What is cloud application security?

Defining cloud application security

Cloud application security refers to controls that protect cloud-based apps and data

Cloud application security encompasses the policies, procedures, and tools implemented to protect data, apps, and infrastructure in the cloud. It aims to safeguard sensitive information and provide security controls tailored to the cloud environment.

Key goals include securing data, controlling access, and hardening cloud apps and infrastructure

The key goals of cloud application security are to secure sensitive data stored and processed in the cloud, control access to cloud resources, harden the infrastructure and apps themselves, and comply with regulations related to cloud security and data privacy.

Adapting security to address cloud-specific risks

Cloud application security seeks to adapt security practices to address new risks that come with cloud adoption like broad network access, dynamic environments, and loss of visibility. It goes beyond traditional security.

Components of cloud application security

Data encryption, access controls, and monitoring safeguard cloud data

Data security in the cloud entails encryption, access controls, preventing leaks, and monitoring data access to safeguard sensitive information stored and processed in cloud apps and storage.

Identity and access management (IAM) controls cloud resource access

Identity and access management secures access to cloud resources and data by enforcing strong authentication, managing user credentials and access permissions, and controlling privileged user access.

Network security involves cloud firewalls, traffic rules, and segmentation

Network security for cloud apps includes using native cloud firewalls, segmenting cloud networks, restricting unnecessary traffic, and protecting connections between cloud services and resources.

Application security focuses on vulnerability management and hardenings

Securing cloud applications themselves involves scanning for vulnerabilities, fixing misconfigurations, incorporating security into software development life cycle (SDLC), and hardening apps through best practices.

Auditing cloud resources helps maintain compliance

Auditing configurations, access logs, and security controls provides proof of compliance with regulations related to data security, privacy, and governance.

Threats and challenges in cloud applications

Data breaches and leaks are top cloud security threats

The broad network access and complexity of cloud environments increases the risk of data leaks, malicious breaches, and insider threats. Controls like encryption and monitoring help detect leaks.

Unauthorized access and hijacked credentials can enable cloud abuse

Compromised credentials or excessive user permissions enable unauthorized usage of cloud resources. Strong identity and access management is crucial to prevent abuse.

Misconfigurations expose resources and leave apps vulnerable

The complexity of cloud environments leads to common misconfigurations by developers or engineers. This can leave resources unintentionally exposed and apps vulnerable to compromise.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks can disrupt access and availability of cloud apps

Flooding cloud apps and infrastructure with junk traffic via distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can disrupt access and availability of cloud-based services and resources.

Insiders with excess access pose risks of data theft and exposure

Cloud admins and insiders with elevated access privileges pose heightened risks of malicious data theft or unintentional exposure. Monitoring and least privilege access help reduce the risk of exposure.