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What is Cloud Security? Cloud Security Definition & Solutions

Cloud security services and solutions can help you protect your data even as you introduce new cloud solutions to your environment.

In this Article:

What is Cloud Security?

There are many ways your business can use the cloud, and each requires specific security services and policies to be effective.

Four Types of Cloud Computing

Protecting your cloud-based resources starts with understanding the types of services your business is running.

Why Do You Need Cloud Security?

By implementing numerous protocols, a provider can work with you to create the most secure cloud-based solution for your business. 

Cloud Security Tools

Here are some of the most common cloud security tools. 

Benefits of Cloud Security

You can, however, expect some common benefits no matter what industry you operate in.

These days, almost every business has some part of their organization running or being hosted in the cloud. Implementing quality cloud security requires a working balance of policies, software, and procedures. A cloud security provider can implement numerous tools to protect your organization. These tools can provide benefits to your business that range from reducing costs to centralizing security. Whether you utilize a public or private cloud, a security provider can help your business operate as efficiently as possible. While a third-party provider will primarily handle your cloud security, keeping your infrastructure and data secure will take close cooperation between both the business owner and provider.

CDW cloud security services and solutions can help you protect your data even as you introduce new cloud solutions to your environment.

What is Cloud Security?

The act of protecting cloud-based systems and data is known as Cloud Security. Tools and policies put in place and monitored by a third-party provider can add crucial security to your cloud computing. The goals of successful cloud security are regulatory compliance, cloud data protection, and customer and employee privacy. There are many ways your business can use the cloud, and each requires specific security services and policies to be effective.

The Four Main Areas of Cloud Computing

Protecting your cloud-based resources starts with understanding the types of services your business is running. Whether you utilize the public cloud, a private cloud, or a combination of both, it will take a suite of resources to protect your data successfully. Depending on how your organization operates, you may require more specific security solutions. To help you plan for your needs, let’s examine the four core areas of cloud computing and their security requirements:

Public Cloud via Public Provider

Services operated in the public cloud include Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). When using these services, cloud security will be handled primarily by the provider. They will use a combination of network monitoring and software solutions to ensure your data is secure at all times, even when your business is not open. Internally, you may still need to manage security aspects such as network access or setting up new employee workstations. 

Private Cloud via Public Provider

Services in a private cloud are typically handled internally, but having a dedicated IT department and staff can be quite expensive and even impossible for some smaller organizations. A third-party cloud security provider can help reduce the costs of internal operations. This is made possible because the provider has all the network infrastructure already in place.

Using a provider to manage your private cloud also means that services can scale with your needs—as you only pay for the solutions you are actively using. When using a third party to manage your private cloud, the provider will typically handle all aspects of your network security as well.

Internal Private Cloud Operations

When your organization owns and operates your entire IT infrastructure, you can consider that an internal private cloud solution. This can be thought of as a traditional on-site data center and IT department. Everything from network access to data storage will be handled internally when operating within a private internal cloud. Costs can quickly rise when using this cloud security solution, because all IT burdens fall back onto your organization which can take valuable resources from other business areas.

Hybrid Cloud Operations

The best of both worlds, hybrid cloud-based solutions use a combination of private and public cloud resources to secure your data and IT infrastructure. A provider can handle certain aspects such as hosting workloads or network security, while a smaller internal team can handle day-to-day operations. Flexibility between a provider and an internal team allows for the most cost-efficient operation of your cloud-based computing. Services can be purchased on an as-needed basis, and internal staff can even learn policies and practices from the provider that can then be implemented later.

Why Do You Need Cloud Security?

One of the biggest concerns of cloud-based computing is security. Moving data or workloads from on-site facilities to the cloud can be intimidating for any business. The thought of your organization's precious data being out of your control can be stressful.

Operating within a public cloud without the proper security could expose your vital information to all kinds of malicious parties. Private clouds may appear more secure, but anyone with access to your internal network could do severe damage. Luckily, cloud security can make your business safer than ever. By implementing numerous protocols, a provider can work with you to create the most secure cloud-based solution for your business. No matter what industry you operate in, your organization can benefit from properly implementing cloud security solutions. 

Cloud Security Tools

When working with a cloud security provider, they will use a specific set of tools to ensure your operations are as safe as possible. These tools will allow your security provider to tackle any obstacles that may come your way. Learning what they are and how they can benefit your business will help productivity and efficiency between your organization and your cloud security provider. Here are some of the most common cloud security tools:

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

CSPM is fundamental to cloud security. This tool provides security assessments and compliance monitoring solutions for your business. CSPM can also help to leverage API integrations with multiple cloud security providers. A significant benefit of this tool is that it can assess your company’s security against frameworks such as NIST or AWS to see if any changes are needed. 

Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP)

This tool is aimed at servers and how their workloads are protected. CWPP enables better protection of data regardless of your storage solution. CWPP can flawlessly integrate with on-site, off-site, or hybrid storage. Advanced operations can even utilize virtual machines and numerous public cloud IaaS environments.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

This tool is a combination of various security functions that work together to meet your organization's dynamic needs. These services include Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Zero-Trust-Architecture (ZTA). With the diversity of these tools, your provider can help you operate securely at any point in your business's cloud computing journey. 

Hybrid vs. Public Cloud Security

When operating solely in the public cloud, even your most sensitive information is stored off-site and is thus under the control of a third party. A hybrid cloud allows your infrastructure to be spread among an internal private cloud and various public cloud services. The most significant benefit of using a hybrid cloud is that your security workload can be split among internal departments and a provider. Tasks such as computational workloads, data compliance, and security policies can be delegated to the appropriate departments to increase productivity and reduce costs. 

Benefits of Cloud Security

There are many reasons to implement cloud security for your business. Some advantages may be more specific than others due to the nature of your organization. You can, however, expect some common benefits no matter what industry you operate in. Below you can find a list of some of the most common benefits of utilizing proper cloud security:

Reduce Costs

The most common reason any organization looks to cloud-based resources is to reduce costs, which is often the case with cloud security as well. Outsourcing the security of your data can free up costly internal resources. By purchasing cloud security solutions from a provider, you can pay for the services you need without expenses such as software licensing or hardware acquisition.

Add Reliability

When a provider is in charge of your cloud security, they can monitor and protect your business 24/7. When using only internal resources, keeping staff on-call or bringing them in for overtime work can result in hefty costs. Security providers can offer round-the-clock protection at a fraction of the price due to their volume of clientele and infrastructure already in place.

Improved Productivity

The freeing up of internal departments is monumental in terms of increased productivity. With security concerns being managed off-site, internal staff can focus on their intended workloads. Cloud security allows for your organization to operate in its most optimal state.

Centralized Security

One of the major benefits of cloud computing is the centralization of resources. Cloud security does the same but with your network protection. Your IT infrastructure consists of numerous devices that can be potentially spread across multiple environments. Cloud security allows for the consolidation of protection for those devices.


A breach in cloud security could be catastrophic for any business, which makes having proper protection crucial to your organization's longevity. Working with a security provider will allow you to operate safely within the cloud. Knowing how cloud security operates will better help you to utilize that provider's services. Once implemented, you can expect to experience a multitude of benefits from proper cloud security. The efficient delegation of security tasks can free up internal departments, resulting in reduced costs and an overall boost in productivity. Centralized security in the cloud will also add reliability to your infrastructure to further help reduce costs when security incidents occur.

Every modern business has some aspect that functions in the cloud. With the proper security procedures in place, your entire organization and clients are at risk.

Consider CDW Cloud Security Services

At CDW, our years of experience, industry-leading expertise and partnerships with leading technology providers can help you create a custom cybersecurity solution that dynamically addresses vulnerabilities in your network, now and in the future.

Learn More About Cloud Security Services

CDW Amplified Security services can help you secure the cloud.

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