Cloud Security

Cloud Security Myths vs Facts: Top 12 Myths

Cloud security misconceptions have dominated the IT industry since the cloud became a practical choice for hosting infrastructure fifteen years ago. There are many Cloud Security Myths about whether it is viable to host services in the cloud while maintaining security and regulatory compliance.  Since those early days, the IT sector and the cloud have […]

Sharon R.

Written by Sharon R.

August 8, 2023 | 8 min read

Cloud security misconceptions have dominated the IT industry since the cloud became a practical choice for hosting infrastructure fifteen years ago. There are many Cloud Security Myths about whether it is viable to host services in the cloud while maintaining security and regulatory compliance. 

Since those early days, the IT sector and the cloud have changed beyond all recognition, and the usefulness and strength of the cloud computing model are now broadly accepted. 

Despite the fact that the cloud has changed, Cloud Security Myths continue to circulate, notably those regarding cloud security. Previous versions of cloud security myths were overly pessimistic. Today, they are just as prone to overly optimistic cloud compliance and security views.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Cloud Security?
  2. What are the Cloud Security Myths vs Facts?
    1. Myth #1: More Security Tools Implies Better Security
    2. Myth #2: The CSP alone is responsible for security
    3. Myth #3: Successful Breaches Are the Result of Complex Attacks
    4. Myth #4: Cloud Visibility is Simple and Easy
    5. Myth #5: Compliance is ensured when you use a cloud security tool
    6. Myth #6: A cloud security audit is not necessary for you
    7. Myth #7: Serverless functions and containers are inherently more secure
    8. Myth #8: The Cloud Is Generally Safer
    9. Myth #9: Criminals Avoid Targeting the Cloud
    10. Myth #10: Businesses are leaving the public cloud
    11. Myth #11: To be good, you must be a cloud
    12. Myth #12: Everything should be done in the cloud
  3. Why PingSafe for Cloud Security?
  4. Conclusion

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security is a collection of procedures and tools to protect organizations from external and internal threats. As businesses embrace digital transformation and include cloud-based tools and services in their infrastructure, it is crucial to have strong cloud security. To ensure a safe and secure cloud computing environment for the organization’s operations and data management, this helps protect sensitive data, apps, and resources from potential hazards.

Security risks have become more complex due to how quickly the digital world changes, particularly for cloud computing companies. Organizations frequently have little control over how their data is accessed and transferred on the cloud. Without actively attempting to increase cloud security, firms run a lot of risks when handling client information in terms of governance and compliance. 

What are the Cloud Security Myths vs Facts?

Here are a few Cloud Security Myths:

Myth 1: More Security Tools Implies Better Security

People generally tend to have Cloud Security Myths that having more tools increases cloud security.

On the contrary, having more security tools does not automatically increase security. The Oracle and KPMG Cloud Threat Report 2020 states that too many technologies are required to safeguard public cloud environments, according to 70% of respondents polled. Each employs more than 100 distinct security controls on average. Several security providers, diverse solutions, and blocking various attack channels cause gaps. And those openings give attackers access opportunities.

Too many security options combined with complex cloud infrastructure and non-cooperative solutions result in a lack of shared intelligence and a risky design.

Implementing tools and resources to simplify cloud security management and help take security control is essential if these gaps are to be closed.

Myth 2: The CSP alone is responsible for security

One of the biggest cloud security myths is that the cloud provider is fully responsible for security.

As a cloud customer, the end user organization still protects the data they upload to the service, according to the well-known “shared responsibility model.” Given that your duties differ depending on the services you’re using, it’s crucial to know exactly where your obligations lie when it comes to safeguarding cloud-native infrastructure.

Organizations fail to implement most of the several approaches to protect data in the cloud.

Myth 3: Successful Breaches Are the Result of Complex Attacks

The Cloud Security Myths that breaches are due to complex attacks is untrue. Although highly sophisticated attackers exist, most successful attacks do not necessarily result from their increasing sophistication. End-user mistakes and incorrect settings cause the vast majority of assaults.

Myth 4: Cloud Visibility is Simple and Easy

Another one of the cloud security myths is that visibility into the cloud is simple and easy. You must be fully aware of all relevant details as you are paying to use cloud resources, like how many accounts you have if your designers have released any new features, whether it has been set up correctly, any weaknesses it has, etc.

Unluckily, keeping track of all this information is far more difficult than most people believe. You can’t spot deviations in resource behavior if you don’t see how they ought to behave. Threats are extremely difficult to recognize and respond to in a timely manner without centralized dashboards.

Myth 5: Compliance is ensured when you use a cloud security tool

Another one of the cloud security myths we will discuss today is that compliance is ensured when you use a cloud security tool. Many cloud service providers tout the compliance of their offerings with information security laws.

For instance, the S3 storage service from Amazon has received certification for compliance with SOC, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and other legal requirements. What does that signify, though? It does not imply that a data storage system based on S3 conforms to those criteria automatically. S3 can be utilized as a component of a PCI-compliant system thanks to its PCI compliance however doing so requires proper configuration. Any system built on S3 may become non-compliant due to a simple configuration error, and it is the user’s responsibility to ensure this doesn’t happen. 

Myth 6: A cloud security audit is not necessary for you.

The next one in cloud security myths is that you don’t need to do a cloud security audit. The security and compliance concerns outlined in this article can be avoided by your company using a cloud security assessment. Knowledgeable information security professionals will inspect AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform environments for configuration errors, security flaws, and potential data breach risks. An audit ensures you know what is necessary to manage a secure and legal cloud environment.

Myth 7: Serverless functions and containers are inherently more secure

Cloud Security Myths that serverless functions and containers are fundamentally more secure are false. The transitory nature of containers, serverless functions, and their tendency for brief lifespans enhance security. Attackers find it challenging to establish a sustained presence in your system.

Although this statement is essentially correct, using event-based triggers from many sources gives attackers access to more targets and attack options. These cloud-native technologies can increase security when configured appropriately, but only if done properly.

Myth 8: The Cloud Is Generally Safer

This particular one in Cloud Security Myths is more of a factoid—a combination of some truth and some fiction.

In general, cloud providers are more dependable in operations like patching servers. Leaving things up to them makes sense, and cloud service providers have well-deservedly high levels of trust. 

However, safeguarding everything across numerous clouds entails a number of steps, including managing identities, securing access, and routine auditing. There needs to be more end-to-end context for risk due to the increasing spread of workloads over numerous public and private clouds. The security flaws inescapable with inconsistent remedies only serve to worsen these problems.

Myth 9: Criminals Avoid Targeting the Cloud

It could be alluring to believe the cloud security myths that switching to a cloud platform will take care of your company’s security issues. With the incessant barrage of malware, ransomware, phishing assaults, and malicious bots, you’re at your wits’ end. You need a secure infrastructure solution that is impervious to cybercriminals’ scrutiny. However, the cloud can’t provide what you require. In recent years, the cloud has been the site of many of the largest security lapses and data dumps.

Myth 10: Businesses are leaving the public cloud

The cloud security myths that workloads are returning from the cloud are mainly made up of legacy suppliers that stand to gain financially from it being true. The majority of businesses haven’t switched cloud workloads back, in actuality. Most relocated people come from SaaS, colocation, and outsourcers rather than cloud infrastructure (IaaS).

This does not imply that all cloud migrations are successful. Instead of abandoning their cloud strategy and relocating apps to their original location, firms are more inclined to deal with issues as they emerge.

Myth 11: To be good, you must be a cloud.

Cloud-washing, or referring to things that are not cloud as cloud, may be unintentional and the consequence of valid confusion. But in order to raise money, increase sales, and satisfy ill-defined cloud expectations and objectives, IT companies and suppliers refer to a wide range of products as “cloud.” This leads to cloud security myths that an IT service or product must be in the cloud in order to be effective.

Call things what they are rather than depending on cloud-washing. Virtualization and automation are only two examples of the many other capabilities that can stand independently.

Myth 12: Everything should be done in the cloud

The cloud is a fantastic fit in some use cases, including highly variable or unpredictable workloads or those where self-service provisioning is crucial. However, not all workloads and apps are appropriate for the cloud. For instance, relocating a legacy program is typically not a solid use case unless it is possible to generate demonstrable cost benefits.

Not all workloads may benefit equally from the cloud. When appropriate, don’t be afraid to suggest non-cloud alternatives.

Myth 13: The Security is the Same for All Clouds

These cloud security myths are fairly widespread. But not every cloud has the same level of security. Depending on the add-ons that each cloud environment has contracted for, even two cloud environments operated by the same provider can have completely different security measures in place.

This is why, prior to signing a service agreement, it’s crucial to confirm the security measures the cloud provider will use for your cloud environment. Not only should you be aware that a firewall is being utilized, but you also need to understand which firewall the cloud service provider will employ and why.

Myth 14: Compared to on-premises infrastructure, the cloud is less secure

These cloud security myths are primarily a perception issue because there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud – most breaches continue to involve on-premises environments.

Any IT system is only as safe as the safeguards put in place to keep it that way. Because it pertains to their primary business, cloud service companies may more easily invest in robust security, building a better infrastructure.

Myth 15: Multi-Tenant (Public) Clouds Are Less Secure Than Single-Tenant (Private) Clouds

This myth in cloud security myths sounds logical: environments used by a single dedicated tenant organization are more secure than environments used by several organizations.

This, however, isn’t always the case. Multi-tenant systems “provide an additional layer of content protection… like tenants in an apartment building who use one key to enter the building and another to enter their individual apartment, multi-tenant systems uniquely require both perimeter and “apartment-level” security,” as stated in a CIO article on myths about cloud security. This makes it more difficult for outside hackers to access your system.

Why PingSafe for Cloud Security?

Although the cloud offers businesses a number of benefits, it also presents a distinctive set of security risks and challenges. Due to the significant differences between cloud-based infrastructure and traditional on-premises data centers, strong protection requires specific security tools and techniques.

PingSafe is a full-featured cloud security product that can assist you with all of your cloud security concerns in a number of ways, including:

  • Cloud Misconfigurations: Misconfigurations are automatically fixed. Misconfigurations across resources, lateral movement routes, and impact radius are visualized using graphs. Highlighting security holes and best practices while maintaining constant visibility into the security posture of new or current cloud services.
  • Perform deployment/configuration tests for Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) against CIS benchmark, PCI-DSS, etc. To prevent merge and pull requests with hardcoded secrets, CI/CD integration support is available.
  • Identify cloud resources/assets with known CVEs (Intelligence acquired from 10+ sources with thorough coverage) for vulnerability management. It offers an evaluation of Zero-day vulnerabilities.
  • Threat Watch: A dashboard for monitoring your environment’s zero-day vulnerabilities and associated problems.
  • Agentless software bill of materials (SBOM) reporting and VM snapshot scanning for security flaws.
  • Offensive Security Engine: Simulate zero-day attacks harmlessly to provide more comprehensive security coverage. By doing this, businesses are less dependent on outside security researchers and bug bounty hunters.
  • Secrets Scanning for Private Repositories: Find and fix more than 700 distinct kinds of credentials in the private repository of your company. It regularly scans all developer repositories for signs of organization-related sensitive data leaking.

Conclusion

Organizational leaders tasked with cloud computing security must understand the common misconceptions around cloud computing security. Those who can distinguish between facts and Cloud Security Myths stand to gain significantly more from cloud computing and use it to advance their business and assist their customers securely and sustainably.

Companies adopting cloud technologies must build the appropriate security solution to defend against cloud-based risks and help protect the overall cloud surface, data, and assets.