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What we talk about when we talk about cloud workload security
A cloud workload -- like a container, web server or database -- is a specific function or capacity installed on a cloud instance. Today's modern business can't function without putting work into cloud and, naturally, they can't function well if those cloud workloads are not firmly secured.
In its 2019 report on cloud security risks, the Cloud Security Alliance listed the top current concerns from a survey of cloud security experts -- a list it dubbed the "egregious 11." One notable thing is that over half of those threats to the cloud listed are new, and over half are the responsibility solely of the cloud customer. None listed are the responsibility solely of the cloud service provider.
In other words, while the shared responsibility model of cloud security is still relevant, responsibility for keeping cloud workloads safe is increasingly falling more squarely on the shoulders of the in-house security team and management.
One thing that did not change in the CSA report this year: The No. 1 cloud security concern remains the threat of a data breach. Sensitive and proprietary data is still what attackers are after. Theft or corruption of that data can ruin a company's reputation, undermine its market competitiveness, create legal liabilities and incite huge incident response costs.
Protecting the precious cloud workload, therefore, must be a top priority for every IT security team. More than ever, the responsibility cannot be outsourced. Now is the time to create or update your cloud security strategy, implementing efficient and effective controls and making sure your security team is able to monitor without hampering business functions. That's what we focus on in this handbook.