It can sometimes be hard to keep up with the pace of change in technology. It can feel like just as you have your head around one concept, another springs up that completely challenges your understanding of the previous idea. For both businesses and individuals, being able to stay up to date with technology change is vital.
A good example of this comes in the terminology around security. The terms ‘cybersecurity’ and ‘cloud security’ are used a lot, and it could be easy to assume that they have a very similar meaning. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
While there is certainly some overlap between cybersecurity and cloud security, they actually refer to very separate concepts. In this article, we’ll take a look at both cybersecurity and cloud security to help you understand the differences between the two, and provide you with crucial insights into both.
Cybersecurity and cloud security: definitions
It is first helpful to look at standard definitions for cloud security and cybersecurity, as these provide some clues as to the differences between the two concepts.
Cybersecurity can be defined as the “measures taken to protect internet-connected devices, networks, and data from unauthorised access and criminal use. Additionally, cybersecurity ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data over its entire life cycle”.
In this sense, cybersecurity is the broad term encompassing all of the processes, procedures, software, hardware and planning that are used in keeping the online presence of either a company or an individual safe against cybercrime.
On the other hand, cloud security can be defined as “the processes, mechanisms and services used to control the security, compliance and other usage risks of cloud computing…. the term does not encompass security services delivered from the cloud (security as a service) that are intended to be used outside the cloud”.
Ultimately, then, we can see from the base definitions alone that there is a simple line to draw between the two: cybersecurity is a broader term encompassing whole networks of internet-connected devices, whereas cloud security only concerns itself with the specific security used to protect cloud computing services.
Protecting personal information
Of course, it must also be understood that there are similarities between cybersecurity and cloud security as well. For example, the overall goals of both of the concepts are broadly the same.
It is the case that both cybersecurity and cloud security have the goal of keeping safe the personal data of individuals and businesses. Data security has become a huge issue in the modern world – especially when you consider that the average data breach costs nearly $4 million, and that this figure is rising yearly.
However, the way that they are able to reach these goals are very different as they are having to protect different surface areas.
How they work
Cybersecurity actually uses a huge range of different techniques, tools and strategies to accomplish its goals. It will typically involve a business or individual taking direct measures to protect themselves. Some extremely common forms of cybersecurity include:
- Strong passwords – using strong passwords is a simple and underrated form of cybersecurity. If users have passwords that can be easily ‘guessed’ by password cracking software, it can make the job of a cybercriminal much easier. For example, a definition of strong password could be a minimum of 8 characters including both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Penetration testing – this is a form of cybersecurity that involves an assessment of the current capabilities of the cybersecurity measures in place. Utilised by businesses, it analyses “computer networks, systems, and applications to identify and address security weaknesses”.
- Training and information – one of the major parts of cybersecurity is the dissemination of information. For businesses, this means training staff to understand the latest types of cybersecurity threats and how to respond to them appropriately.
For cloud security, it is somewhat different. This practice refers to the specific security functions put in place by businesses and cloud providers to secure their environment.
- Data encryption – ensuring data is encrypted to the highest standards is a key part of ongoing cloud security.
- Multifactor authentication – ensuring that those attempting to log into the cloud services are who they say they are by verifying with more than one form of authentication. An example of this might be asking for both a password and a code sent to the mobile phone number associated with that account.
- 24/7 monitoring – round the clock monitoring is a key part of cloud security.This can be partially carried out by software, but it will need human intervention to check on alerts.
Ultimately, it must be said that cloud security could be considered a form of cybersecurity, although it has its own subset of specific features. If you have a cloud provider, they will be at least partially responsible for your cloud security, whereas you might think of your cybersecurity as your own responsibility.