Since its inception, cloud computing has come a long way. With numerous cloud providers flooding the market, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform stand proudly as the top three cloud providers. So, how do you choose between them? How do you restate the AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud confusion? This blog will answer all your questions.
Cloud Security: Is the cloud safe?
Before delving deeper into cloud security, let’s first discuss how it protects your data and whether cloud storage security is the way to go. At its most basic, cloud security is saved but not to your computer or device. What happens if you do not save it to the device?
It is typically hosted by cloud service providers such as those discussed in this article. The good news is that data storage in the cloud is generally safer than data storage on a hard drive. This is because most breaches are caused by user error or intent. They occur from within, so moving that data out of your organization and into the cloud is considered safer and more secure.
This new wave should raise security concerns. We are constantly hearing about data breaches and the resulting financial losses. This suspicion is justified when you transition from handling all aspects of security in-house to allowing a third party to manage your infrastructure offsite.
When evaluating vendors, security should be a top priority. This article will review the security practices of the three most prominent cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.
The Shared Responsibility Model (SRM)
Cloud security is a set of alternatives and practices. It is not something you enable by checking a box. It is your responsibility if you put your private keys in a GitHub repository. Your cloud provider can only do so much to safeguard your assets. This is referred to as the shared responsibility model (SRM).
The SRM is a framework that assists us in distinguishing when a cloud provider is answerable for security and when a business is responsible for security. Cloud security is comprised of both areas working together. There often needs to be more understanding about cloud security because many businesses need to be made aware of what falls on them and what falls on the cloud service provider.
AWS has the benefit of being the most mature cloud provider, which comes with documentation, knowledge, and trained experts. AWS lists the following infrastructure security capabilities in its security whitepaper:
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) includes network firewalls at layers 3, 4, and 7 that allow customers to access individual instances and applications.
- Mitigation of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
- All traffic between AWS facilities is encrypted by default.
In this cloud services comparison, we look at how smooth and flexible each software is, and AWS clearly has the upper hand. AWS can provide organizations with a choice of platforms and programming languages by utilizing serverless services such as Kinesis Streams, SQS Queues, and AWS Lambda Functions.
While AWS lacks AWS’s longevity as a cloud provider, Azure is appealing to many organizations that already have a relationship with Microsoft. The platform was designed for deploying and managing numerous services across massive Microsoft data centers. The Azure infrastructure security is cutting-edge and designed to manage large site-to-site connections hosting virtual networks in multiple regions. Let’s take a look at what the Azure security whitepaper considers to be the critical components of cloud platform security:
- SDL – A set of practices that “assist developers in building more secure software by decreasing the number and vulnerabilities severity in software while lowering development costs.”
- Intrusion and denial-of-service detection.
- Control of network access.
This GCP vs. AWS vs. Azure comparison aims to pit all three cloud platforms against each other so you can determine which is best for you. Let’s look at GCP now and see how it holds up.
In its marketing materials, Google emphasizes that it runs its applications on the same cloud infrastructure it sells to its customers, implying that customers receive the same level of security as Google. While for AWS and Azure, it was interesting that this is one of Google’s main value propositions. Aside from that, you have a credit of USD 300 that should last a year, similar to the AWS one-year free trial.
In comparison to AWS and Azure, one concern some security leaders have with GCP is its newness and a need for more experts trained on the platform. GCP’s infrastructure security whitepaper describes the layers of security in detail, beginning with hardware and ending with operational security. Among the components are:
- Data centers with custom hardware and software, as well as a strict hardware disposal policy
- Global IP network designed to reduce the number of hops across the public internet.
- Internal network traffic is the focus of security monitoring.
Which cloud service provider is the most secure?
While we could provide a direct answer, the truth is that all three services are equally secure. Each has its own pros and cons. However, of the 40% who have reported data breaches in the last few years, 80% can be traced back to inside jobs and poor security practices.
The cloud is secure as long as you build a secure infrastructure with the service provider of your choice. Both AWS and Azure outperform Google Cloud regarding user interface and customer support. I can only speak for AWS when I say that their support team is excellent.
When selecting a cloud provider, consider their security practices and ensure that the in-charge team of the project has security training for the platform—this is the single most important tip for building a secure cloud infrastructure.