What is cloud security?

What is cloud security?

Cloud security is an aspect of cyber-security dedicated to the protection of cloud computing systems. As organisations increasingly embrace digital transformation and move away from legacy systems, cloud security is critical to data privacy and user safety across applications, platforms, and online infrastructure.

Cloud security involves a collection of protocols, technologies and best practices which combine to secure cloud environments and the activity that takes place within them. Cloud security must be capable of protecting against both external and internal threats, and efforts must be made by both the cloud provider and the client to mitigate costly breaches.

Implementing cloud security can be complex and challenging, but getting it right has important repercussions on operational costs, protection against sophisticated attacks, compliance, and scalability. In this article, we will define some of the key challenges associated with deploying cloud security, and underline why it is important for SMEs and global enterprises alike.

Young woman working next to server

The main challenges of cloud security

The lack of clear perimeters and wide new attack surfaces present a complicated set of challenges for those tasked with maintaining cloud security. We’ve outlined below some of the primary challenges that businesses should address.

Problem awareness

Problem awareness is one of the foundational challenges associated with cloud security, as many organisations lack an understanding of the various threats and responsibilities. As businesses accelerate towards digital transformation and encourage employees to transition to cloud native applications, many are becoming vulnerable to a cyber-attack by not implementing a cloud security strategy.

Cloud native apps make up 50-75% of the applications used by a third of UK businesses. Despite this high percentage, 20% have no cloud security strategy in place.

Lack of communication

A lack of communication presents significant issues for organisations that focus solely on prevention when it comes to cloud security. Communication is not only essential when an attack is first detected, but during each stage until the threat has been successfully addressed.

When reacting to cloud security breaches, time is of the essence and a rapid, co-ordinated internal response can prevent a security breach that could cost millions and threaten an organisation’s survival.

Remote working

Remote working became a widespread, game-changing trend during the initial lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic – and for many it is here to stay. When it comes to cloud security, remote working has applied pressure to existing challenges, such as data leaks via remote endpoints. It has also resulted in vulnerabilities when employees access core business apps and use unmanaged devices, limited user visibility and compliance issues.

Policies and processes

Policies and processes are crucial in cloud security as no single solution for cloud security management exists. This presents a challenge to organisations due to its complexity and the importance of implementing the key fundamentals.

Rather than adding security on as an afterthought, it must now be carefully interwoven throughout your tech stack. To do this, you need to consider factors like a Zero Trust model, and the deployment of centralised cloud management.

Rather than adding security on as an afterthought, it must now be carefully interwoven throughout your tech stack.

The importance of cloud security

The challenges we have discussed in this article begin to frame the importance of cloud security, including the need to safely facilitate increased remote working and other agile methods. We have identified a selection of primary factors that should encourage you to enhance your cloud security position.

Lowering your business costs and expenses

When faced with upgrading your cloud security, lowering costs may seem unlikely, but factoring it in as early as possible in your digital transformation journey will save money in the long run. Organisations that overlook the importance of cloud security will be forced to make costly system revisions later and stand a greater chance of sustaining an expensive breach and being fined.

Effective protection against Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks

DDoS attacks are on the rise. They overwhelm your servers, networks, devices, and applications with a flood of internet traffic, preventing legitimate users from accessing your online services. Protecting against them has become vital in today’s world, and cloud security holds the key to achieving it.

Cloud DDoS mitigation works by detecting attacks before they reach your network, diverting the malicious inbound traffic to an alternate location to prevent it causing disruption. By maintaining the uptime of your services, you ensure enhanced customer journeys and improve overall business performance.

Regulatory compliance

Regulatory compliance in the context of cloud security has become vitally important in the GDPR era. Having an adequate cloud security strategy in place will not only help to prevent cyber attacks and potential damage but will help you achieve regulatory compliance and avoid substantial penalties.


Scalability is also enhanced when you have the right solutions and best practices in place to secure your cloud computing systems. Cloud security can scale as required and can be extended to encompass new systems, applications and their features. This means your organisation is free to pursue its goals and grow without having to be concerned with implementing entirely new cloud security solutions on strategies.

Protect your people and your data with BT

Bolstering our own extensive experience and capabilities, BT has partnered with leading security vendors to bring you and your users dynamic, robust cloud security. The Cisco Umbrella mitigates threats automatically and can be monitored via a single online portal, while Zscaler provides granular data filtration to increase user safety across apps and devices alike.

In addition to our expertise and specialist partners, BT provides always-on support via our 16 global security operations centres, which provide management and monitoring 24/7. Also, we can support you at any stage in your cloud security journey – from design and implementation, through to maintenance and support.

Our cloud security solutions put you in the best possible position to avoid cloud-based data breaches, extend protection to all devices within your network and ensure seamless integration that enables you to focus on your objectives.

We go a step further by providing a managed cloud security solution, a cloud-based internet security solution that blocks threats before they even reach your network.