Data security is one of the biggest challenges facing the cloud industry today. It is widely agreed that the top three cloud security concerns are data loss and leakage, data privacy, and accidental exposure of credentials. The good news is that you can put certain measures in place to counter these concerns and mitigate their impact.
One such strategy is cloud workload security. This is a comprehensive SaaS-based service that can secure all your cloud assets and workloads. In this article, we will learn more about cloud workload security, its implementation, and above everything, how it can benefit your organization.
What is Cloud Workload Security?
Cloud Workload Security is a set of cloud security strategies and best practices that protect your data as it moves across cloud applications and possibly, even environments. This security can be most useful when you're migrating data from an on-prem to a cloud environment, as this transition is where many security breaches occur.
Cloud workload security aims to identify vulnerabilities and secure them. In the process, it also manages your workloads, so the chances of data leakage reduce. Needless to say, this also helps compliance with most industry standards.
Before we get into how a cloud workload security system works, let's take a minute to understand the reasons behind some of the most common data security problems in the cloud.
Common Causes of Cloud Data Security Breaches
Earlier, we looked at the top three cloud security concerns, which are, data loss, data privacy, and accidental exposure of credentials. All these three security issues are the result of something not done right. In this sense, we can narrow the cloud security concerns to a bunch of causes that are explained below.
- Misconfigurations Are the leading cause of cloud data breaches. It is estimated that these misconfigurations alone account for about 60% of breaches. Often, they occur due to a lack of understanding of the role of a configuration parameter, issues with cloud migration, and fatigue.
- Malware Malware is another common cause of data security. As cloud infrastructure is exposed to public networks, hackers can easily inject malware into your applications.
- Phishing Phishing or social engineering attacks also expose your cloud infrastructure to malicious entities. These hackers pose as legitimate entities and send emails. Most times, these emails ask the recipient to click on a link, transfer money to a certain account, or any other action that in turn, compromises your infrastructure.
- Improper Security Controls If the cloud containers and dockers are not secured properly, hackers can break into them, and steal data. This causes both data loss and infringes on the privacy of entities.
Thus, these are the most common causes of a cloud security breach.
In reality, this is not as alarming as it sounds because most cloud providers have some built-in security controls that can secure most cloud operations and workloads. Along with these controls, you can also implement cloud workload security solutions to greatly reduce the chances of a cloud breach.
Now, let's go back to what cloud workload security is, and see how its features prevent an attack.
Cloud Workload Security Features
Cloud workload security encompasses a wide range of security strategies and best practices that mitigate an attack and the resultant data loss. Here's a look at its important features. Please note that this is a broad overview of security features and can vary among solutions.
- Detects Vulnerabilities A workload security solution constantly monitors your cloud workload and data and analyzes the same to detect any vulnerability at the earliest. Many times, this security solution can even point to the root cause of the problem and assign risk levels to it, so you can plan its mitigation accordingly.
- Protects Containers The cloud security solution will protect your containers and dockers to prevent any data leakage or loss. Typically, it scans the container and creates an image of it. Next, it checks this image for vulnerabilities and reports the same to you. The biggest advantage is you can make the necessary changes in the container before deploying it to production. Some cloud security solutions can also secure your containers at runtime, so the vulnerabilities are identified and fixed in real-time.
- Extensive Reports One of the benefits of a cloud workload security solution is its detailed auditing and reporting that in turn can help with compliance. Its extensive reporting feature can be useful for both internal and external audits.
- Flexibility and Scalability Most prominent solutions available today are highly flexible as they work well on any cloud environment, on-prem, and even hybrid environments. This feature can come in handy when you're migrating from an on-prem environment to the cloud. Also, it helps to secure workloads across cloud environments. These solutions also scale well with your business.
- Centralized Control A cloud workload security solution will gather data, analyze it, and present the results in a central dashboard. This way, you have complete control over all your cloud environments in a central location. In turn, this will also provide wide visibility across all your environments.
Thus, these are some of the important features that can play a big role in boosting your cloud security. Besides these features, every solution also recommends a set of best practices based on your environment. Implementing these practices is sure to give a further boost to your cloud security.
Best Practices of Cloud Workload Security
Here are some best practices to improve your cloud security. These practices may be recommended by the cloud workload security solution you choose, depending on your environment.
- Implement multi-factor authentication.
- Encrypt your data during transit and at rest.
- Establish performance and security baseline values, so deviations are quickly identified and resolved.
- Set up your workload security solution to send alerts as and when it detects a problem.
- Regularly train employees to avoid malware, phishing, and social engineering attacks.
- Monitor your cloud operations always to avoid blind spots.
Finally, let's briefly look at a few cloud workload security platforms available today.
Popular Cloud Workload Security Platforms
There are many cloud workload security platforms available today and navigating through this maze to find what you want is not always easy. We have done the hard work for you and based on our assessment, here are some of the most popular and comprehensive cloud workload security platforms available today.
- Datadog Cloud Workload Security An advanced system that performs in-kernel analysis across your containers and hosts to identify any threats. Its real-time eBF-powered technology detects threats across your hosts and containers.
- McAfee Cloud Workload Security Automatically discovers and monitors workloads and containers to identify threats and report them immediately. Also, it eliminates blind spots and simplifies data management across multiple clouds and on-prem environments.
- Prisma Cloud From Palo Alto is another comprehensive solution that works across cloud environments to provide visibility and protection for your cloud environments. It also integrates well with many leading CI/CD solutions to secure your assets from development to runtime.
- CloudGuard Workload Security An automated and cloud-native security solution that provides comprehensive visibility into your cloud operations. It monitors applications, APIs, microservices, and other aspects of your cloud infrastructure throughout its development and deployment processes.
- TrendMicro CloudOne A comprehensive SaaS security solution that secures your data, cloud, and containers from outside attacks. In the process, it ensures that performance is not affected in any way. It's also optimized for the most popular cloud environment like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and more.
In all, a cloud workload security solution is a comprehensive tool to monitor your cloud assets and identify any threats or vulnerabilities present in them. It works well across all cloud environments and even on hybrid and on-prem environments.
Though the features may vary among different platforms, the most popular ones come with features that can provide excellent protection for all your cloud assets. As a user, you may want to evaluate a tool based on your requirements, budget, feasibility, cloud setup, and other pertinent factors before deciding to implement one.
Besides, this platform also recommends best practices that when implemented can provide added protection for your environment.
We hope this guide is useful to understand what's a cloud security workload platform and decide on an appropriate platform for your cloud environment.