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The Cloud Responsibility Model Explained

The growth of cloud computing has been fantastic for businesses looking to streamline their operations, minimise costs, and save them from owning and maintaining hardware. Two of the most prominent cloud service providers (CSPs) in the market today are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Both providers utilise a shared responsibility model, which businesses must understand as they migrate their data and operations to the cloud. In this article, we will delve into the shared responsibility model and how it affects you and your business, focusing on the division of responsibilities between AWS and Azure on the one hand and the businesses that use these services on the other.

The Shared Responsibility Model Explained:

The shared responsibility model is a security framework that divides the responsibilities for ensuring cloud security between the CSP and the customer. This model ensures that both parties actively safeguard the data and resources in the cloud.

The model is based on the principle that security is a joint effort and that both the CSP and the customer must fulfil their respective roles to achieve an optimal level of security.

Responsibilities of AWS and Azure:

AWS and Azure are responsible for the underlying infrastructure that supports their cloud services. This includes the hardware, software, networking, and facilities necessary for running their services. Specifically, their responsibilities encompass the following:

  1. Hardware: AWS and Azure are responsible for procuring, maintaining, and securing the physical hardware that powers their cloud services. This includes servers, storage devices, and network equipment.
  2. Network: AWS and Azure are responsible for securing the networks that connect their data centres. They must ensure that these networks are protected from unauthorised access, and they must monitor and defend against any potential threats.
  3. Data Centre Facilities: AWS and Azure are responsible for the physical security of their data centres. This includes access control, video surveillance, and other security measures to prevent unauthorised access, theft, or damage to the facilities and hardware.

Responsibilities of the Customer:

While AWS and Azure handle the security of the infrastructure, businesses using these services are responsible for the security of the data and information that resides on the CSP’s hardware. This includes:

  1. Data Protection: Businesses must protect their data from unauthorised access, disclosure, or modification. This includes implementing encryption, backup, access controls, and other security measures to safeguard sensitive information.
  2. Application Security: Businesses are responsible for ensuring the security of the applications they develop and deploy on the cloud platform. This includes securing the code, implementing secure development practices, and regularly testing for vulnerabilities.
  3. Access Management: Businesses must manage user access to their cloud resources, including defining user roles, permissions, and authentication mechanisms. This includes implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and monitoring for unauthorised access.
  4. Compliance: Businesses must ensure that their cloud environment complies with applicable regulations and industry standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS. This includes conducting regular audits and risk assessments to identify and address potential vulnerabilities.

To download the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, Click here

To download the Azure Shared Responsibility Model, Click here

Understanding the shared responsibility model is crucial for businesses migrating to the cloud. By recognising the division of responsibilities between AWS or Azure and the customer, businesses can better protect their data and resources. It is important to remember that while the cloud service providers handle the hardware and network security, businesses are ultimately responsible for securing the data and information on the CSP’s infrastructure.

As the cloud continues to play an increasingly important role in modern business operations, organisations must take the necessary steps to ensure their data remains secure. At Oper8 Global, we specialise in helping businesses navigate the complexities of cloud security, providing tailored solutions that address encryption, backup, tokenisation, and compliance.

If you want to discuss how our team of experts can help safeguard your cloud environment, we encourage you to fill out the form below. By partnering with Oper8 Global, you can rest assured that your business is well-equipped to maximise the benefits of the cloud while minimising security risks. We can build a robust, secure cloud infrastructure that drives your business forward.


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