One of the most visible technology trends, vastly adopted in 2020, was the move to cloud services across all industries. Corporations and even governmental institutions migrated to the cloud, incorporating cloud services into their workflow. Cloud storage was already becoming more popular before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has greatly increased demand.
Apart from increased use of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), there has been a surge in cyberattacks, meaning a whole other pandemic was occurring parallel to the events of 2020: since January, the number of cyberattacks grew by 630%.
The benefits of adopting cloud services are quite obvious: reduced costs, better visibility, flexibility, and increased business efficiency. However, with such demand from companies switching to cloud migration, there are also looming challenges. One of the critical concerns is cloud service security. In fact, cloud services were accountable for almost 25% of security breaches last year, according to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. With more cloud services appearing on the market, there is an increased need for robust, consolidated, and multifunctional security solutions.
In 2021, companies will need to develop a strong security strategy for transforming and migrating their databases and work processes to the cloud. We’ve highlighted some essential security trends that should be considered in 2021 and beyond.
Key cloud security trends in 2021
As cloud services are now used on nation-wide levels, their operations need to be regulated properly and stay in compliance with local laws for the safety of their data. Especially if your company is using various cloud services with multi-angled functionality, it is imperative to ensure compliance with regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, SOC 2, GDPR, CCPA, and so on. While regulations vary depending on the industry, checking if the services you are using are compliant with the applicable regulation should be a part of your cloud security strategy for 2021. This requirement is especially important for industries like finance, healthcare, and retail, where customer data safety is an asset that needs increased protection.
Aside from that, companies need to establish their own security policies, and specify in detail how the cloud services must be used and which data can be stored, among other things. This also includes the list of technologies and guidelines that employees have to use to protect data. Preferably, in the case of a security risk, there should be a polished and established mechanism within the company, backed by these security policy enforcements.
Machine learning for security
It’s no secret that most security breaches (to be more specific, more than 95%) occur because of human error. That’s why machine learning can offer unmatched application benefits for security. While it still has many practical challenges to overcome, ML can provide benefits to cloud security in many areas, such as:
- Data classification
- Malware detection
- Evaluation of security configurations
- Identity access management
- Automated reasoning to assess security policies.
Algorithms can create a baseline for normal system behavior and quickly detect any violations or malfunctions, sending immediate alerts to the responsive system. As a result, companies can save costs on security teams’ manual operations and focus on strategic jobs rather than constantly monitoring suspicious activities.
Additionally, machine learning can help in the scanning of unsecured configurations and auditing ports to determine potential danger.
Mechanisms for centralized encryption
You can rarely see the use of a single provider for cloud security today. Mostly, there are multiple independent security services used for different purposes. While each of these providers can maintain security control over their service, it’s impossible to manage it consistently and smoothly across all platforms. Providing encryption for each of the service security providers is inefficient and time-consuming, so companies should consider adding centralized encryption to their security strategy. This enables full logging and audit capabilities which are critical for centralized, multi-platform security management.
Consolidation and cloud-native security adoption
Companies acknowledge that using multiple cloud services means more security risks, so cloud platform consolidation has become one of the key priorities for companies in 2021. The use of several cloud services creates visibility issues, so platforms that offer cloud API will be more in-demand, as they are easily integrated with other services and enable more transparency.
For this reason, niche and narrow-profiled services are getting acquired by larger players or changing their functionality to be more universal. The future is multifunctional and highly integrative services.
While larger cloud providers like Google and Alibaba present their own cloud-native security features, smaller companies often lack tools for proper service security and integration. The hybrid model of cloud service deployment is a huge security issue, and finding ways to resolve it will become critical in 2021 and beyond. One of the most promising solutions right now is cloud-native security platforms (CNSPs), which are expected to explode in the next few years. These platforms enable companies to manage all of their security across all services in one place, regardless of the number of cloud services used. With a single console, businesses will have the capability to monitor compliance, check container security, track potential cyberattack threats, and prevent data loss.
Audits and testing
The fundamental rule to avoid security breaches is to thoroughly test any software that you plan to use. It allows you to see if your security service is sufficient for the safety of your company’s data before implementing it. Advanced testing and scanning helps detect defective cloud service and infrastructure configuration errors across all services and helps eliminate any risk.
One of the fast-growing sectors in cloud security is that of Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools, which are developed specifically for infrastructure audits. These mechanisms enable the detection of any misconfigurations and malfunctions across the entire network of cloud services. Ideally, this software is also responsible for web application and API protection, data log access, and vendor compliance, ensuring all system components operate smoothly.
Erbis Case Study: Re-architecture Cloud Structure for SaaS
We have provided a reliable and flexible cloud structure for enterprise application maintenance. During 6 months of fruitful work, we used our expertise in cloud migration, SaaS, and AWS to deliver excellent results. Read on to see exactly how we did it.
Our client provides SaaS software that helps marketing teams solve their biggest challenges, like business growth, cross-channel campaign effects and customer satisfaction. Its purpose-built solution analyzes data, provides marketing analytics, manages content, and customizes tools for 3,500+ brands in 70+ countries.
The client’s customers needed a reliable partner to maintain their application on a modern and flexible cloud base; therefore, they required infrastructure that would be elastic, scalable, and more cost-effective than their existing IBM cloud solution.
To get an in-depth understanding of business and technical requirements, we worked closely with the engineers on the client’s side. After conducting a full audit on the IBM-based environment, we designed a solution fitting AWS best practices. Then we converted infrastructure to code, fully automated it, and developed server configurations.
We used CloudFormation and DevOps automation to deploy the staging and production of the environment. After testing each stage, we integrated all settings into the automation tools. For keeping databases synced, data replication was set up from IBM cloud to AWS. Before the actual migration took place, our QA tested every component iteratively. We’ve been using these practices over the years, as this methodology is exceptionally effective in delivering successful migrations.
The client can now match the growing needs of their customers with the flexibility and power of the AWS Cloud. With acquired automation and auto-scaling, engineers focus more on developing and less on operations and capacity build-outs. They achieve operational efficiency, with a lower total cost of infrastructure ownership. Moreover, they’ve increased the availability and robustness of services offered to their customers.
Ultimately, cloud services will draw even greater demand in the next few years, which means a surge in tools aimed at supporting and enhancing cloud-based solutions and their security. Overall, the market is shifting towards multifunctional and easy to integrate solutions that allow connectivity and visibility. As security becomes a top priority for cloud service users, there are new sectors emerging within the industry, including cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud-native security platforms (CNSPs), machine learning, and services for better integration, centralized encryption, and consolidation.
Considering the massive number of cyberattacks and data hacks, safeguarding data will become a top priority for companies in 2021. Businesses will best benefit from sophisticated and practical solutions that allow protection across all security infrastructure and provide robust, long-term safety.
Erbis has extensive expertise in building cloud services and related applications. Whether you need assistance with infrastructure, integration, or platform development, our skilled developers will provide scalable solutions. With experience in building cloud software and providing a custom approach, we ensure results that lead to the growth of your business.