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June 15, 2018 | Sarah Fowler

Cloud Security Vigilance: A Shared Responsibility

Layering cloud security technologies can provide defense in depth but like any cloud security strategy, it requires vigilance – from you and your managed service provider. How much and what kind of security do you need? It can get complicated, so many organizations turn to a provider with this expertise, such as managed security service provider (MSSP).

At a basic level, the cloud security you need will depend in part on the type of cloud services you use. For example, Software as a Service (SaaS) providers build security into their applications, infrastructure and platform layers. Platform as a service (PaaS) providers, however, do not always secure the customer applications that run on their platforms – the responsibility for protection can vary depending on the services the organization is consuming.

As a result, security is always a shared responsibility. You will need to collaborate with your providers to understand your organization’s security responsibilities and the cloud security technologies and processes you need to implement to protect your cloud resources. A managed security service provider (MSSP) can implement and manage multiple types of cloud security technologies and unify security systems across hybrid IT environments to bridge security gaps.

Challenge: acquiring security talent for your organization

An acute shortage of IT talent, particularly security professionals, is helping to drive organizations to engage a managed security service provider (MSSP). It’s getting harder to find and afford experienced IT security staff. The Global Information Workforce Study reports that the shortage of cybersecurity professionals will reach 1.8 million by 2022 – a 20% increase since 2015.

Cisco’s 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report notes that this lack of security talent can lead to weaker defenses, and advises CIOs to instead make use of security service providers. “As threats continue to evolve and technology choices proliferate, organizations should increase their reliance on security services to fill talent gaps,” the report’s authors recommend.

Related White Paper: Cloud Security Top Threats and Key Defenses

Solution: Security service provider

Large managed security service providers and cloud solution providers with multiple regional and national data centers have large security staffs, bandwidth to help blunt an initial DDoS attack, and sophisticated cloud security technologies to identify and block threats faster. It’s a simple matter of scale.

As Crowd Research partners explained in its Spotlight report: “The math is simple: Large cloud providers can outspend any individual enterprise in security their infrastructure and apply cutting-edge expertise and manpower in protecting a shared infrastructure. The results are often superior in terms of availability, performance, and security of public cloud environments.”

Preparing your cloud security strategy for high-impact attacks

In recent years TierPoint witnessed the emergence of Mirai, a botnet composed of Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as routers and security cameras. This year we will no doubt see more DDoS attacks using IoT botnets, sharply increasing the size and duration of these attacks. In their 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, the Cisco authors described IoT as “a bold new frontier for attackers and defenders in their arms race.”

Also read: Cybersecurity Trends in 2018

Cisco ominously warns that “there are signs that new types of attacks – more sinister and destructive than campaigns of the past – are in development. Adversaries are devising high-impact, well-planned attacks that are designed to prevent an organization, big or small, from operating.

As the volume and maliciousness of cyber-attacks continue to grow, few individual businesses will be able to affordably guarantee the security of their data and IT resources without the help of outside security experts including a managed security service provider.

About our managed security services

As a managed security services provider and cloud solution provider, TierPoint takes a consultative approach to managed security services for our clients. Let us help you to improve your cloud security with security certification services, threat management services, firewall services, DDoS mitigation services and encryption services.

Cloud Security: 2017 Spotlight Report by Crowd Research Partners
2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report by Cisco
Global Information Workforce Study by Frost & Sullivan for The Center for Cyber Safety and Education

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