Top Cloud Security Challenges & Their Solutions

Updated on 4 December 2023 10 min Read
Challenges in Cloud Security and Their Solutions

The accelerated digital transformation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how businesses operate throughout the world.

Cloud adoption, for example, is on a steep rise and has become an essential part of most organizations, small and medium businesses, and even startups.

But like everything else, cloud computing has its own security challenges that organizations must address and overcome before it causes any serious damage.

If your organization is planning to adopt any cloud service, you must be prepared to address these cloud security challenges.

In this post, we have shared the most common cloud security challenges every organization faces and how to overcome them in an efficient manner to prevent any data breaches.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security refers to the set of security technologies, controls, and practices that are used for protecting the cloud environment in an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Simply put, it is a collection of security measures that are designed especially to protect cloud-based infrastructure, data, and applications against cybersecurity threats.

Every organization that is moving towards digital transformation, adopting remote work, and incorporating cloud-based tools or services must adopt a robust cloud security strategy.

Why Cloud Security is Important?

Cloud Security is important for the same reason that your organization’s internal security is important — because your organization’s integrity, reputation, and ability to operate successfully are at stake.

Despite the reason being so simple, so many organizations still underestimate the importance of cloud security and regret it later when a serious data breach or damage occurs.

According to the latest IBM research, the global average cost of a data breach can cost $4.35 million dollars to an organization. And that cost in the U.S. is twice the global average — $9.44 million.

Given the cost size, it is imperative that organizations must learn the common challenges in cloud security and prevent any damages before they occur.

Top Cloud Security Challenges

Cloud Security is a complex matter for most organizations. But knowing the common challenges in cloud security ahead of time can help to prepare your organization to address and overcome them.

Below are the 5 most common cloud security challenges your organization must be aware of and prepared to deal with ahead of time at any cost.

Unmanaged Attack Surface

The rise in cloud adoption among organizations is leading to an explosion of publicly available assets. And every asset in an organization adds to its environment’s attack surface.

For the uninitiated, the attack surface refers to the total exposure (all entry points) in your organization’s network that can serve as potential attack vectors to gain unauthorized access and cause data breaches.

And without a centralized solution like CAASM (more on this later), your organization’s network will likely remain exposed in ways you don’t even know until a cyberattack occurs.

When that happens, it will already be too late for you to remediate the issue, resulting in data theft, damage to your reputation, and reduced customers’ confidence in your business.

Inefficient Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is happening at an exponential rate in organizations all over the world.

If your organization is planning to take the cloud plunge, make sure it is handled properly. Otherwise, it will expose your organization to unnecessary risk.

For starters, if your organization already has existing vulnerabilities in its network, you need to come up with a strategy to remediate them when or before moving to the cloud.

This is because the cloud in itself has its own set of security vulnerabilities that organizations must understand, address, and resolve. That means in addition to existing vulnerability assessments, organizations must implement effective protocols for securing sensitive data before moving them onto the cloud.

But to do this, you need to understand what threats your organization is currently exposed to, create a migration plan that minimizes these security risks, and then begin your cloud migration process.

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Shadow IT

Shadow IT is another common and complicated challenge in cloud security. If your organization does not take necessary cloud security measures, shadow IT can circumvent the standard IT approval & management process in your organization’s environment.

For the uninitiated, Shadow IT occurs when your employees adopt various cloud services to perform their tasks. But for security teams, controlling the growth of workloads & assets is difficult to manage.

For example, if your organization is implementing DevOps, obtaining complete visibility and management controls is nearly impossible without hampering the DevOps cycle.

This is because DevOps usually require a frictionless way to deploy new updates and integrate with their CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipeline.

To overcome this challenge, organizations must adopt a unified approach to get the cloud security-related information they need without affecting or slowing down DevOps. 


Misconfigurations in the cloud are a leading cause of cloud data breaches across the globe.

The bad news? — There are several factors that contribute to this. For starters, cloud infrastructure is designed to enable easy data sharing, which makes it difficult for organizations to make sure that sensitive data is accessible by authorized personnel only.

Additionally, organizations using cloud infrastructure don’t often have complete control & visibility, making it necessary for them to rely on security controls that are provided by cloud service providers to secure their cloud data.

But since most organizations have multiple cloud deployments and are unfamiliar with how to secure cloud infrastructure, it can easily lead to misconfigurations because each cloud provider has a different array of security controls.

This, in turn, can leave the cloud infrastructure of an organization and its resources exposed to hackers.

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance

Organizations that have deployed one or more cloud infrastructures are required to adhere to standard regulatory requirements like HIPAA or PCI DSS that protect the sensitive data of their customers.

For the uninitiated, sensitive data mostly include customers’ address, credit card information, healthcare records, etc.

To comply with these regulatory requirements, most organizations limit access to sensitive customer data and what users can do when granted access.

This is usually done by isolating a part of the organization’s cloud infrastructure that is only accessible to employees who have legitimate access to this data.

But when moving such sensitive data to the cloud, demonstrating or achieving regulatory compliance can become quite difficult for organizations.

Furthermore, if proper access controls are not established, it can become nearly impossible for organizations to monitor access to the network.

This is because organizations only have control and visibility into some layers of their infrastructure with a cloud deployment.

As a result, most organizations fail to maintain regulatory compliance in their cloud infrastructure, leading to sensitive customer data being exposed to unauthorized access.

To overcome this challenge, organizations must implement the right cloud security solution that provides technical capabilities to abide by regulatory requirements.

A robust cloud security solution can not only provide complete visibility over an organization’s cloud infrastructure but also provide granular attention to detail for sensitive data.

Best Solutions To Overcome Cloud Security Challenges

If your organization is planning to adopt cloud infrastructure, addressing these cloud security challenges is vital.

From risks of unmanaged attack surface & data breaches to regulatory compliance requirements, organizations must tackle and resolve these challenges to mitigate risks in their cloud infrastructure.

The good news is that there are plenty of various cloud security solutions you can adopt to address these challenges.

Here are the 5 primary security solutions you can consider adopting to overcome your cloud security challenges.

1 – Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)

As the name suggests, CWPP is a workload-centric cloud security solution that primarily protects workloads (i.e. applications) that run on one or multiple virtual machines, serverless functions, or containers.

Simply put, CWPP protects cloud workloads by making sure that they’re deployed using best cloud security practices with adequate security controls.

The best part about CWPP is that it protects a workload as a single unit, regardless of whether it runs on a single cloud instance or multiple instances, servers, or data centers.

2 – Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

CSPM is a collection of cloud security tools that are bundled together to identify misconfigurations, improper security settings, and regulatory compliance risks by continuously monitoring the cloud infrastructure of an organization.

A robust CSPM solution can spot, record, report cloud security issues, and even remediate some of them automatically.

In simple words, CSPM can continuously scan your organization’s cloud environment for security-related risks and apply appropriate security measures & provide control over configurations for all cloud resources.

3 – Privileged Access Management (PAM)

PAM is a set of cybersecurity technologies and strategies that help organizations manage, control, and monitor privileged users’ access to its systems, data, applications, and other resources in their network.

By detecting and preventing unauthorized privileged access to an organization’s network, PAM helps to condense the attack surface and prevent employees as well as vendors from misusing access privileges.

Unlike MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) solutions, a PAM solution stores the login credentials of privileged users in a secure repository, which is protected by MFA.

By doing so, PAM prevents privileged credential theft and achieves regulatory compliance by generating reports of privileged user activity & demonstrating complete security of critical resources in an organization’s network.

4 – Cloud Security Access Brokers (CSAB)

CSAB is a security policy enforcer tool that is deployed between cloud service users and providers.

It helps organizations to protect their hybrid cloud deployments by ensuring that the same cloud policies are enforced in the local data center and public cloud.

The primary responsibility of CSAB is to monitor user activity to detect & block unauthorized attempts to access sensitive data in an organization’s network.

Additionally, CSAB scans cloud applications for malicious activity and eliminates vulnerable applications before attackers identify & exploit them.

In a nutshell, CSABs have become an essential part of cloud security programs, allowing organizations to safely use cloud services while protecting sensitive data within their network.

5 – Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)

CNAPPs are a new category of cloud security solutions that have converged by combining CSPM and CNAPP solutions in a single holistic platform.

The purpose of CNAPP is to bring multiple, disjointed cloud security solutions together to simplify, monitor, detect, and remediate potential cloud security threats and vulnerabilities to protect critical workloads and streamline operations.

By combining multiple cloud security tools into one, CNAPP increases the overall visibility of the risks in your cloud infrastructure and enables organizations to mitigate these risks promptly.

Key Takeaway:

Every day, more and more organizations are realizing cloud migration benefits. They help organizations lower technology costs, operate at scale, and adapt to an agile methodology that gives them a competitive advantage.

But at the same time, there are a variety of challenges organizations must overcome to strengthen their cloud security.

So, it’s critical to take time before adopting any cloud services in your organization’s environment. Organizations must be extra cautious when migrating business-critical data to cloud infrastructure.

Neglecting to do so can lead to misconfigurations and vulnerabilities that can expand an organization’s attack surface and become a victim of a cyberattack.

This is why your organization must identify and solve the challenges in cloud security that could result in a data breach, identity theft, or other similar consequences before taking the cloud plunge.

By adopting the above cloud security solutions, you can easily address, navigate, and remediate the common challenges that organizations face when adding the cloud as a part of their network.

The Author

Carl Torrence is a Content Marketer at Marketing Digest. His core expertise lies in developing data-driven content for brands, SaaS businesses, and agencies. In his free time, he enjoys binge-watching time-travel movies and listening to Linkin Park and Coldplay albums.