Considering cloud infrastructure security

As businesses continue to digitally transform, many are turning to the cloud to provide the agility, scalability and flexibility needed to innovate and grow. However, as more and more applications and workloads shift to the cloud, cloud computing security threats are growing, posing serious risks to cloud infrastructure. For organisations to remain protected, cloud infrastructure security is paramount.


What is cloud infrastructure security?

Cloud infrastructure security refers to the policies, controls, technologies and services used to secure and protect resources in a cloud environment from internal and external threats.


Top 10 security risks of cloud computing

Cloud computing has many benefits for businesses including security, service, innovation and scalability, however, it also introduces new security risks which need to be considered. The most common security risks of cloud computing are:

Data breaches and leaks: Hardware failure, insufficiently updated software or access by an unauthorised third-party can lead to leaks or breaches, with data loss a possibility.

Cyber attacks: Attacks perpetrated by a third-party or cybercriminal for the purpose of gaining access to or stealing data.

Insecure APIs: Insufficient protection of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)- usually the method of choice for communication between cloud services can result in cloud security risks.

Vendor lock-in: Organisations can become dependent on one cloud vendor and find themselves “locked-in” due to difficulties moving data or workloads.

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: Attacks inflicted in an attempt to shut down a network or machine so that it can’t be accessed by users, which is typically done by flooding the target with traffic.

Account hijacking: This is where cyber attackers hack an organisation’s cloud account to undertake unauthorised activity.

Malware: Cloud malware injection attacks are those where a malicious service or virtual machine is implemented into a cloud-based system.

Compliance: Failing to achieve compliance with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI DSS can result in significant fines and reputational damage.

Shadow IT: Where unapproved cloud applications are used by employees without explicit IT department approval. This raises the prospect of security and compliance concerns due to lack of testing and auditing.

Lack of visibility: It’s not always easy to have full visibility and control over data in the cloud, particularly if managed by the service provider which can cause risks with security, performance and escalating costs.


Core components of cloud security

The main components that make up a cloud security infrastructure include the following:

Cloud server security: Physical hardware forms the basis of the service, including storage devices, load balancers, switches, routers and servers

Cloud network security: Public networks are typically connected to cloud systems, with virtual networks also being used for connectivity between components within the cloud

Storage: Virtualisation allows storage to be abstracted from hardware, and can be either virtualised scalable resources or elastic pools of storage

Databases: Cloud databases are likely to be exposed via public networks, so must be secured due to the way that they integrate with applications

Accounts: Privileged accounts are usually utilised with the cloud, and must be secured to ensure attackers cannot access sensitive resources and data


Cloud security best practices

To reduce risk in the cloud and strengthen security, it is essential that organisations follow the seven best practices below for cloud security:


Step 1 – Find your sensitive data and who is accessing it

Data classification tools can enable identification of sensitive and regulated data, while checking who has access to it can help prevent it being stolen.

Step 2 – Check your cloud service configuration

Ensure that your configurations are correctly set across access, network controls and encryption, which is particularly important for use of IaaS services.

Step 3 – Look for any malicious intent

Check for any unknown cloud use among staff. While cyber-attacks are the most likely cause of any malicious cloud data use, they can also arise from an employee mistake

Step 4 – Add encryption to your sensitive data

Use your keys where possible to encrypt your data, which will ensure that you have full control over it.

Step 5 – Apply the right policies and protection

Applying the right policies and protection-based technology is crucial, such as for cloud server security. Bot detection and mitigation can defend against malicious bots, while anti-malware solutions are also available.

Step 6 – Implement authentication control

Add extra verification or multi-factor authentication to ensure that hidden attackers don’t gain access from new devices.

Step 7 – Ensure new policies are introduced

Your cloud requirements will continue to change, so make sure new update access policies are automatically updated to suit your operations.


Why choose Telehouse for cloud computing security?

Telehouse provides secure cloud connectivity services with a global network of interconnected and fully compliant data centres. Cloud Link is our multi-cloud network provisioning service, which offers secure, high-performance and reliable private connections between organisational networks and cloud service providers. We ensure that the links between customer networks and multiple cloud services are of high resiliency and low latency.

Key benefits of choosing Telehouse for cloud computing security include:


  • 24/7 security and support to guarantee infrastructure reliability


  • PCI DSS accredited to enable secure connectivity solutions for companies in financial services

End users rely on cloud connectivity for access to content and services. Ensuring cloud infrastructure security is vital to ensure a dependable service. See more about data centre cloud connections here.