Cloud Security Glossary & FAQs

5 min. read

In the following cloud security glossary and FAQs, you’ll find essential cloud security concepts, terminologies, best practices, and frequently asked questions, as well as links to more information on the overviews provided.

Cloud Deployment and Computing Models

What is a public cloud?

A public cloud is a cloud service available to the public, usually provided by third-party vendors, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. Public clouds offer on-demand resources and services to users over the internet, which offers cost savings and flexibility.

What is a private cloud?

A private cloud is a cloud environment dedicated to an organization or user. Typically offering more control and security than public clouds, private clouds can be hosted on-premises or in a third-party data center.

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private clouds, allowing organizations to run certain workloads on-premises in a private cloud environment while running others in a public cloud.

What is meant by multicloud?

Multicloud refers to the use of multiple cloud services, either from different providers or different regions of the same provider. By using multiple cloud service providers or regions, organizations can avoid vendor lock-in and improve resiliency and disaster recovery capabilities.

What is IaaS?

IaaS (infrastructure as a service) provides access to computing resources such as virtual machines, storage, and networking. With IaaS, users have more control over the infrastructure and can configure it to meet their specific needs. Examples of IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

What is PaaS?

PaaS (platform as a service) provides a platform for users to develop, run and manage their applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. PaaS providers typically offer a range of tools and services for application development, deployment and scaling. Examples of PaaS providers include Heroku, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure App Service.

What is SaaS?

SaaS (software as a service) provides access to software applications over the internet, allowing users to use them without having to install or maintain any software on their own devices. SaaS applications are typically accessed through a web browser or mobile app. Examples of SaaS applications include Google Workspace, Salesforce and Zoom.

Cloud Security

Is cloud security part of cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of all digital assets, including those that aren’t cloud-based. Cloud security is a branch of cybersecurity that focuses on securing cloud-based infrastructure, applications, and data. While many cybersecurity principles apply to cloud security, the unique nature of cloud computing requires unique security technologies, methods, protocols, and considerations.

How does cloud security differ from traditional cybersecurity?

Cloud security differs from cybersecurity in several ways. In a public cloud environment, responsibility for security is shared between the cloud service provider and user. In the traditional environment, the responsibility falls exclusively to the user. Security controls in a cloud environment are usually virtualized and distributed across multiple physical locations, which makes monitoring and managing security more challenging.

Because resources in cloud environments are provisioned and deprovisioned rapidly, cloud security requires agility and automation. The biggest difference, though, is perhaps the overall approach to security. Cloud security focuses on data, using data encryption, authorization, multifactor authentication, and tokenization to prevent unauthorized access. Traditional security relies on perimeter security, such as perimeter network firewalls, to prevent unauthorized access.

How does cloud security work?

Cloud security, also called cloud computing security, works by implementing a multilayered security approach that includes prevention and detection. This may include implementing access controls, encryption and regular software updates. Additionally, cloud security often involves implementing security solutions designed for cloud environments, such as cloud access security brokers (CASB), static application security testing (SAST), secure access service edge (SASE), cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud workflow protection platform (CWPP) and cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM).

What is InfoSec?

InfoSec, or information security, refers to the processes, policies and practices used to protect information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction. InfoSec includes a range of security measures, such as access controls, encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and security incident response.

What is SecOps?

SecOps is a security operations approach that involves integrating security into the IT operations process. The goal of SecOps is to improve the overall security and resilience of an organization's IT infrastructure by implementing security controls and monitoring for security threats and vulnerabilities. SecOps typically involves the use of security automation and orchestration tools, as well as collaboration between security and operations teams.

Why have businesses moved to the cloud?

Businesses have moved to the cloud for several reasons, including increased agility and improved scalability. Cloud service providers offer pay-as-you-go pricing models, reducing the upfront costs of owning and managing hardware.

Is cloud computing more secure than traditional on-premises computing?

Cloud computing can be more secure than traditional on-premises computing if proper security measures are implemented. Given that the most common way attackers get into networks is through phishing and email-borne threats, the cloud’s segmentation from user workstations is a huge security advantage over on-premises servers and infrastructure.

What is the shared responsibility model?

The shared responsibility model is a framework that defines the responsibilities of cloud service providers and their customers when it comes to security. In this model, the cloud provider is responsible for securing the infrastructure that supports the cloud service, such as the network, storage and computing resources. The customer is responsible for securing the applications, data and operating systems they run on the cloud infrastructure. The shared responsibility model ensures that both the cloud provider and the customer take appropriate measures to protect their assets and minimize the risk of a security incident.

How can you improve cloud security?

To improve cloud security, you can implement best practices such as regularly updating software, using strong authentication and access controls, and encrypting sensitive data. You can also adopt a risk-based approach to security by identifying and prioritizing high-risk assets and implementing appropriate security controls. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest security threats and vulnerabilities and to regularly test and audit your cloud environment to ensure that it remains secure.

How does user authentication relate to other identity corroboration approaches?

User authentication is one of the key identity corroboration approaches used in cloud security. It involves verifying the identity of a user before allowing access to cloud resources. Other identity corroboration approaches may include multifactor authentication, biometric authentication, and identity and access management (IAM) solutions. These approaches work together to provide a layered defense against unauthorized access and ensure that only authorized users can access cloud resources.

What is a security misconfiguration?

A security misconfiguration occurs when a security control in a cloud environment isn’t properly configured, leaving a vulnerability that an attacker could exploit. Examples of security misconfigurations include leaving default passwords in place, failing to restrict access to sensitive data, a technical issue across any component in your endpoints, and not patching software vulnerabilities.

Security misconfigurations can lead to data breaches and other security incidents, highlighting the importance of properly configuring and securing cloud resources. Regular security assessments and audits can help identify and remediate security misconfigurations.

What are cloud security controls?

Cloud security controls refer to industry practice standards put in place to ensure the security and integrity of data and applications in the cloud. Controls involve protocols, best practices, regulations and policies that can dictate the use of access controls, encryption, intrusion detection and prevention, continuous monitoring, risk prioritization, and more.

Can you rely on MDR for penetration testing?

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services help with detecting and responding to security incidents, but teams shouldn’t rely on them for penetration testing. Penetration testing involves actively testing the security of your cloud infrastructure and applications by simulating a real-world attack. MDR services are designed to detect and respond to actual attacks, but they don’t actively test systems security. To ensure your cloud environment is secure, you’ll want to conduct regular penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.

What are cloud security frameworks and how are they useful?

Cloud security frameworks are guidelines and best practices for securing cloud environments. They provide a structured approach to cloud security, outlining key security requirements and controls that should be implemented.

Popular cloud security frameworks include the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security Trust Assurance and Risk (STAR) program and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. These frameworks are useful because they provide a standardized approach to cloud security that can be adapted to different industries and organizations, helping to ensure a consistent and effective security posture.

What are cloud security requirements?

Cloud security requirements are the security measures that need to be implemented to protect data and applications in the cloud. These requirements may include access controls, encryption, data protection, and compliance with regulations and standards. Cloud security requirements are often outlined in regulatory frameworks, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS and GDPR, and it’s important for organizations to understand these requirements and implement appropriate security measures to comply with them.

What are cloud security risks?

Cloud security risks are the threats and vulnerabilities that can compromise the security of cloud environments. These risks may include unauthorized access, data breaches, DDoS attacks, and insider threats. Cloud security risks can vary depending on the type of cloud environment and the security controls in place.

What are the main cloud security risks?

The main cloud security risks include data breaches, unauthorized access, insecure APIs, insider threats and DDoS attacks. Data breaches can occur due to misconfigured security settings or vulnerabilities in cloud applications. Unauthorized access can occur when credentials are stolen or when weak access controls are in place. Insecure APIs can be exploited to gain access to cloud resources. Insider threats can occur when employees or contractors abuse their access privileges. DDoS attacks can disrupt cloud services and compromise availability.

Who is responsible for cloud security?

Cloud security is a shared responsibility between the cloud service provider and the customer. The provider is responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure, while the customer is responsible for securing their applications, data and access to the cloud environment. This shared responsibility model varies depending on the specific cloud service being used (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS) and the cloud service provider.

What are cloud security services?

Cloud security services are services that provide security solutions designed for cloud environments. These services may include cloud-based firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and SIEM solutions. Cloud security services are often provided by cloud service providers, but third-party security providers may also offer these services.

What are the types of cloud security?

Cloud security types refer to the different types of security controls that can be implemented to protect cloud environments. These types may include network security, identity and access management (IAM), data security, application security and compliance. Network security involves securing the network infrastructure and preventing unauthorized access. IAM involves managing user identities and access to cloud resources. Data security involves protecting data at rest and in transit. Application security involves securing cloud applications and preventing vulnerabilities. Compliance involves ensuring that cloud environments comply with regulatory frameworks and industry standards.

What are some examples of cloud security challenges?

Examples of cloud security challenges include lack of visibility into the cloud environment, difficulty in managing security across multiple cloud providers, and a shortage of skilled security professionals with expertise in cloud security. These challenges can be overcome through a combination of technical and organizational measures, including implementing appropriate security controls and tooling, such as a complete cloud-native application protection platform.

What are some of the key technologies for cloud security?

Some of the key technologies for cloud security include identity and access management (IAM), encryption, security information and event management (SIEM), data loss prevention (DLP), and virtual private networks (VPNs). IAM ensures that only authorized users can access resources, while encryption protects data in transit and at rest. SIEM provides real-time threat detection and response, while DLP prevents the unauthorized transfer of sensitive information. VPNs provide a secure connection between a user and a cloud service, protecting against eavesdropping and other attacks.

What are the five basic security principles?

The five basic security principles are confidentiality, integrity, availability, accountability and nonrepudiation. Confidentiality ensures that only authorized parties have access to data. Integrity ensures that data isn’t tampered with or altered in transit or at rest. Availability ensures that data and services are always accessible to authorized users. Accountability ensures that actions can be traced back to their source. Nonrepudiation ensures that parties cannot deny their actions or transactions.

What are the six pillars of security?

The six pillars of security are governance, risk management, compliance, operations, architecture and data protection. Governance involves establishing policies and procedures for security. Risk management involves identifying and managing security risks. Compliance involves ensuring compliance with regulations and standards. Operations involves managing security operations and incident response. Architecture involves designing secure systems and applications. Data protection involves protecting data throughout its lifecycle.

What is the principle of least privilege?

The principle of least privilege is a security concept that involves limiting user access to only the resources and permissions required to perform their job functions. This principle is based on the idea that granting unnecessary privileges to users increases the risk of accidental or intentional misuse of resources. By limiting user access to only what is necessary, the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches is reduced. The principle of least privilege is often implemented using role-based access controls and other security measures.

What are the three categories of cloud security?

The three categories of cloud security are infrastructure as a service (IaaS) security, platform as a service (PaaS) security, and software as a service (SaaS) security. IaaS security involves securing the cloud infrastructure, such as virtual machines and storage. PaaS security involves securing the platform used to build and deploy applications. SaaS security involves securing the applications themselves.

What are the principal cloud computing security considerations?

The principal cloud computing security considerations include data protection, identity and access management, compliance, visibility and control, and incident response. Data protection involves protecting data throughout its lifecycle. Identity and access management involves ensuring that only authorized users have access to resources. Compliance involves meeting regulatory and industry standards. Visibility and control involve being able to manage security across multiple cloud environments. Incident response involves being able to respond quickly and effectively to security incidents.

What are the security risks of cloud computing?

The security risks of cloud computing include data breaches, insider threats, compliance risks, lack of visibility and control, and shared infrastructure risks. Data breaches can result in the loss or theft of sensitive information. Insider threats involve the misuse of credentials by authorized users. Compliance risks involve meeting regulatory and industry standards. Lack of visibility and control can result in difficulty managing security across multiple cloud environments. Shared infrastructure risks involve the potential for a security breach to affect multiple tenants.

What do you look for in cloud security?

In cloud security, it’s important to look for strong identity and access management, encryption, compliance, visibility and control, and incident response capabilities. Strong identity and access management ensures that only authorized users have access to resources. Encryption protects data in transit and at rest. Compliance ensures that regulatory and industry standards are met. Visibility and control allow for effective management of security across multiple cloud environments, and incident response ensures quick and effective response to security incidents.

What is a cloud security assessment?

A cloud security assessment is a process of evaluating the security of a cloud service or environment. This assessment can include a review of security policies and procedures, a vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and other security tests. The goal of a cloud security assessment is to identify security weaknesses and vulnerabilities and to provide recommendations for improving the security posture of the cloud environment. This assessment can be conducted by internal security teams or by third-party security providers. The results of a cloud security assessment can be used to make informed decisions about the security of the cloud environment and to implement measures to mitigate security risks.

What is vulnerability management?

Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, assessing, prioritizing and remediating security vulnerabilities in an organization's IT infrastructure. Vulnerability management involves using tools and techniques to scan for vulnerabilities, assess their severity and impact, and develop a plan for remediation. Vulnerability management is an important aspect of overall security, as vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access, steal data, or launch cyberattacks.

What is an eavesdropping attack?

An eavesdropping attack is a type of network attack where an attacker intercepts and listens to network traffic between two parties. This can allow the attacker to steal sensitive information, such as passwords or financial data. Eavesdropping attacks can be carried out using a variety of techniques, such as packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks and wireless interception.

What is attack surface management?

Attack surface management is the process of identifying, assessing and reducing the potential attack surface of an organization's IT infrastructure. This includes identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in software and hardware, securing network connections, and implementing access controls. The goal of attack surface management is to minimize the risk of cyberattacks and protect sensitive data.

What is AWS cloud security?

AWS cloud security refers to the security measures and controls implemented by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to protect customer data and resources hosted on the AWS cloud. This includes network security, access controls, encryption and monitoring. AWS also provides a range of security tools and services, such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS CloudTrail, and AWS GuardDuty, to help customers manage their security posture.

What is Azure cloud security?

Azure cloud security refers to the security measures and controls implemented by Microsoft Azure to protect customer data and resources hosted on the Azure cloud. This includes network security, access controls, encryption and monitoring. Azure also provides a range of security tools and services, such as Azure Active Directory, Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel, to help customers manage their security posture.

What is cloud security architecture?

Cloud security architecture refers to the design and implementation of security controls and measures to protect cloud infrastructure, applications and data. This includes network architecture, access controls, encryption, identity and access management, and incident response. Cloud security architecture is essential for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of cloud resources.

What is cloud security monitoring?

Cloud security monitoring involves the real-time monitoring and analysis of cloud environments to detect and respond to security threats. This includes monitoring network traffic, user activity and system logs for signs of suspicious activity. Cloud security monitoring also involves the use of security analytics and threat intelligence to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. Effective cloud security monitoring is essential for maintaining the security of cloud environments and protecting against cyberattacks.

What is cloud security posture management?

Cloud security posture management (CSPM) is the practice of continuously assessing and improving the security posture of cloud environments. This includes monitoring cloud resources and configurations for compliance with security policies and best practices, identifying vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, and implementing remediation actions. CSPM helps organizations maintain a strong security posture and reduce the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches.

What is effective security for a multicloud world?

Effective security for a multicloud world requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique security challenges of managing multiple cloud environments. This includes implementing consistent security policies and controls across all clouds, monitoring and managing cloud resources and configurations, and ensuring secure network connections and data transfer between clouds. Effective multicloud security also involves continuous monitoring and threat detection to quickly identify and respond to security incidents.

What is hybrid cloud security?

Hybrid cloud security involves protecting data and resources shared between public and private cloud environments. This requires implementing security controls compatible with both cloud environments and ensuring secure communication and data transfer between them. Hybrid cloud security also involves monitoring and managing cloud resources and configurations to maintain a strong security posture across both environments.

What is endpoint security and how does it work?

Endpoint security refers to the protection of endpoints, such as laptops, desktops and mobile devices, from cyberthreats. This involves implementing security controls, such as antivirus software, firewalls and intrusion detection systems, to prevent and detect cyberattacks on endpoints. Endpoint security also involves monitoring and managing endpoint configurations and vulnerabilities to reduce the risk of successful attacks.

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing is a cloud computing model where the cloud provider manages the infrastructure and automatically allocates resources for executing application code. This eliminates the need for organizations to provision and manage servers and reduces costs and complexity. In a serverless computing model, applications are broken down into small, independent functions that are triggered by events, such as user requests or data changes.

What are the advantages of serverless computing?

The advantages of serverless computing include reduced costs, improved scalability and increased agility. Because serverless computing eliminates the need for managing and provisioning servers, organizations can save money on infrastructure costs and reduce operational overhead. Serverless computing also allows organizations to quickly scale up or down in response to changes in demand, and to deploy and update applications more quickly and easily.

What is serverless security?

Serverless security refers to the measures taken to secure applications that run on serverless computing platforms, such as AWS Lambda or Azure Functions. Serverless computing platforms abstract away the underlying infrastructure, allowing developers to focus on writing code rather than managing servers.

However, serverless computing introduces new security challenges, such as securing access controls, protecting sensitive data and securing serverless functions. Serverless security measures include implementing secure coding practices, using encryption and access controls, and using tools to detect and remediate security issues.

What is perimeter security?

Perimeter security refers to the traditional approach of securing an organization's network by protecting the perimeter or boundary of the network with firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and other security technologies. The goal is to prevent unauthorized access to the network by external attackers.

What is Zero Trust for the cloud?

Zero Trust (ZT) for the cloud is a security framework that assumes all network traffic and access attempts are potentially malicious and should not be trusted, even if they come from within the network or the cloud environment. Zero Trust for the cloud involves implementing strict access controls, continuous monitoring and verification of user and device identities, and microsegmentation of network resources.

Why move from perimeter security to Zero Trust?

Perimeter security relies on the premise that all trusted devices, applications and users are within a defined perimeter or network boundary. But with the rise of cloud-based applications, users and devices commonly reside outside of the traditional network boundary. Unless a perimeter can be defined, perimeter security isn’t effective against cyberthreats targeting legitimate external users.

Zero Trust, on the other hand, assumes that no user, device or application can be trusted by default. Zero Trust solves the problem with perimeter security by requiring continuous authentication and verification of all network traffic, regardless of its origin or destination.

What other practices are important for keeping cloud data secure?

In addition to implementing strong access controls and continuous monitoring, other important practices for keeping cloud data secure include data encryption, regular data backups and implementing security controls at all layers of the technology stack. It’s also important to implement security policies and procedures consistent with industry best practices and compliance requirements.

Why is the cloud more secure than legacy systems?

The cloud is often more secure than legacy systems because it allows for greater visibility, control and automation of security processes. Cloud providers typically have extensive security measures in place to protect their infrastructure, and customers can benefit from these measures through shared responsibility. Additionally, the cloud enables more granular access controls and easier scalability, which can improve security and reduce the risk of human error.

What is the best cyber defense against ransomware?

The best defense against ransomware and other cyberthreats is a comprehensive, multilayered approach that includes measures such as regular data backups, employee education and training, network segmentation, and the use of advanced security tools such as intrusion detection and prevention systems.

Compliance in the Cloud

What are some regional and industry regulations for which compliance relies on effective cloud security?

Several regional and industry regulations require organizations, depending on the nature of their business, to comply with effective cloud security practices to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive data stored in the cloud. Example laws and regulations include:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that requires organizations to protect the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the data is stored or processed. Compliance with GDPR demands the implementation of effective cloud security measures to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US regulation that requires healthcare organizations to safeguard protected health information (PHI) stored in the cloud by complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a global standard that applies to organizations that processes, stores, or transmits credit card data. Compliance with PCI DSS involves implementing effective cloud security measures to protect cardholder data and prevent breaches.
  • Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a US government program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud services. Organizations that comply with FedRAMP to implement effective cloud security controls can obtain federal government authorization.
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) refers to a US organization that regulates securities firms and requires them to protect customer data stored in the cloud.
  • Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) is an auditing procedure developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), that’s used to evaluate the controls of a service organization with respect to the Trust Service Principles and Criteria. The principles and criteria serve as benchmarks to evaluate the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of a service organization's systems and data. SOC 2 compliance is often required by organizations that handle sensitive data, such as financial or health information.
  • Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) is an Australian privacy law that requires organizations to protect the personal data of Australian citizens.

Compliance with these and other regulations often requires implementing a combination of technical, administrative and physical controls. Failure to comply can result in significant penalties and reputational damage.

Do cloud security services help you comply with regional or industry regulations?

Cloud security services can help organizations comply with regional and industry regulations by providing prebuilt security controls and processes that meet specific compliance requirements. Cloud providers often offer compliance certifications such as SOC 2, PCI DSS and HIPAA, which can help customers demonstrate compliance with these regulations. It’s important to note, though, that compliance is ultimately the customer’s responsibility, and organizations must ensure that their use of public cloud services meet regulatory requirements.

Cloud Migration

What are the benefits of migrating to the cloud?

Migrating to the cloud can provide many benefits, including increased scalability, flexibility and cost efficiency. Cloud services are also typically managed and maintained by the cloud provider, reducing the burden on in-house IT teams.

What are the best ways to migrate workloads to the cloud?

Depending on the needs and requirements of your organization, you have several options to choose from when migrating your workloads to the cloud. Common migration strategies include:

  • Lift and shift is a method of migrating an entire workload or application to the cloud without making significant changes to the architecture or code. While this approach is relatively fast and easy, it may not result in applications that take full advantage of the benefits of cloud-native architecture.
  • Replatforming involves making some modifications to the workload or application to take advantage of cloud-native features and services. For example, an application may be modified to use a cloud-based database or storage service.
  • Refactoring involves re-architecting the workload or application to take full advantage of cloud-native features and services. This approach may require significant changes to the underlying code and architecture but can result in a more scalable, efficient and cost-effective application.
  • Repurchasing involves replacing an existing workload or application with a cloud-based equivalent, such as a SaaS application.
  • Relocating typically involves moving a workload or application from one cloud provider to another, or from one region to another within the same cloud provider. This can be done to take advantage of lower costs, better performance, or to comply with data sovereignty or other regulatory requirements.
  • Retiring involves decommissioning or phasing out an existing workload or application that is no longer needed or supported.

Organizations may use one or a combination of these strategies to migrate workloads to the cloud. The optimal strategy will depend on their needs and requirements, as well as the characteristics of their workloads.

Is cloud native an application migration alternative?

Cloud-native application development and deployment can be an alternative to traditional application migration when moving workloads to the cloud. Rather than simply lifting and shifting applications, cloud-native development involves building new applications for the cloud, utilizing cloud services and platforms designed for scalability, resiliency and agility.

While cloud-native development allows developers to build and deploy new functionality quickly and efficiently, it typically requires an upfront investment in new tools, technologies and skills, as well as a cultural shift toward DevOps and continuous delivery practices.

Cloud-Native Security

What is the difference between cloud security and cloud-native security?

Cloud security refers to the protection of cloud-based assets and data, regardless of where they were originally created or deployed. Cloud-native security, on the other hand, focuses on security for applications and infrastructure that were built for the cloud environment.

Why are the requirements for cloud security and cloud-native security different?

The requirements for cloud security and cloud-native security are different because the two environments have different architectures and use different technologies. Cloud security requires a more holistic approach to security, since it covers a wider range of assets and applications. Cloud-native security, on the other hand, requires a more specialized approach that accounts for the unique security concerns of cloud-native applications and infrastructure.

What is a cloud-native application?

A cloud-native application is an application designed to run in a cloud environment, leveraging cloud infrastructure and services. Cloud-native applications are often designed using containerization and microservices architecture, which allows for greater flexibility and scalability. Securing cloud-native applications requires a comprehensive security approach that includes secure coding practices, vulnerability management, and container and workload protection. [APIs]

What is Layer 7?

Layer 7, also known as the application layer, is the top level of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. It manages communication between applications and end users, handling high-level protocols such as HTTP, FTP, and SMTP. Layer 7 focuses on user interfaces and data formatting, ensuring efficient and reliable data exchange between software applications over a network.

What is a cloud-native application protection platform?

A cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) is a security solution designed specifically for cloud-native applications. CNAPPs provide a range of security capabilities, such as application security, network security, access controls, and visibility and analytics. They’re designed to operate in dynamic and distributed cloud environments, and often use containerization and microservices architectures to enable scalable and agile security. CNAPPs can also integrate with DevOps and CI/CD pipelines to automate security testing and validation. By providing a comprehensive security solution tailored to the needs of cloud-native applications, CNAPPs can help organizations ensure the security and resilience of their cloud environments and protect against a range of cyberthreats and vulnerabilities.

What is a workload?

In terms of cloud computing, a workload refers to the computing resources, processes, and tasks running in a cloud environment. It includes virtual machines, containers, applications, and data storage that make up a cloud-based infrastructure. Organizations use cloud workloads to achieve scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency while managing their applications and data in public, private, or hybrid cloud settings.

What is cloud workload protection?

Cloud workload protection refers to the measures taken to secure workloads in a cloud environment. This includes measures to secure the infrastructure, such as network security and access controls, as well as securing actual workloads, such as securing containers, virtual machines and serverless functions. Cloud workload protection measures may include implementing security policies and controls, using security automation and orchestration, and using security tools such as intrusion detection and prevention systems.

What is a cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)?

A cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) is a security solution designed to safeguard workloads running in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. It focuses on securing runtime processes, monitoring system activity, and detecting threats while ensuring compliance. CWPPs enable organizations to protect their cloud infrastructure and applications effectively, enhancing overall security posture.

What is cloud security posture management?

Cloud security posture management, or CSPM, refers to the process of continuously monitoring and assessing an organization's cloud security posture to ensure it meets security and compliance requirements. CSPM solutions typically use automated tools to monitor cloud configurations, detect misconfigurations and security gaps, and provide recommendations for remediation.

What is cloud infrastructure and entitlement management?

Cloud infrastructure and entitlement management (CIEM) refers to the processes and tools used to manage access to cloud resources and services. CIEM solutions typically provide centralized visibility and control over user access and permissions, allowing administrators to manage entitlements and permissions for multiple cloud services from a single platform. CIEM solutions can also help organizations ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and reduce the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration and communication between software developers and IT operations teams. The goal of DevOps is to enable faster and more frequent software releases by automating the software development process and breaking down the silos between development and operations teams. DevOps also emphasizes continuous feedback and improvement, with a focus on delivering value to customers.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a software development approach that integrates security into the DevOps process, with the goal of improving the security and quality of software. DevSecOps involves incorporating security into every stage of the software development lifecycle, from design to deployment, using automated security testing tools, and promoting a culture of security awareness and collaboration between developers and security teams.

What is shift left?

Shift left is a software development approach that involves moving security testing and analysis earlier in the development process. This involves integrating security into every stage of the SDLC, from design to deployment, and prioritizing security from the beginning of the development process. Shift left aims to reduce the time and costs associated with identifying and remediating security vulnerabilities, as well as to improve the security and quality of software applications.

What is AppSec?

AppSec, or application security, refers to the measures taken to protect software applications from security threats and vulnerabilities. AppSec includes secure coding practices, vulnerability assessments and testing, and the use of security controls such as encryption and access controls. AppSec is an important aspect of overall security, as vulnerabilities in software applications can be exploited by attackers to gain access to sensitive data or compromise an organization's IT infrastructure.

What is container security?

Container security refers to the measures taken to protect containerized applications from cyberthreats. Containers are lightweight and portable, making them an attractive option for cloud-native applications. However, containerization introduces new security challenges, such as the need to secure container images, manage container access and protect the host environment from container-based attacks. Container security measures include vulnerability scanning, image signing, access controls, network segmentation and runtime monitoring.

Why are containers associated with cloud-native applications?

Containers are associated with cloud-native applications because they enable the development, deployment and scaling of applications in a cloud environment. Containers provide a consistent runtime environment that can be moved between development, testing and production environments. They also offer greater resource efficiency than traditional virtual machines, allowing applications to be run at scale.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes provides a rich set of features, including automatic scaling, load balancing, self-healing and rolling updates. It allows applications to be deployed across multiple nodes, enabling high availability and fault tolerance. Kubernetes also provides a declarative configuration model, allowing applications to be described in code and deployed consistently across different environments.

What is code security?

Code security refers to the process of writing and maintaining secure code to prevent cyberattacks. Code security measures include identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in code, implementing secure coding practices, and using tools like static code analysis and penetration testing to detect and remediate security issues. Code security is important because attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in code to gain access to sensitive data, disrupt business operations or steal intellectual property. Ensuring code security is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing, monitoring and improvement.

What are code dependencies?

Code dependencies are external libraries or modules that a software application relies on to function. They can be open source or proprietary and may include packages for databases, encryption, authentication and other functionality. Code dependencies allow developers to use existing code and reduce development time. But code dependencies can introduce security risks if they’re not properly managed or maintained, as vulnerabilities in third-party code can be exploited by attackers to gain access to sensitive data.

What is continuous integration (CI)?

Continuous integration (CI) is a software development practice that involves integrating code changes into a shared repository frequently, often multiple times per day. CI relies on automated tools to build and test code changes automatically, to detect errors and conflicts early in the development process, and to ensure that new code integrates smoothly with the existing codebase.

What is continuous distribution (CD)?

Continuous distribution (CD) is a software development practice that automates the deployment of software to production environments. CD involves using automated tools to build, test and package software, and then automatically deploying it to production environments. CD aims to minimize the time between code changes and deployment, allowing organizations to release software updates more frequently and reliably.

What is CI/CD?

CI/CD refers to the combination of continuous integration (CI) and continuous distribution (CD) practices. CI/CD aims to automate the entire software development and delivery process, from code changes to deployment, allowing organizations to release new software updates faster and with higher quality.

What is the CI/CD pipeline?

The CI/CD pipeline is the set of automated processes used to build, test, and deploy software changes. The pipeline typically includes several stages, such as code compilation, automated testing, code analysis, packaging and deployment. Each stage is automated and can be triggered automatically whenever changes are made to the codebase.

How do you secure the CI/CD pipeline?

Securing the CI/CD pipeline involves implementing security controls and best practices to prevent unauthorized access, protect sensitive data, and ensure the integrity and availability of the pipeline. This can include measures such as access controls, encryption, code signing, vulnerability scanning, and continuous monitoring and testing.

What is the software development lifecycle?

The software development lifecycle (SDLC) is the process used to design, develop and maintain software applications. The SDLC typically includes several stages, such as requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, deployment and maintenance. The goal of the SDLC is to ensure that software is developed and deployed with high quality, security and reliability.

What is supply chain security?

Supply chain security refers to the processes and measures used to protect software and hardware supply chains from cyberthreats and vulnerabilities. This includes verifying the security of components and software libraries used in the supply chain, as well as ensuring that suppliers and vendors meet security and compliance standards.

What is software supply chain security?

Software supply chain security refers to the processes and practices used to ensure the security and integrity of software throughout its lifecycle. The software supply chain includes all the stages of software development, from the initial design phase to distribution and deployment. Supply chain security measures include verifying the authenticity and integrity of software components, using secure coding practices, and implementing security controls to protect against cyberattacks. Supply chain security is particularly important for cloud-based software, where third-party components and open-source software are commonly used.

Careers in Cloud Security

Does cloud security offer professionally challenging careers?

Cloud security professionals must be able to adapt to rapidly evolving cloud environments and technologies, as well as stay up to date on the latest security threats and best practices, both of which provide sources of professional challenge and an accompanying sense of personal reward.

What are some career options in cloud security?

Cloud security is a growing field with a wide range of career opportunities. Here are some of the most common career options in cloud security:

  • Cloud Security Architect: A cloud security architect is responsible for designing and implementing secure cloud solutions for organizations. They work with cloud service providers, engineers and developers to ensure that cloud-based applications and systems are designed with security in mind.
  • Cloud Security Engineer: A cloud security engineer is responsible for implementing and maintaining cloud security solutions for an organization. They design, implement and manage cloud security infrastructure, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other security technologies.
  • Cloud Security Consultant: A cloud security consultant provides advice and guidance to organizations on how to secure their cloud-based systems and applications. They may work for a consulting firm or be self-employed, and they typically have expertise in a variety of cloud security technologies and best practices.
  • Cloud Security Analyst: A cloud security analyst is responsible for monitoring and analyzing cloud security logs and events to identify and respond to security threats. They may also be responsible for conducting security audits and risk assessments.
  • Cloud Security Manager: A cloud security manager is responsible for managing a team of cloud security professionals and ensuring that cloud-based systems and applications are secure. They may also be responsible for developing and implementing cloud security policies and procedures.
  • Cloud Security Compliance Specialist: A cloud security compliance specialist is responsible for ensuring that an organization's cloud-based systems and applications comply with regulatory requirements, such as GDPR or HIPAA.

Does cloud security pay well?

According to the salary data from Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale, the average salary for cloud security professionals ranges from $100,000 to $225,000 per year, depending on factors such as role, location and level of experience. A cloud security architect in the U.S., for example, earns an average salary of $139,000 per year, while a cloud security engineer earns approximately $117,000 per year.

Is cloud security in demand?

As enterprises become increasingly dependent on digital platforms, the demand for cloud security professionals continues to escalate. The global cloud security market is expected to double — growing from US$34.5 billion in 2020 to US$68.5 billion — by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% during the forecast period.

How can I learn more about cloud security?

Palo Alto Networks offers several free courses to introduce you to key areas in cybersecurity.

  • The Cybersecurity Course covers fundamental areas, such as how to identify cybersecurity threats, evaluate different malware types and cyberattack techniques, the relationship between vulnerabilities and exploits, how spamming and phishing attacks are performed, Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, attacks, and advanced persistent threats, and perimeter-based Zero Trust security models.
  • The Fundamentals of Network Security course introduces the basic operations of enterprise networks, common networking devices, routed and routing protocols, network types and topologies, and services such as DNS. Learn about IP addressing, subnetting, packet encapsulation based on the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, and network security technologies such as packet filtering, stateful inspection, application firewalls, IDS and IPS, web content filters, and more.
  • The Fundamentals of Cloud Security course introduces concepts on how to recognize threats and defend data centers, public or private clouds, enterprise networks, and small office/home office (SOHO) networks from cloud-based attacks. Discover how to describe cloud computing models, virtualization, hypervisors, public cloud service provider options, private deployment options and more.
  • The Fundamentals of SOC (Security Operations Center) training is a high-level introduction to the concepts of SOC and SecOps that covers the security operations framework, people, processes and technology needed to support and defend an enterprise.

Does Palo Alto Networks provide certification courses?

Palo Alto Networks offers certificate training programs in several areas, including the following certifications:

  • Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Associate (PCCSA): The PCCSA certification is designed for entry-level cybersecurity professionals who have knowledge of networking and cybersecurity fundamentals. This certification validates an individual's understanding of basic cybersecurity concepts and their ability to use Palo Alto Networks solutions to protect their organization's network and data.
  • Palo Alto Networks Certified Cloud Security Engineer (PCCSE): The PCCSE certification is designed for cloud security professionals who have experience with Palo Alto Networks Prisma Cloud solution. This certification validates an individual's knowledge and skills in securing cloud-based applications and infrastructure using Prisma Cloud.
  • Palo Alto Networks Certified Security Automation Engineer (PCSAE): The PCSAE certification is designed for security professionals who want to automate security tasks using Palo Alto Networks solutions. This certification validates an individual's ability to design, develop and deploy security automation solutions using Palo Alto Networks products and solutions.
  • Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE): The PCNSE certification is designed for network security engineers who have experience with Palo Alto Networks products and solutions. This certification validates an individual's knowledge and skills in configuring, deploying and managing Palo Alto Networks firewalls.

The Changing Cloud Landscape

How is cloud security evolving?

Cloud security is evolving to keep up with the changing threat landscape. Cloud providers are increasingly implementing new security features, such as secure enclaves, confidential computing and cloud-based threat intelligence. Additionally, cloud security is becoming more automated and integrated with DevOps processes, allowing for more agile and continuous security. However, as cloud environments become more complex, it’s also becoming more important for organizations to have dedicated cloud security teams and to prioritize cloud security in their overall security strategy.

What's new in cloud security?

Recent developments in cloud security include the increasing use of AI and machine learning for threat detection and response, the adoption of Zero Trust principles for cloud security, and the use of automated security tools and processes to improve efficiency and reduce human error.

What's new in security, identity, compliance?

Recent developments in security, identity and compliance include the increasing use of multifactor authentication, the adoption of new identity and access management tools, and the growing focus on privacy and data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA.

Emphasis on cloud-native security solutions and the integration of security and compliance into DevOps processes has also moved to the forefront of enterprise security across industries.

What is the future of cloud security?

The future of cloud security will likely involve increased automation and integration with other security tools and processes, such as threat intelligence and incident response. As cloud adoption continues to grow, new security threats and challenges will arise, and cloud security solutions will need to adapt to address them. In addition, the increasing use of AI and machine learning in cloud security is expected to improve threat detection and response capabilities.