Regardless of which service model an enterprise employs from a cloud provider, what remains prominent is that there are shared responsibilities of cloud security. The burden of maintaining secure infrastructure does not solely lie on the client or the provider, but is instead distributed between the two. Statistics Canada reports the number of police reported cyber crimes increased 164% between 2016 and 2020. Furthermore, the introduction of Bill C-26, which makes reporting cyber attacks mandatory, was in large part because many incidents were going unreported. Therefore, even though the publicly known number of cyber threats is significant, the actual number is even larger. Considering cyber attacks are increasingly becoming more common, now, more than ever, the integrity of the relationship between clients and their cloud provider is critical to success. 

The service model of cloud provision we will be focusing on is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This is where the cloud provider manages IT server resources, such as storage and networking, delivering them to their clientele via a specifically designed dashboard accessible through the internet. There also exists software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) but those are the topic of another discussion. The alternative to these options, which recently many enterprises have decided to transition away from, is on-premise infrastructure. 

Unlike its modern successors, on-premise infrastructure burdened enterprises with the entire responsibility to uphold security. Considering everything in on-prem systems are managed internally, the maintenance, configuration, updating, and operation were all left to the duty of the client. Confirming that no vulnerabilities exist throughout the system is a matter involving solely the enterprise who possess the on-premise servers. Having to ensure physical and virtual security proves to be a very demanding task. There are also key security features such as geographical redundancy which are missed out on with on-premise infrastructure. Some businesses or organizations may favour the independence that comes with on-premise infrastructure, as you don’t have to trust an external company. However, many companies desire the managed services, and being able to leave the backend and security details with professionals.

For businesses and organizations that do choose to employ a cloud provider for IaaS, the responsibilities are now shared. The provider is responsible for the security of the cloud, and the client is responsible for security within the cloud. For instance, the provider deals with operating, managing, and protecting the infrastructure hardware, software, and networking. Pushing updates, encryption, combating security threats, and anything that involves ensuring the integrity of the system falls on the responsibility of the provider. On the other hand, the customer controls the data and configuration of the cloud. Thus, any authentication, data, endpoint access, and firewall or operating system configuration, is considered the responsibility of the client. See the diagram below to visualize these shared responsibilities.

responsibilities of cloud security

A strong relationship between the client and provider, and the fulfillment of their individual responsibilities of cloud security, is necessary for success. Working with a company like Server Cloud Canada, who ensure a high quality of communication with their clients, is beneficial. We will work to help you fully visualize, understand, and hone the capabilities of your new cloud environment. Furthermore, with our guidance in all aspects of the cloud infrastructure, the client can be sure that they will not be left stranded at any point of the management process. If you’d like to learn more about what separates Server Cloud Canada apart from other providers you can read more here.

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