Remote working. SaaS. The Cloud. These terms represent the new digital landscape businesses must operate in. Although digitalization and cloud computing was always going to be an outcome, Covid-19 has certainly been a catalyst in bringing this new environment forward.
The problem is, the pandemic almost forced the business world to adapt without much consideration for security. Covid-19 basically left the door open for cyber-crime to rise, as employees were no longer operating within the protected enterprise network of the office.
“With organizations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support staff working from home, criminals are also taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption.” - Interpol.
With cyber-crime on the rise, businesses need to learn from 2020 and move past the traditional cyber-security methods that kept the ‘classic’ office network safe.
Organizations need to consider the new digital environment and work towards keeping their new cloud infrastructure secure.
In this post, we will identify the top challenges and trends of cloud security in 2021.
Rules & Regulations
Globally, there seems to be an inequality in how different regions regulate data protection and cloud security. Unfortunately, this will most likely remain the case. Perhaps a certain consensus will be reached amongst bigger regions, but generally there will be different rules and regulations across the globe.
In addition, in light of the rising levels of cyber-crime and breaches, governments will seek to protect end-user data and expand on the current rules in place.
What does this mean for businesses?
When establishing the IT strategy for 2021, a cloud security plan needs to be in place that meets the standards of upcoming government, or regional, security and privacy regulations.
Organizations, IT directors, and business owners need to keep up-to-date with this trend.
Data and Encryption
As more and more businesses migrate to the cloud, it has become clear that one of the main benefits of cloud computing is instant access to data from anywhere at any time.
Well, the issue is that cloud data centres are magnets for ransomware and malicious activity. As we have already mentioned, cyber-crime is on the rise. The effects of a data cyber-breach are detrimental to a business, with breaches costing the US economy billions of dollars each year.
There are two fundamental reasons why data centres have become targets for cyber-crime:
• Cloud end-users are partly responsible for keeping data safe against threats such as ransomware, and there is a lack of security awareness amongst these users.
• Some businesses have a lack of visibility and control over their cloud infrastructure.
In 2021, organizations and their IT teams need to find cloud security solutions that reduce the risks of cyber-breaches and malicious attacks. Data access needs to be managed, visibility needs to be increased, and end-to-end encryption needs to be implemented to protect data moving across the cloud environment.
Shared Cloud Security Responsibility Model
Businesses need to understand that there is a shared cloud responsibility model and raise awareness (especially amongst remote workers and customers).
Vendors are responsible for managing a secure IT estate, whilst customers have the responsibility of managing data access, encryption, and recovery.
SDLC & SecOps
In 2021, cyber-security strategies need to be developed for every stage of the SDLC, to effectively protect data and infrastructure.
SecOps is an approach that involves integrating and automating security tasks within the SDLC framework. Both IT teams and technologies need to be proactive in contributing to the full life cycle of cloud-based software and applications, and security needs to become part of the process, not just an extra layer.
AI & Machine Learning
An issue that arises from increased cyber-crime and remote working, is the sheer number of potentially malicious activity there is across the wider-network. IT teams simply don’t have the time or resources to analyze all the data and activity that is occurring.
Could AI & machine learning security systems be the solution?
AI can collect massive amounts of data and continuously learn from it. If it spots malicious, abnormal behavior, it will seek to contain it and then ‘remember’ similar abnormalities in the future. Of course, AI on its own isn’t enough, but these solutions will seek to notify IT teams of behavior it isn’t able to deal with.
An effective cyber-security strategy in 2021, must include a solution that can read huge amounts of data and aid teams in combating cyber-threats. The key here is to have a human-centered AI philosophy, wherein your business collaborators with AI on cyber-security issues.
Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, but if we have learnt anything from 2020, it is that cybercrime is also rapidly growing. To secure data and the cloud, organizations and IT directors need to keep updated on the trends, challenges, and issues that cloud security will face for the rest of 2021.