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Cloud infrastructure has emerged as one of the essential needs of every business in recent years. Organizations are striving to digitize their business processes, and cloud infrastructure is an integral part of the same. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud usage over the last six months. Analysts predict that the worldwide public cloud services market will experience a 17 percent growth in 2020 alone. This proliferation comes in addition to the existing widespread cloud adoption. A recent report by Flexera revealed that over 83 percent of companies described themselves as intermediate to heavy users of cloud platforms, while 93 percent reported having a multi-cloud strategy. As the number of companies leveraging the diverse cloud infrastructure services increases, cloud workloads have become increasingly common. Nearly 50 percent of workload is already performed on the cloud, which is expected to increase by another 10 percent over the next year.
As users shift their on-premises workloads into the cloud and transform legacy applications into cloud-native technologies, they’re faced with elevated cybersecurity risk on top of the existing ones, regardless of how safe the cloud appears. An Oracle study identified that 75 percent of users feel that the cloud is more secure than on-premise systems. However, many fail to realize that protecting cloud operations requires a different approach than protecting standard physical and virtual
endpoints. To ensure strong cloud workload protection, companies first need to understand what they are and the threat landscape facing them.
Simply put, cloud workload is the quantity of work running on a cloud at any particular moment. Be it a single task or thousands of interactions simultaneously; a cloud workload results from the actions being performed through the cloud. The workload can be the API server, data processing, messaging handling code, and many more. A cloud instance can be any form of code execution, whether packaged as a container, serverless function, or executable running on virtual machines. This is true regardless of whether a business is using the software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), or platform as a service (PaaS).
The significant architectural and conceptual change from perimeter protected applications makes cloud workloads exposed to various kinds of attacks. Traditional systems on-premise data centers that can be physically protected. In contrast, the cloud has a diverse and highly connected infrastructure that can often be out of the company’s control. Cybersecurity threats are the most common type of attacks that affect cloud workloads. Improperly set up access management systems, and weak data transfer protocols increase cloud workload vulnerability. According to a recent report from Divvy, misconfiguration, often the result of rushed cloud migrations, is the cause of nearly 60 percent of all cloud data breaches.