and it is critical to ensure that investments in cloud security provide a solid return on investment (ROI). A successful cloud security strategy not only protects the organisation from cyber threats but improves the cloud infrastructure. Businesses can reduce the risks of security breaches and incidents by investing in cloud security measures. They can also improve the reliability, availability, and performance of their cloud-based systems by preventing bad actors from accessing and disrupting systems. This can result in increased productivity and efficiency, as well as higher customer satisfaction and, ultimately, higher revenue and profitability. Because trust has become a watchword in the business agenda today, investing in security demonstrates a strong intention to protect what matters to people, in this case, their data.
While the cost of cloud security measures may appear to be high, the cost of a data breach or security incident can be far greater and more damaging. Direct costs associated with data breaches include legal fees, regulatory fines, and customer compensation, as well as indirect costs such as lost revenue, reputational damage, and decreased customer trust. Furthermore, the impact of a security incident can go beyond financial costs to include operational disruptions, legal liabilities, and brand damage. Businesses can help to prevent such incidents and protect themselves from potentially disastrous consequences by investing in cloud security.
Alan Hayward is the Sales and Marketing Manager at SEH Technology UK. In this role, Alan’s responsibilities include overseeing all sales and marketing activity in the UK, as well as collaborating with clients including resellers and distributors. Prior to joining SEH Technology, Alan was a Product Manager at Hosiden.