Why You Should Shift Gears to Cloud-Centric Cybersecurity

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Cybersecurity has drastically evolved since it was first developed. Although people primarily associate cybersecurity with computers, the concept has more implications than just this. The first cyber-attack happened in 1903, where Morse code messages were projected on a screen in an auditorium during a presentation.

More than 100 years later, hackers have developed more sophisticated methods of breaking down into cybersecurity systems. The methods and tools used for hacking have increased, making it easier to attack individuals and businesses as well. The tools, known as Exploit Kits, are designed to exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses in PCs or servers. 

Effective cybersecurity is not as much about protecting a network as it is about protecting a website or server. Accessing networks is more difficult for hackers since most of them have a firewall in place which hackers can’t penetrate.

Vulnerabilities in Cybersecurity

Governments and enterprises alike are faced with hyperconvergence. Their connected systems put their sensitive data and intellectual property at very high risk. The data becomes available in private and public clouds, on removable media, and on other devices they use in conducting their business.

The biggest challenge of securing data is mostly embedded in the number of devices in use. On average, most organizations have about 23,000 mobile devices in use by their teams. Cyber-defenders have their hands full when it comes to the prevention of infiltration by malware. 

Lack of visibility in how data is used across the enterprises through personally-owned and hosted applications make it easy for cyber attackers to strike. Regardless of how the attacks originate, the final effect is that they inflict damage to enterprises. Even the most comprehensively designed systems can become compromised in a single malicious or unintentional act. 

Enterprises are faced with various vulnerabilities that make them prone to cyber-attacks because of all these factors. Vulnerabilities refer to types of weaknesses present in the computer system, in a set of procedures, or anything that exposes data to a threat. 

Some vulnerabilities include bugs, weak passwords, virus infections, missing data encryption, buffer overflow, and path traversal, among others. Cyber attackers also capitalize on the use of broken algorithms, redirection to untrusted sites, codes without integrity checks, cross-site scripting, and forgery.

While it’s possible to protect computers from vulnerabilities by regularly updating software security patches, this approach may not be enough on its own. This is where more reliable cybersecurity approaches come in. Among them is cloud-centric cybersecurity.

Transitioning to Cloud-Based Cybersecurity

© Information Age

According to a study on cloud usage, 40% of enterprises have more than 10% of their workloads stored on public clouds. As enterprises make this move from physical to cloud storage, they need to get serious about adopting significant cybersecurity strategies and architecture accordingly. 

The focus shouldn’t only be on a cloud-centric model, but also on redesigning a full set of controls for the public cloud. As it is, the public cloud is already taking over the existing premises network control hierarchy. However, to avoid anarchy, security defenders must be prepared for the hurdles that come with the move. 

Three options available to them are backhauling, cleansheeting, and adopting CSP-provided controls by default. 

Backhauling is the process of shunting traffic through on-premisesnetworks. It’s a shortcut method for shoehorning public cloud traffic into legacy solutions. However, it calls for a lot of configurations and presents users with potential performance issues and other scalability challenges. 

The solution might be to adopt CSP-provided controls, but managing them in multi-cloud environments is another challenge. 

Cleansheeting is another wave that is promising to cause a ripple in the future. It uses virtual perimeters and cloud-specific controls to manage complex multi-cloud environments. This option also requires an extensive investment of resources.

Almost 50% of organizations use the backhaul method, and about 15% tend to adopt cleansheeting. However, in the future, this trend will shift, with more enterprises adopting cleansheeting as the most popular practice for cybersecurity management. Despite the high cost and complexity of cleansheeting, the approach can support multi-cloud environments and replace other solutions as the needs evolve. 

The Future of Cybersecurity is in Cloud Security

For decades, enterprises and other organizations have feared the Internet so much that they have been functioning on isolated intranet connected through hard cables. It’s no wonder that most of them are yet to embrace the unlimited processing power that comes with cloud computing. 

However, although cloud storage has become ubiquitous, many companies are still in fear. The worry is on how to control and secure the information they share with other parties. This issue has made cloud computing one of the polarizing issues for IT professionals. 

According to opponents, not all cloud services are equal in their dedication to security. Some come with a poor configuration that can compromise internal policies that classify and protect sensitive data. Besides, not all cloud services offer strong authentication, encryption, and audit logging. 

They also argue that cloud services fail to maintain and patch systems to avoid exploitation by cybercriminals. To which cloud security companies should respond by continuously evolving to face and overcome these threats and provide a bulwark of defense to users. Cloud services can take security issues a notch higher to offset the fears highlighted concerning cybersecurity. They can not only secure data within the cloud but also leverage the transformative cloud industry to secure end consumers.

Sophisticated attackers launch complicated attacks like the Wannacry pandemic. They have the means to bowl over legacy and traditional security. Modern-day attackers are cyber spies, using traditional espionage tactics and disruptive malware to bypass defense-based security measures. 

For security officials to defeat cybersecurity attacks, they must transform their efforts into active profiles that hunt attacks as aggressively as they predict future attacks. 

Effective and efficient prediction of future attacks calls for a transition into cloud cybersecurity. Cloud security can leverage instant analytics and big data over a large swath of end-users. This makes it possible to instantly address known threats as well as predict new ones that may overwhelm security.

Cloud security creates a collaborative approach that analyses event streams of normal and abnormal activity across all users. The upside of thistactic is that it builds a global threat monitoring system. As different users leverage the same cloud environment, cloud security becomes well-suited to building a collaborative environment. Through it, they can instantly predict threats through a universal monitoring system. Any detected threats are shared among users under the cloud umbrella. 

The Way Forward

Cyber-attacks continue to be disruptive for both individuals and enterprises continually creating novel approaches to seeding malware and data theft. It’s crucial that security defenders actively work to disrupt the efforts of cyber attackers, spies, and terrorists through a collaborative approach to security. The aim should be to leverage the big data and analytics that thrive within the cloud. 

It’s time to embrace the future of security fully, and that future is within the cloud. Predictive security in the cloud will overhaul cybersecurity in a way that will frustrate cyberspies for years to come. It’s a kind of technological advancement that will collect and analyze unfiltered endpoint data by exploiting the power of the cloud.

Users can make predictions about cyber-attacks and take the necessary precautions to protect against future and as-yet-unknown attacks. This means that predictive security can identify attacks that other cybersecurity solutions tend to miss. It also provides visibility into attacks that tend to evolve with time. In other words, cloud-centric cybersecurity offers the ability to hunt threats before the attacker hunts the system.  

As a new approach to cybersecurity, cloud-based solutions will not only level the playing ground between the attacker and security teams, it’ll also go a long way in shifting the balance in the opposite direction to provide security with an advantage. 

Cyber-attacks rely on surprise and stealth to disrupt, destroy, and steal data. Predictive security, on the other hand, works like a counter-intelligence agency. It hunts the efforts of cyber attackers before they strike. This is the innovative approach that makes cloud-centric cybersecurity the future of security. 

Take Away

Addressing the issue of cybersecurity is not the responsibility of a selected few. As cybercriminals continue to advance their attack strategies, it’s also crucial that cybersecurity defenders develop new subduing techniques.

Use of passwords and security solutions are good measures, but not good enough, considering hackers still have ways of getting past these. This is where the need for cloud-centric cybersecurity comes in. The solution takes security a notch higher by making systems and data hard to access by attackers. 

Through cloud-centric cybersecurity, defenders can use tactics like backhauling, cleansheeting, and adoption of CSP-provided controls. Backhauling requires a lot of configuration, but it’s highly effective in shunting data through on-premises networks. Most defenders prefer to use the cleansheeting approach, which makes use of virtual parameters in offering security solutions. 

Most organizations are yet to embrace cloud-centric security solutions, but it’s undeniable that this is the path that most will follow for enhanced security.

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