With the wave of digitalization engulfing even the smallest companies, no form of data is secure from advanced breaches. Companies are using every strategy available to protect their business operations and customer data from attacks. In this drive, cloud security and cybersecurity play the most critical roles.
Cloud security and cybersecurity are similar sounding terms, but did you know there is a significant difference between the two concepts? Many people use the two terms interchangeably, and some consider cloud security to fall under the scope of cybersecurity. But the forms of new-age security are different enough from each other to warrant a closer look.
If you want to keep your data secure in this digital age, you need to be well-versed in your business’s cloud security and cybersecurity practices. This blog will cover the differences between cloud security and cybersecurity to enhance your understanding of both concepts.
Table of Contents
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud security, or cloud computing security, is the collection of technologies, policies, and procedures implemented to protect cloud environments from internal and external security threats. Cloud computing environments include cloud applications, data, networks, and infrastructure.
Since cloud services are delivered by third-party service providers over the internet, cloud security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer. The provider’s responsibility is to secure the cloud infrastructure and patch and configure the physical hosts that run the virtual instances. The customer’s responsibility includes managing access privileges, protecting cloud account credentials, and managing its security posture.
Components of Cloud Security
- Identity and access management (IAM) and authentication controls
- Virtual server protection processes
- Data protection
- Business continuity and data recovery plans
Cloud Security Challenges
Today’s cloud-based businesses face a multitude of new security challenges owing to the rapidly expanding threat landscape.
1. Increased Attack Surface
The public cloud environment has become an extensive attack surface available to hackers for exploitation. Poorly secured cloud environments give hackers access to a large variety of applications, files, and users from a single access point.
2. Lack of Visibility
Cloud customers often do not have enough visibility into their cloud assets and lack the ability to visualize their cloud environments. Lack of visibility and controls directly impacts the effectiveness of security postures and comprehensive vulnerability assessments.
3. Dynamic Workloads
Cloud assets are used in ever-changing capacities of scale and velocity. Traditional security technologies cannot keep up with dynamic environments and flexibly enforced policies.
4. Complex Environments
The latest trends in hybrid and multi-cloud environments call for security methods that work seamlessly across public cloud environments, private cloud environments, and on-premises deployments.
Suggested reading: 6 Cloud Security Challenges To Know in 2022
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the process of protecting computer networks, including electronic devices, servers, and data, from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity ensures the confidentiality of sensitive information and protects IT networks from unauthorized networks. It’s also vital in protecting business operations from disruptions like malware infections, ransomware attacks, DDoS attacks, and data breaches.
With cyberattacks constantly happening around us, cybersecurity has become a priority for businesses and individuals.
Key Elements of Cybersecurity
- Network Security
- Application Security
- Endpoint Security
- Email Security
- IoT security
Suggested reading: Network Security Checklist– The Complete Guide (acecloudhosting.com)
Cloud Security vs. Cybersecurity: The Differences
The fundamental difference between the two forms of security is that cybersecurity ensures the protection of IT networks and internet-connected devices from cybercrimes. In contrast, cloud security protects assets and data present in the cloud environment. Cybersecurity has a broader scope and encompasses cloud security.
1. Basic Security Measures
The primary function of cloud security is to filter out traffic attempting to access the information stored in the cloud. Ensuring only authorized users access information and blocking unauthorized access is a core cloud security measure.
In contrast, cybersecurity measures are primarily taken by the user to secure their sensitive information. Core cybersecurity measures are undertaken by the users themselves, such as:
- Setting strong passwords
- Using multi-factor authentication
- Not clicking on unknown links
- Using anti-virus, firewalls, and DNS filtering tools
2. Security Responsibility
Cloud security operates on the principle of shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer. Primarily, cloud security responsibilities are undertaken by the provider.
On the other hand, cybersecurity is the sole responsibility of the device’s owner and IT network administrators. Businesses concerned about their cybersecurity posture choose to outsource security maintenance to third-party managed security service providers.
3. Security Scope and Benefits
Cloud security is essential if a business or an individual uses the cloud to store data. The scope of cloud security is limited to ensuring the sanctity of the information stored in the cloud environment. Effective cloud security prevents data loss at a low capital investment cost and minimal infrastructure expenses.
Cybersecurity is an internal measure dependent on your devices and applications. If you’re someone who needs to remain in control of your data and every process related to it, you will prefer general cybersecurity measures you can control. Cybersecurity allows you to configure the system and applications as you see fit. The scope of cybersecurity extends to the physical IT network.
4. Data Backups and Storage
Data backups in cloud security are automated and non-manual, making them way cheaper and more convenient than traditional backups. Also, data stored in cloud environments face a much lower risk of physical harm. On the downside, the data is stored in cloud environments owned and operated by third-party providers, which many consider to be insecure.
Traditional cybersecurity data backup and storage gives users complete control over their data. The downside is that backups and data storage are expensive and manual processes. You will have to purchase backup space as your data increases. Either you or someone from your IT team will have to maintain recurring backups. Real-time data backup is impossible in traditional cybersecurity.
Data is this century’s biggest asset and, therefore, the most vulnerable. The nature of security has changed in the last decade. Every form of technology is open to cyberattacks, making security paramount.
While understanding the difference between cloud security and cybersecurity is crucial, we cannot claim one form of security is better than the other. The choice between cloud security and cybersecurity depends on your preferred IT infrastructure, business operations, and data storage methods. If your business does not store anything in the cloud, cloud security is useless to you.
Cybersecurity, in one form or another, needs to be an essential component of your business operations. With highly sophisticated cyberattacks on the rise, having a comprehensive security posture should be your primary focus.
Is your security environment equipped against advanced attacks?
ACE Managed Security provides zero-cost security consultations with industry experts. Understand the vulnerabilities and gaps in your security posture and get recommendations on the optimum way forward.