When cloud computing was first introduced to the world, it received a lot of scepticism in terms of reliability and security. It even produced a notable meme saying the cloud is just someone else’s computer, which is technically true. But cloud computing today has become an integral part of network security. In fact, cloud computing has benefited businesses in many ways:
33% of organizations have a “full steam ahead” attitude toward cloud services and 86% of companies spend at least part of their IT budget on cloud services. But what is cloud adoption doing to network security?
7 Ways Cloud Computing Transforms Network Security
In addition to the business efficiencies, cloud computing brings to an organization, it brings many network security advantages to any organization, big or small. Technically speaking, since the cloud is “someone else’s computer”, there’s an inherent transference of risk for many organizations to the Cloud Service Provider (CSP).
If an organization is transferring a good amount of its IT operations, security, and storage to a CSP, there need to be certified network defenders on site. They are the ones that will make sure the CSP will deliver these advantages to each client:
- Protection against DDoS attacks
While no CSP is immune to DDoS attacks, there are some that can absorb and disperse these attacks to help minimize the impact.
- Regulatory compliance
Since many CSPs can have a variety of customers, they often opt to become compliant with many national and international regulations so they are ready should a potential client be in the market of a CSP.
It’s more than likely that whatever service level you choose with the CSP, expandability will be included. For example, if you have a surge in storage or processing needs, it will automatically become available to you. Granted, you might get charged for that extra use, but at least you wouldn’t have any crashed servers or downtime.
- Patches and updates
Again, depending on which service level you choose, the CSP can manage software/hardware patches and updates for you. Even if you managed it yourself, it would still be a much more efficient process.
- Physical security
Since CSPs host many clients’ data, their physical security needs to be very strong. So much to the degree that a small to medium business most likely wouldn’t be able to have that amount of security. Plus, they would be breaking the basic security principle of having “just enough” security. Essentially, the CSP physical security costs are split between all the tenants.
- Data security
Just like with physical security, the costs of strong data security are essentially shared between the tenants of a CSP. A great perk of this is implementing multi-factor authentication. A small- to medium-sized business might not have the resources to implement this on-site, so they can certainly take advantage of this via their CSP.
- High availability and support
Again, a small- to medium-sized business won’t be able to provide the level of availability that can be offered through a CSP.
Difference between Network Security and Cloud Security
Cloud security is evolving, and it forms part of network security and information security. Fundamentally, the cloud security refers to a broad set of technologies, controls, and policies. These are used to secure and protect data, applications, and cloud infrastructure. Cloud security covers a broad range of security practices from end-user and cloud service provider (CSP) perspective. Though the end-users are primarily concerned of the security policy of CSP, they are equally concerned of data storage and the access to the data on cloud.
The security to a cloud provider encompasses physical security of the cloud infrastructure and access control mechanism. However, it also extends to the execution and maintenance of security policy. The cloud security provider shares a greater responsibility because it is where the organization fear the cloud.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a nonprofit organization that educates organizations and security providers on enforcing security within an operating environment. The platform is developed by industry specialists pooling guidelines and frameworks for cloud computing.
Network security is a broader perspective when compared to cloud security. It encompasses policies, technologies, controls, and procedures enforced by the network security team. Moreover, the objective of network security is to track and control unauthorized access to the network and its components. Basically, a well-implemented network security can block cyber attackers to intrude network with malware, viruses, etc.
Initially, the network security follows the signup mechanism allowing access to authorized users under customized privileges. Concurrently, the network firewall enforces accessible services as per defined policies. Even though network firewalls do not always identify and defend malware or harmful content leading to data loss; an anti-malware is installed to serve the purpose. The anti-malware or anti-virus protects the network from malicious actors from entering the network.
As you can see, a certified network defender has a huge responsibility in providing network defense to a CSP. EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND) trains network administrators on protecting, detecting and responding to the threats on the network. Since a network administrator already has networking knowledge, the CND training course provides the candidate with network defense fundamentals, the application of network security controls, protocols, perimeter appliances, secure IDS, VPN and firewall configuration, intricacies of network traffic signature, analysis, and vulnerability scanning.