Cloud Security 101 – Understanding Cloud Security Solutions

Cloud computing ushered in the era of "everything-as-a-service" by making it easier to deploy infrastructure without worrying about hardware restrictions. The cloud offers easy and on-demand access to software applications, databases, and other digital resources. On the other hand, deploying and managing cloud environments does not require much time or resources. The flexibility and scalability that cloud technologies offer are increasingly driving the migration towards cloud services. 

IT infrastructure is no longer limited to on-premises assets and resources. Instead, the infrastructure uses services, components, and resources beyond the organization's safety perimeter. Security is inevitably a big concern in such highly distributed architectures. 

This blog discusses cloud security and the aspects that make it indispensable, including Cloud Security Posture Management or CSPM. 

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud providers offer three types of cloud services—Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These cloud services form the backbone of modern enterprises. On the other hand, enterprises can adopt different modes of deploying infrastructure and applications on the cloud—private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud. 

Cloud platforms are configured based on an organization's requirements and the nature of host applications, databases, and other workloads. However, all these different cloud options and combinations bring with them increasing levels of infrastructure complexity while simultaneously reducing the control and visibility that IT operations teams have over their infrastructure.

Cloud Security solutions reinforce the security strategy by implementing required processes and controls to secure and protect cloud-based applications and databases, thereby minimizing security risks. In addition, cloud security solutions allow organizations to evaluate existing security and compliance posture to implement strategy changes that address specific security requirements within cloud environments. 

Why is Cloud Security Important?

According to the (ISC)2 Cloud Security Report 2022, cybersecurity professionals cited misconfigured cloud environments, insecure APIs, unauthorized access, and service hijacking as some of the most significant cloud security risks. 

Cloud Security Report

Maintaining security on the cloud is a  complicated task for organizations using cloud services. The distributed but connected architecture of the cloud makes it challenging to oversee infrastructure security continuously and comprehensively. Moreover, the security threat landscape has evolved along with cloud technologies, making cloud security a priority for most organizations. 

Cloud service customers rely on third-party cloud providers for managing cloud infrastructure. Although it is common practice to use multiple cloud-based environments within the same organization, they are configured and managed separately. As a result, there is limited visibility into the infrastructure's security posture, which leaves it vulnerable to external threats. Many factors can compromise cloud security: 

  • Lack of visibility across cloud infrastructure

  • Data breaches

  • Lack of access control or unauthorized access

  • Unsecured APIs and services

  • Cloud misconfigurations

  • Security and compliance auditing failures 

Cloud infrastructure security is vital to ensure business continuity while maintaining optimal productivity. Cloud security solutions reinforce an organization's security and compliance strategy by implementing the necessary controls and procedures.

How can Cloud Security Solutions help?

While cloud service providers are accountable for infrastructure management, maintaining security posture is a shared responsibility between the service provider and the customer. Since services are deployed outside the organization's security boundary, securing cloud infrastructure requires a different approach altogether.  

Assuming that everything within the organization's security perimeter is safe and compliant is not an ideal security strategy—primarily when core components of the infrastructure reside on the cloud and not inside the organizational perimeter. In such a scenario, keeping track of all cloud resources, managing access privileges, and maintaining compliance across all cloud assets is difficult. Cloud Security solutions offer a holistic approach to cloud infrastructure security and account for the following: 

  • Security and compliance posture: Ensure all cloud assets are compliant and align with the organization's overall security posture. 

  • Threat detection and response: Monitor, identify and quickly resolve security risks to mitigate security risks.

  • Data security: Manage data encryption and offer backup and protection capabilities to prevent data loss.

  • Access privileges: Manage user roles and define access levels and permissions. 

  • Visibility: Consolidated view of every cloud asset such that security and IT Ops teams can collaborate more efficiently.  
There are various cloud security solutions available that target specific security needs. Some of them are discussed here:

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

CASB enforces cloud security policies on hybrid cloud deployments. It ensures that the on-premises policies and the policies implemented on cloud assets align whenever these cloud resources are accessed. 

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)

CWPP solution ensures that best practices are followed when cloud workloads are deployed to avoid compromising security. 

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

CSPM solutions will scan and identify compliance issues or misconfigurations in the cloud infrastructure.   

Cloud data security solutions

Cloud services include databases that need to be secured using cloud security solutions to manage user access and ensure data security through encryption.

Cloud Security Posture Management with Chef Cloud Security

As mentioned in the (ISC)2 Cloud Security Report 2022, 62% of cybersecurity professionals consider the misconfiguration of cloud platforms as the most significant concern when dealing with cloud security. Cloud Security Posture Management, or CSPM, enables proactive scanning of cloud environments to detect and remediate misconfigurations. CSPM addresses security risks from misconfigured cloud assets by ensuring that necessary controls are implemented for every cloud deployment. In addition, it implements core security best practices, including regulatory compliance, risk detection, identity, and access management (IAM), and overall cloud infrastructure security management. 

Chef CSPM solution is designed to handle complex cloud environments to prevent security incidents and maintain compliance across your cloud-native assets. It empowers IT Teams to continuously monitor cloud accounts and container platforms for security misconfigurations and meet internal/external regulation at scale to achieve consistent, unified multi-cloud security using a coded approach and community support. 

With Chef Cloud Security, organizations can achieve continuous cloud compliance at a multi-dimensional scale with unified visibility: 

  • Implement compliance policies

  • Gain remediation guidance

  • Detect misconfigurations

  • Schedule audit scans

  • Ensure compliance across IT assets

  • Standard security benchmarks—CIS, SOC2, PCI DSS ,and more

  • Scan any environment—cloud/containers

  • Visibility into compliance posture

  • Compliance evidence reports

  • Data export into 3rd Party tools (SNOW/Splunk)

  • Trend and historical views with KPIs


The adoption of cloud computing has grown exponentially over the last decade, which has introduced another set of security and compliance challenges. Misconfigured cloud environments, poorly managed identity and access controls, inefficient compliance management, and other security vulnerabilities are typical in complex multi-cloud architecture adopted by most organizations. As a result, continuous cloud compliance is critical to securing the dynamic cloud landscape.  

Cloud Security builds protection against cyberattacks, secures data, and ensures regulatory compliance is maintained across the entire cloud infrastructure. Using Cloud Security solutions such as CSPM, an organization can improve its security resilience, reliability, and scalability. Chef's CSPM solution provides insight into the current security posture of your cloud asset while also providing reports per audit scan with remediation guidance on failing controls.   


Kameerath Abdul Kareem

Kameerath Abdul Kareem is a Product Marketing Manager at Progress Chef