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Arkansas State University

How Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity Go Hand in Hand

Research into the benefits and challenges of cloud migration suggests that companies wrestle with balancing the value of moving data and services offsite to protect them from cyberattacks. Nearly 40% of corporations have migrated half of their computing assets to the cloud, and more than 60% are on timelines to match the earlier adopters before the end of 2024.

While cloud computing enables rapid scalability and simplified implementation, patching and upgrading, top-line difficulties configuring complex cloud networks can open vulnerabilities that expose digital assets to:

  • Malware and ransomware attacks
  • Compromised accounts
  • Unauthorized access to infrastructure

More than 60% of the respondents said the most critical element in securing the cloud is the lack of professionals proficient in designing and deploying cloud-native cybersecurity solutions that protect data and privacy and ensure visibility and control.

“A significant concern in securing cloud environments is the shortage of qualified staff,” according to a Forbes analysis. Adding, “There has been a rise in cloud-specific security certifications.”

How Do Professionals Acquire Balanced Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity Expertise?

Cloud-native security requires significant conceptual shifts from traditional protection solutions, which are typically perimeter defenses against cyberattacks.

On the other hand, cloud-native cybersecurity focuses on protecting applications. It stresses access and identity control and “container security,” which is related to three-layer security measures that secure host operating systems, runtime and templates.

Earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Digital Technology & Design with a Concentration in Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity Design is an ideal way to cultivate the skills for increasingly high-demand roles.

The online curriculum offered by Arkansas State University (A-State), for instance, introduces graduates to software architecture featuring three-layer and cloud-native design, as well as risk analysis and mitigation, all foundational in developing cybersecurity solutions.

Why Is the Cloud Vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

Gartner describes the cloud as the “centerpiece of new digital experiences,” adding that “there is no business strategy without a cloud strategy.” Global cloud revenue more than doubled to $408 billion in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive migration to remote computing.

While all companies that use the cloud are vulnerable to account takeovers, misconfigurations, unsecured vendor transactions and insider threats, the healthcare sector is particularly susceptible.

“It’s essential to manage risk — especially data risk — and establish security visibility, particularly over multi-cloud architectures,” Deloitte warns.

Big Data in healthcare — including electronic health records,  electronic medical records, personal health records, wearable medical devices and mobile health apps — is used for everything from improving patient outcomes to decreasing healthcare costs.

Moving data to the cloud will accelerate its flow among researchers, clinicians, hospitals, insurers and other industry-related enterprises. Still, it also expands the potential for cyberattacks, leaks and regulatory violations.

Risk assessment in the early stages of cloud migration supports a “shared responsibility model” and designing risk mitigation controls.

What Cloud Security Expertise Do Employers Value?

Employers looking for cloud security professionals place a premium on candidates with insights and understanding central to A-State’s online B.S. in Digital Technology & Design – Cloud Computing & Cybersecurity Design program, which includes the following courses:

  • Software Design Solutions focuses on three-layer and cloud-native software design for enhanced security.
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management explores qualitative and quantitative methodologies for cybersecurity risk analysis and mitigation.
  • Internet Security Solutions covers topics in access control, internet security, cloud infrastructure, on-premises auditing and machine-learning applications for data security.

The program prepares graduates for high-demand, low-supply careers as security engineers, system administrators, information security analysts, cybersecurity architects and security software developers.

Learn more about A-State’s online B.S. in Digital Technology & Design – Cloud Computing & Cybersecurity Design program.

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