Monitoring is an integral part of cloud security and management. Underpinned by automated solutions, cloud security monitoring supervises virtual and physical servers to continuously assess and measure data, application, or infrastructure patterns for potential security threats.
Overall, it increases your security and efficiency, given monitoring is more effective than investigating routine incidents as they occur. This ensures that your cloud infrastructure and platform functions optimally while minimising your risk of costly data breaches.
How does Cloud Security Monitoring work?
There are a few different approaches to cloud security monitoring. Cloud monitoring can be done in the cloud platform itself, on premises using an organisation’s existing security management tools, or via a third-party service provider.
Typically, cloud security monitoring software will include:
- Scalability: the tools must be able to monitor large volumes of data across a number of distributed locations;
- Visibility: the greater the visibility into application, user, and file behaviour that a cloud monitoring solution provides, the better it can identify potential attacks;
- Dynamic: the top cloud security monitoring solutions available typically provide continuous monitoring, ensuring that new or modified files are scanned in real time;
- Integration:monitoring tools must integrate with a wide variety of cloud storage providers to guarantee full monitoring of an organisation’s cloud usage; and
- Auditing and Reporting:to manage compliance requirements for cloud security, cloud monitoring software should provide auditing and reporting capabilities.
What are the advantages of Cloud Security Monitoring?
Given the automated monitoring solutions available to organisations, the intelligence gathered can – at any moment - alert your organisation about anomalies to investigate and resolve. This provides an easier way to identify patterns and highlight potential security vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure.
The use of web services can increase security risks, yet cloud computing offers many benefits for businesses, from accessibility to a better customer experience. And while organisations may still be slightly nervous about storing data in the cloud, ongoing monitoring of this data can put security teams at greater ease, knowing they are being proactive in their approach to potential threats. This enables organisations to find a greater balance between mitigating security risks, and taking advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
Challenges of Cloud Security Monitoring
Generally, organisations find that cloud vendors’ monitoring software aren’t purpose-built monitoring solutions. These tools may lack some of the capabilities that security teams need to proactively manage performance and service levels of workloads and processes running in the cloud. This can create concerns over visibility, with many organisations now relying on third-party cloud services providers to improve their visibility, and subsequently, their ability to monitor for potential security flaws and vulnerabilities.
Finally, shifts in scope are another common challenge when dealing with cloud environments, as assets and applications may move between systems which may not necessarily have the same level of security monitoring.
Best Practises for Cloud Security Monitoring
Perhaps the most effective way to mitigate cloud security risks is to gain tight controls over data at all endpoints.
Solutions that scan, analyse, and take action on data before it leaves the enterprise network is an ideal first step in defending against data loss in the cloud. This leads to organisations safeguarding against vulnerabilities, such as a sensitive file being uploaded to an unprotected cloud repository.
Conversely, effective cloud monitoring solutions can scan, evaluate, and classify data before it’s downloaded to the enterprise network, defending the organisation against malware that can create vulnerabilities and leave it open to data breaches. Along with the scanning and auditing of data already stored in the cloud, real-time monitoring as data enters and exits the organisation’s network is an incredibly effective way to defend against attacks.
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