Security of the Cloud vs. Security in the Cloud

Today, it’s the customer's responsibility - not the cloud provider's - to ensure services running in the cloud are as secure as the cloud infrastructure itself.

When I talk security with companies, I want them thinking about security of the cloud as well as security in the cloud.

Security of the cloud means the traditional security elements that go hand in hand with moving to the cloud. They come with the cloud infrastructure a company might select;  security at the compute, storage and network service layers. These are maintained as foundational security elements of the cloud infrastructure itself and provide the customer a baseline of comfort, if you will, that their cloud is a secure environment from which to run their business.

Security in the cloud refers to the applications, the data and other services a company runs in their cloud or clouds. These services are generally connected to each other, back into the organization and most importantly, connected out to multiple end-points. And those end-points are exactly the targets today’s evolved cyber threats are looking to exploit. But here’s the kicker: in today’s world, it’s the responsibility of the customer — not the cloud provider — to ensure those services running in the cloud are as secure as the cloud infrastructure itself.

Now, don’t let this scare you. Solutions come in many forms and functions, including Rackspace Managed Security services. But no matter which solution a company chooses, it’s critical to understand there is a difference in approach and responsibility between securing the foundational elements of your cloud infrastructure (network, storage, compute) and ensuring that your business services that run in the cloud are protected from advanced cyber threats.

There are three key elements a provider needs to have in place if they’re going to adequately address security in the cloud. They must be available around the clock — security isn’t something that goes to sleep at night, and it’s not a nine to five gig. Security in the cloud demands 24x7x365 monitoring for advanced cyber threats.

There should also be an expectation that the provider is using best of breed technologies. Because threats are so varied, there is a need to have leading technologies in place which can prevent or detect a variety of different threats.

But most importantly, the provider must have the expertise and processes in-house that allow them to rapidly detect and remediate any threats on behalf of the customer, in order to minimize any business impact that may occur. Rackspace Managed Security, for example, detects breaches through active cyber hunting: an experienced Rackspace security team monitors and manages your environment around the clock, using leading technology and advanced analytics to actively search for threats.

We also remediate breaches immediately with pre-approved actions: once detected, our security team immediately responds to mitigate the threat without wasting precious time seeking approvals, and dramatically reduce the risk of data loss by minimizing the breach window. Our active security approach is designed to minimize a threat’s most precious resource — time in your environment.

Business leaders must ensure their IT teams are protecting their company’s security posture beyond just the cloud infrastructure. Public clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure will get you a stable and secure cloud foundation. But even more critical to push beyond security of the cloud, with partners who can deliver a proactive approach to securing your data and apps from evolving cyber threats in the cloud.

Stay tuned to this channel to learn more about Rackspace Managed Security and why security in the cloud is so important in today’s advanced threat landscape.

Brandon Hurter is the Cyber Security Marketing Lead at Rackspace, where he is building the brand and market awareness for Rackspace Managed Security services, which focuses on delivering rapid detection and remediation of advanced cyber threats.

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