Modern cybersecurity is always plagued with new challenges, and every year, the security teams, along with the IT professionals, are dealing with unique vulnerabilities. In 2023, cloud security will remain a top priority for most organizations in the industry, and regardless of emerging threats, the rate of cloud adoption will remain high. In one of its reports, Gartner also mentioned that it is expecting public cloud services spending to jump from $494.7B in 2022 to $600B for the current year. With the ever-evolving threat landscape in modern times, it has become imperative for organizations to stay ahead of potential vulnerabilities and attackers. To address the new challenges, we have come up with a top 6 cloud security trends in 2023 that you should keep your eyes on.
However, first, we want to introduce you to some important concepts of cloud security before heading on to the current trends.
Understanding the concept of cloud security
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud security refers to the collection of procedures, technologies, controls, and policies that are designed to safeguard the cloud data, application, and environment from all kinds of vulnerabilities and security threats.
Cloud securities are implemented to protect the cloud data and network from internal and external cloud security threats, data governance, and access management. As more organizations incorporate cloud-based tools and move towards a digital transformation strategy, the need for cloud security becomes much more critical. Besides protecting data, cloud security plays a crucial role in helping organizations to adhere to regulatory compliances and also protect customer’s privacy.
Unlike traditional security configuration, cloud security can be configured according to the requirement of the organization, and that too from one place. It helped security teams and other stakeholders in reducing the overhead of security administration and allowed teams to focus on different aspects of the business. You can consider cloud security a responsibility shared between the cloud vendor and the customer. From data protection, threat detection, and network security to adhering to compliance, cloud security covers a lot of aspects of the cloud environment.
Evolution in Cloud Security
Cloud security has come a long way, adapting to modern cloud technologies, addressing evolving cyber threats, and catering to business needs. Cloud security may have been in the headlines for the last few years due to the rapid shift to cloud environments, but its origin can be traced back to the 1950s. Alan Turing’s work on early computing and ENIAC laid the foundation of cloud computing. J.C.R Licklider, through his interconnect system of computers that later evolved into ARPANET, also helped cloud computing to advance in the industry.
In the year 1996, the term “cloud computing” came into existence, and it was mentioned in a Compaq internal document. With the advancement of cloud computing, cloud security started making steady progress. The release of virtual machines by the VM operating system in 1972, the arrival of SaaS by Salesforce, and the introduction of Amazon Web Service in 2006 allowed cloud computing to become mainstream. The arrival of streaming libraries through Netflix and shareable document platforms from Google Docs aggregated the advancement of cloud security as vendors needed to protect the data from attackers.
Like cloud computing, cloud security also evolved side by side as organizations needed to safeguard all the assets in the cloud environment.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic time period, cloud security growth reached a new high as there was a sudden boom in cloud adoption. In the US, the market of cloud computing skyrocketed from 73.6 billion dollars to 274.79 billion within the first year of the pandemic. Since businesses could no longer rely solely on local servers and in-house hardware, they started shifting to the cloud, and these organizations needed to protect their cloud infrastructure and applications. Moreover, the massive growth of cloud computing also resulted in a staggering rise in cybercrimes.
So, cloud security became the primary line of defense and allowed organizations to run the operation smoothly. As cloud security evolved, new technologies were added that strengthened the base of cloud security.
The Current State of Cloud Security
In modern days, cloud security has become a top priority for most industries operating in the cloud environment. Cloud service providers and adopters don’t consider it as a discrete practice; instead, they embrace and consider it as a primary aspect of overall security practice and data protection strategy. From small and large to enterprise-level organizations, it has become a go-to solution for everyone at the current time.
Automation and modern cloud technologies have made cloud security much more advanced and allow it to deal with security issues effectively. However, maintaining in-house cloud security was challenging, which is why many organizations emerged in the market to offer optimum cloud security solutions to everyone. Currently, many top organizations like CloudDefense.AI are offering a comprehensive cloud security solution to many organizations and helping them to stay ahead of emerging attacks and vulnerabilities. Even though cloud security has evolved significantly in both technological and business aspects, it is still plagued by many issues at the current time.
According to a report by Sophos, organizations have faced a 56% increase in the volume of attacks and a 59% increase in the complexity of attacks in recent years. 67% of SMBs have reported that their operation was hampered by ransomware. To address this, many tech giants are making efforts to strengthen cloud security and come up with advanced automation technologies that would help mitigate all the security risks.
Cloud Security Best Practices
Cloud security is crucial for every organization to protect their cloud environment, and to ensure, you need to follow some best practices. When you follow the best practices, you will not only harden your organization’s cloud security posture but also prevent any possible attack. Here are the best practices you can follow in 2023:
Understanding the Shared Responsibility Model
In modern cloud security, it is essential for you to understand the shared responsibility model. In this model, cloud service providers safeguard their system and the hardware associated with it, and users are tasked with protecting the data and application by implementing security at the infrastructure layer. To follow best security practices, you should adhere to this model while the cloud service vendor should review the shared responsibility matrix.
Define Cloud Security Policies
Another best security practice you should follow is to define the cloud security policies and direct everyone to follow the defined security procedures while working on the cloud. Cloud security policies are essential for protecting cloud data and resources as they set the controls that prevent any possible vulnerability.
Misconfiguration in the cloud is one of the primary reasons behind many breaches in the cloud workload. So, it is vital to monitor the misconfigurations by implementing a CSPM solution. CSPM continuously monitors the cloud architecture for misconfiguration and assesses your application deployment by tallying it against best security practices and regulatory compliances. It is one of the best security practices that help organizations to identify deviations from set security practices.
Managing User Access
Every organization should implement the best possible user management to control which users and services can access their cloud environment’s data, resources, and applications. Appropriate cloud security methodologies should be implemented so that users and services with the right authority can access the cloud resources and perform activities. Organizations should emphasize on the implementation of the least privilege mode that provides the user or service with the appropriate amount of access they need to perform a specific task.
Utilizing Cloud Intelligence, Threat Hunting, and Forensics
It is a best practice to utilize cloud intelligence, threat hunting, and forensics to address all emerging threats and protect the data and resources in the infrastructure. Cloud intelligence helps in finding all possible threats and weak points and enables you to mitigate them. You should use cloud forensics in your infrastructure because it helps collect digital evidence of security incidents and identify the root cause. Implementing threat hunting is a safe practice because it constantly monitors to identify possible security risks and address them before they can make any impact.
Comprehensive Security Posture Visibility
You should implement the right security tool that will provide you with comprehensive visibility into your security posture and help you manage the security. Security platforms like CloudDefense.AI help in providing CSPM solutions that can help you assess the cloud configuration, data exfiltration detection, threat detection, IAM account compromise, and other events.
Protecting The Containers
It is highly imperative for organizations to protect the containers by implementing industry-standard security baseline and tools for all containerized workloads. Kubernetes is the best possible solution to help you proactively monitor the containers and create alerts when they find deviations. Due to the evolving cloud security threats, you should utilize a tool that is based on AI and ML and can actively detect any issues in the containers in runtime,
Carrying Out Cybersecurity Training
You should conduct cybersecurity training programs for your employees as they will blend with the security culture and learn various aspects of cybersecurity. The training programs should not only include information regarding different types of vulnerabilities and attacks but also about popular adversaries in the industry. You should also carry out training programs that will teach your employees regarding ways to identify phishing attempts, ransomware attacks, and other emerging issues.
What are the Top 6 Cloud Security Trends in 2023
The landscape of cyber attacks is evolving every year, and there have been multiple critical attacks in the past few years. In 2023, businesses will come across many new cyber attacks, and that is why we present you with the top 6 cyber security trends that will help you stay ahead of emerging attacks. Here are the trends in 2023 that your security teams should be aware of:
Zero Trust Model
In 2023, organizations operating in the cloud will utilize the zero-trust model, which indicates that organizations should verify everything before trusting anything within or outside the business’s perimeter. Since every organization is shifting to the cloud, it is imperative to apply a zero-trust model, which will enable only the correct user and services to use the data and resources. Unlike traditional security measures that are unable to protect resources, zero trust architecture helps strengthen security posture while reducing the attack surface and curbing all the risks.
Implementing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Cloud
You should emphasize more on implementing AI and machine learning to secure the cloud infrastructure. Using AI and ML-based security solutions will help organizations automate many processes and solve all security issues quickly. Artificial intelligence, along with machine learning, can analyze all the data in the cloud infrastructure and identify malicious data patterns to trigger alerts. You should also focus on using advanced security solutions that leverage AI to manage and mitigate risks to maintain a strong security posture.
Cybersecurity Mesh is a new-age security trend of 2023 that is being widely adopted by organizations throughout the world. This new concept is all about securing each user and device in the cloud infrastructure and not the whole network. This approach is highly suitable for the current work-from-home culture, where it focuses on creating a distributed network and infrastructure to provide security for every user and device in the network. Leveraging this security trend, you can manage and control data access and implement security policies.
Secure Access Service Edge
Secure Access Service Edge or SASE is another cloud security trend of 2023 which is basically a blend of cloud security services and network security. SASE is highly instrumental for modern organizations as it combines WAN capabilities and different security features to create a robust security environment within the cloud. Many organizations are adopting this security trend because it promotes better cloud security management and enables them to harden the overall security. SASE will help you secure user’s access to cloud resources regardless of their device type or location.
Automation of DevSecOps
In 2023, organizations will focus more on using DevSecOps as this methodology enables them to mitigate any problem before those issues can make any impact. By taking this approach, it will allow you to implement security throughout the entire application development lifecycle. When you automate DevSecOps, it provides you the ability to automate the security checking process and implement it in the development phase. DevSecOps is highly useful in organizations having fully automated application development lifecycles as it will help secure every layer of the development phase. Both security and DevOps teams need to work collaboratively to implement this methodology and make security a continuous process through the CI/CD pipeline.
Cloud-Native Platform and Tools
As cloud adoption is increasing and, so does the need for robust security tools to protect these on-premises applications. Organizations have to move beyond traditional security tools and invest in cloud-native security platforms and tools in 2023 that will provide comprehensive security to the cloud environment. It would be wise for you to invest in tools like CWPP, CSPM, and other emerging tools in 2023 because it will help you protect the cloud resources from all types of attacks.
Why is cloud security important?
While organizations are utilizing modern cloud computing as a means to expand and grow their business, they are also making themselves vulnerable to security risks and malicious attacks. To protect all the data, resources, applications, and infrastructure in the cloud environment from any attack, organizations need to integrate cloud security as they help mitigate those attacks.
What are the challenges in cloud security?
Cloud security presents several challenges that every organization must take care of to ensure optimum protection. Data breaches, hijacking of accounts, misconfigured services, insider threats, difficulty in managing encryption keys, and vendor lock-in are some common challenges in cloud security. Even though cloud security has evolved in modern times, legal and regulatory compliance still poses severe challenges to organizations.
What is the future of cloud security in 2024?
The future of cloud security in 2024 is automation, and most cloud security tools are going to utilize automation by leveraging the power of AI and ML. Besides, organizations are also making ways to include application security layer, multi-factor authentication, blockchain security, secure access service edge, and enhanced compliance to enhance the overall security posture. Businesses will implement more security technologies to stay ahead of potential threats.
Top cloud security trends in 2023 indicate the modern evolution of cybersecurity to address emerging security threats and ways to fortify all cloud resources. In this guide, we have covered all the security trends for 2023 that you can utilize to strengthen your entire cloud infrastructure and enhance your security posture. With the right security tools and practices, you can stay ahead of the malicious actors and cope with the ever-evolving digital landscape.