Cloud Security Use Cases: Why You Might Miss the Forest if You Ignore the Trees

Vinod Vasudevan
By Vinod Vasudevan

February 13, 2020

The Cloud is no longer an option— it’s a requirement for every modern business.

By deploying Cloud services, organizations of every size can increase the power, efficiency, and flexibility of their core technology infrastructure. The Cloud offers these benefits over traditional on-prem services by dramatically changing the way that technology infrastructure is architected and operates.

But this radical new technology is a double-edged sword. The Cloud’s unique structure offers crucial new capabilities— but it also creates previously-unseen security challenges that cannot be addressed through legacy security frameworks.

A new approach is needed.

The Differences Between Cloud and
On-Prem Security

On the surface, threats against Cloud infrastructure look a lot like threats against on-prem infrastructure.

But even though there’s a lot of surface similarities at play here between Cloud and on-prem threats, there’s a critical difference between the two— the actual attacks deployed to breach the system.

New call-to-action

Cloud infrastructure functions much differently than on-prem infrastructure, and cybercriminals have developed new attacks tailor-made to compromise this specific environment. Cloud infra also updates far more frequently than on-prem infrastructure and continually opens up new vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to take advantage of.

Traditional cybersecurity approaches were not developed to handle these new attacks or this new environment. To secure your Cloud infrastructure, you must deploy a security approach developed specifically for it.

A New Approach to Cloud Security

Cloud security monitoring requires a granular view of use cases corresponding to cloud service components leading to a holistic view of breach in-progress.

Every Cloud deployment is composed of multiple individual service components. These components include virtual servers, storage, databases, cloud console, Identity. Each of these components is vulnerable to specific attacks. At a foundational level, it’s important to tease out each of the components of a Cloud deployment and to develop monitoring and response capabilities for the threats.

At the same time, we should be able to see the broader pattern of a breach in progress by putting together the threats we see at service component level of cloud infrastructure. This requires an understanding of recent cloud security breaches and related use cases. For example, if a company in your vertical has recently been breached by a specific attack, it’s safe to assume that you might be targeted with the same attack pattern sometime in the near future. At this level, it’s essential to ingest data from recent attacks on other organizations in order to protect yourself from attacks like these.

Here is a link to our white paper that details this approach with sample use cases across cloud service components.

New call-to-action

Tags: Gartner, Cloud More Secure


Vinod Vasudevan

Vinod Vasudevan is a co-founder of Paladion and has over 17 years of experience in technology and information risk management domain. As the CTO at Paladion, Vinod has serviced large enterprise organizations across the globe for setting up of integrated risk management systems and for stream lining system based operations. He has held key positions with global firms including Microsoft. He is the co-author of “Application Security in the ISO27001 Environment” and “Enhancing Computer Security with Smart Technology”. He has also authored several papers. He sits on the expert panel of industry consortiums.