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3.5 min read

Why Visibility is Crucial to Successful Cloud Data Protection

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Written by
James Mignacca
Published on
December 21, 2022

Why Visibility is Crucial to Successful Cloud Data Protection

Moving to the cloud can help businesses of all shapes and sizes to be more agile, innovate their organizations and move faster.

In fact, cloud computing can help businesses reduce costs, improve team collaboration, improve their scalability and flexibility, as well as speed up the time to market for new products and services. 

Accenture has found that organizations can reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) by as much as 40 percent by migrating their business to the public cloud.

The cloud, however, can leave organizations with gaping security holes that leave them exposed to cyber threats and malicious attacks. That's because the cloud changes and complicates a company’s attack surface, with traditional security tools no longer enough to protect their network from threats.

In this blog, we take a look at how cloud computing is changing the traditional attack surface, and why visibility is a critical component in successful cloud data protection.

How the cloud is changing the traditional attack surface

A company’s attack surface is the number of all possible points, also known as ‘attack vectors’, where an unauthorized user can access a system and extract data. Traditionally, this meant securing a company’s “walls” and perimeter, which included assets such as desktops, printers, routers and switches.

Yet the cloud has changed this traditional view on a company’s attack surface. Traditional security tools, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, work great within an organization’s four walls but don't help much when it comes to data protection in the cloud.

The distributed nature of the cloud makes it extraordinarily difficult for security teams to gain visibility into the cloud. This lack of visibility makes it impossible for them to enforce consistent policies, detect vulnerabilities and prioritize security measures based on risk.

Why visibility into the cloud is critical for data protection

When it comes to the cloud, many organizations believe their data is protected by their cloud security provider and,as a result, do not implement any security measures to strengthen that protection.

In reality, the cloud falls into what is known as the “shared responsibility” model, meaning both the cloud provider and the customer are responsible for ensuring that their respectives parts of the system have the appropriate security controls in place. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, says, “While AWS manages security of the cloud, security in the cloud is the responsibility of the customer. Customers retain control of what security they choose to implement to protect their own content, platform, applications, systems and networks, no differently than they would for applications in an on-site datacenter.”

To ensure successful cloud data protection, organizations must ensure they have complete visibility.

Visibility is critical for security teams so they know what’s running in their cloud networks, what data is on those systems, who has access to them and what level of risk they have. This is critical for both securing sensitive data, and ensuring that the way it is managed and used complies with data privacy regulations.

If you don’t understand what’s in your cloud, you can’t evaluate the risk it faces or implement the appropriate security controls.

How to gain visibility into your cloud systems

The goal of visibility is to be aware of what sensitive data is in the cloud, where it’s stored and how it’s being used. But this poses a challenge for security teams. It’s impossible to log into each cloud service and do this manually, and that’s why third-party tools are needed.

That’s where data discovery software can help. Data discovery is the process of scanning your company’s entire network, including cloud systems, to find and identify where both structured and unstructured data resides across your organization.

Continuous data discovery allows your business to automate the identification, classification and tracking of sensitive data. so that you have complete visibility into where data lives and how it’s being used across your cloud systems.

With real-time visibility into the data stored across your cloud systems you can enhance security and build a robust cloud data protection strategy that ensures you are protecting your most at-risk data and meeting data privacy compliance requirements.

Are you interested in learning how you can achieve greater visibility into cloud data protection? Request a demo today, and learn how our software simplifies data protection, data discovery and data classification - ensuring you can better protect your company’s data.

CAASM Buyer's Guide

Explore how Attack Surface Management (ASM) has changed and why new technologies like Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) are necessary for better security hygiene and a stronger security posture.

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Guide to Data Discovery for Regulatory Compliance

As cybersecurity is, data protection boils down to having good security hygiene and baseline processes in place to guard your data. This guide is designed to help you organize and prioritize data security and best practice planning.

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