Cybersecurity vs. Cloud Security: What’s the Difference?

Kenny Kleinerman
Cloud Use CasesCloud Computing
09 May 2022
cybersecurity vs. cloud security

In this era of digitalization, almost every company’s data is in digital form. But with the advancement of technology, cybercrimes are increasing exponentially, making devices and data more vulnerable. Hence, it has become essential for businesses to take measures to protect their data and confidential information.

When it comes to cyberattacks, the first thing that comes to mind is cybersecurity. However, since most companies now choose cloud storage for their data, it is also important to consider cloud security.

In this article, we’ll provide definitions for cloud security and cybersecurity and the key differences between these two. We’ll also go over related concepts like cloud computing security, cloud network security, financial cybersecurity, financial services cybersecurity, and more.

 

What is Cybersecurity?

Categories of cybersecurity

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Cybersecurity definition: Cybersecurity refers to protecting internet-connected devices, such as computers, mobile and electronic devices, servers, networks, and data, from cyberattacks. In other words, cybersecurity prevents unauthorized access to data centers and computerized systems to ensure the confidentiality of information.

The key elements of cybersecurity include:

  • Application security
  • Network security
  • Disaster recovery planning
  • Information security
  • End-user security
  • Operational security

Cybersecurity is essential for both individuals and businesses to prevent unauthorized access to devices, networks, and data. It is also the key to preventing attacks that disrupt the operations of a system or a device. The importance of cybersecurity is highlighted by the projection that cybercrime is set to cost the world $10.5 trillion dollars by 2025, which would be equivalent to the world’s third-biggest economy after the USA and China.

As cybercrime and data breaches are on the rise, the cybersecurity industry grows in tandem. More and more companies are now hiring cybersecurity companies and using cybersecurity software to keep their sensitive information secure.

Cybersecurity Framework and Cybersecurity Best Practices

Cybersecurity frameworks are essentially a set of best practices, methodologies, guidelines, and procedures that a company needs to follow in order to prevent cyberattacks. These frameworks help companies manage their cybersecurity risk by identifying the areas that are most at risk of data breaches.

Some of the cybersecurity essentials and cybersecurity best practices include:

  • Using an internal and external firewall
  • Using multi-factor authentication
  • Using biometric security, such as facial recognition, voice recognition, fingerprint scans, etc.
  • Changing the password of your devices regularly
  • Installing anti-malware cybersecurity software
  • Documenting your cybersecurity policies

Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity

AI and machine learning cybersecurity can prove to be very effective in reducing cyberattacks. 

AI-based systems are designed to learn over time. They can examine patterns and learn from them to prevent similar attacks. They can be used in cybersecurity to identify different types of malware and threats, identify risky behavior, generate timely alerts for threats, and respond to attacks in real-time.

What is Cloud Security?

 

Key components of cloud infrastructure security

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Cloud Security Definition:

Cloud security is the collection of policies, procedures, and technologies designed to protect cloud computing environments or cloud-based systems, including cloud data, apps, networks, and infrastructure. Simply put, cloud security consists of technologies and policies that protect cloud computing environments from internal and external cybersecurity threats.

Cloud data security ensures that unauthorized servers are unable to access the data stored in the cloud. Because a third-party service provider provides cloud services over the internet, cloud security or cloud cyber security and enterprise cloud security require effort from both the organization and the cloud service provider.

Key components of cloud-based security include:

  • Data security
  • Policies and procedures for threat detection and prevention
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Plan for data retention
  • Legal compliance

For network and cloud security, a cloud security architecture is required, which is based on cloud security best practices.

 

Cloud Security Best Practices

Common cloud security best practices include:

  • Understating your shared cloud security responsibility with the cloud service provider
  • Understanding how your data is being accessed and shared
  • Knowing the security protocols of your cloud service provider
  • Encrypting your data (both data at rest and data in motion)
  • Securing your endpoints by using firewalls and anti-malware software
  • Using reliable cloud security solutions

Cybersecurity vs. Cloud Security – Key Differences

Scope of Protection

The key difference between cybersecurity and cloud security is that cloud security only deals with protecting cloud computing environments from cyberattacks. On the other hand, cybersecurity involves safeguarding all types of IT domains, including PC, servers, and networks, from cyberattacks. This means cybersecurity also includes cloud security.

Security Measures and Maintenance

Cloud security blocks unauthorized users from accessing the data stored in the cloud so that only authorized users can access it. Cloud security continuously filters the traffic accessing the data in the cloud.

In contrast, cybersecurity requires users to take security measures themselves to secure their sensitive data and information. Cybersecurity can be maintained by using multi-factor authentication and setting strong passwords and changing them frequently. 

Security Responsibility

Cloud security is mostly the responsibility of the cloud service provider, whereas cybersecurity is the responsibility of the owner of the device.

Security Threats Detection

Cloud security usually involves artificial intelligence (AI) to detect threats automatically. AI also helps prevent cyberattacks by providing strong security. In contrast, cybersecurity involves using antivirus tools to detect and remove security threats. However, since security threats keep changing as hackers find new ways to steal data, antivirus tools must be updated regularly to keep up with changing security threats.

Cyber Security in Cloud Computing

Cybersecurity in cloud computing protects cloud computing components and infrastructure from data breaches. The cybersecurity methods depend on the type of cloud computing service and cloud environment.

Cloud Computing Services Security

Types of cloud computing services

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Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):  In IaaS, a third-party cloud provider provides resources, such as storage, virtual private servers, and networking to companies over the internet. The cloud service provider’s responsibilities include protecting servers, data in the servers, storage, virtualization, and networking hardware. However, the organization is responsible for security related to user access, operating systems, applications, and network traffic.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): In PaaS, third-party cloud providers deliver software and hardware tools, such as debuggers, compilers, and source code editors. Developers use these tools to develop, run, and manage custom apps. The cloud service provider is primarily responsible for providing cloud security and securing the cloud model and related components. It is the organization’s responsibility to secure its applications, and the cloud service provider manages the security backend.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): SaaS delivers cloud-based, ready-to-use applications that are hosted and managed by a third-party cloud provider. In SaaS, you need to negotiate terms of security with your cloud service provider.

If you want to learn more about the types of cloud services, check our article IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS in Cloud Computing Explained.

Cloud Environment Security

Public cloud security: In the public cloud, the same cloud provider offers cloud services to multiple organizations. Public cloud security is typically the responsibility of the third-party cloud service provider.

Private cloud security: In a private cloud, computing services are offered to only one organization rather than multiple organizations. The private cloud can be in-house or provided by a third party. Security is mainly managed in-house by the organization.

Hybrid cloud security: Hybrid cloud combines both on-premise and private and/or public cloud storage. In a hybrid cloud, security is the responsibility of both the cloud service provider and the organization.

Security Risks of Cloud Computing

When organizations migrate to the cloud, the first thing that usually comes to their mind is security concerns in cloud computing. While cloud security risks and cloud security challenges are major concerns, you can avoid cloud security issues by choosing a secure and reliable cloud service provider. 

Some of the common security issues in cloud computing include:

Cloud computing security threats

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Data Breaches and Malware Attacks

A data breach is one of the biggest cloud security threats. Data breaches and malware attacks occur when hackers access and steal the organization’s data. Because cloud services are provided over the internet, they have more entry points for bad actors and are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. As cybercriminals are using modern technologies to hack data, data security in cloud computing is becoming more and more critical.

Data Loss

Data loss, or data leaks, occurs when your data gets deleted or corrupted, or is unreadable. Data loss in cloud computing occurs when somebody steals your confidential data in the cloud, data becomes inaccessible, or the hard disk containing the data doesn’t work. However, reliable cloud service providers usually back up your data on multiple servers, and the chances of data loss are minimal.

Insecure APIs and DoS attacks

APIs allow easy communication with cloud services. Using APIs, organizations can sync their data and automate data workflows between cloud-based systems. When deploying applications on Ridge Cloud, developers only need to interact with a single API to leverage Ridge’s cloud-native services and be interoperable with any underlying infrastructure.

If there aren’t proper access controls and data encryption for APIs, they can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, using APIs that have proper authorization and authentication protocols minimizes this risk.

DoS (Denial of service) attacks are again another potential cloud security issue. In a DoS attack, the hackers overload the system with requests, causing valid requests from legitimate users to stall or fail. However, many cloud service providers offer DoS mitigation services. So, you don’t have to worry about DoS attacks if you choose a reliable cloud service provider.

Account Hacking

Account hacking or hijacking is when hackers steal the cloud account of an individual or organization. Hackers can then use the account to access sensitive data and perform unauthorized activities. You can prevent account hijacking by following cybersecurity best practices such as using two-factor authentication, restricting access to authorized users only, and frequently validating if access levels are appropriate.

Frequently Asked Questions – Cybersecurity vs. Cloud Security

How do I know if my data in the cloud is secure?

When it comes to cloud computing and security, you need to ensure that your cloud service provider has the right security protocols in place. Understand how your data is being accessed and shared and clarify your shared cloud security responsibility with the cloud service provider.

What is IoT cybersecurity?

IoT (the Internet of Things) is the process of connecting different devices over the internet, like smartwatches, smart appliances, and more. IoT cybersecurity involves securing and protecting connected networks and devices in IoT systems from cyberattacks.

What are the security risks of cloud computing?

Cloud security risks include data breaches, malware attacks, account hijacking, data loss, DoS attacks, and compliance issues. However, these issues can be eliminated by using a secure and reliable cloud provider.

What are the best cybersecurity practices?

Some cybersecurity best practices include: using a firewall, using two-factor authentication, using a strong password, changing your passwords regularly, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, and documenting your cybersecurity policies. Using good anti-malware software is also essential to prevent cyberattacks.


Author:
Linkedin Kenny Kleinerman, Head of Content | Ridge
As the Head of Content at Ridge, Kenny is in charge of navigating the tough subjects and bringing the Cloud down to Earth.