An Introduction to Security in the Cloud

Hardware-enabled security capabilities are critical for data protection in the cloud.

The cloud can be a complex environment. It’s also a foundational part of your IT security landscape. Cloud computing security is a catchall phrase that could refer to any number of protections—virus checkers, passwords, encryption, and firewalls among them. Ultimately, cloud security isn’t one solution—it’s a goal: protecting your data, applications, and ability to operate.

Advantages of a Secure Cloud

Every organization has a need for security, whether it’s protecting intellectual property or compliance with privacy regulations. But data protection isn’t the only reason to guard against attacks. For example, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks don’t steal data, but they do render your systems inoperable.

Many businesses and government agencies today aren’t taking advantage of cloud computing because of these IT security concerns. With improved data security, they can finally realize the cost and agility benefits that come with public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud deployments.

In addition, the latest cloud security use cases have the potential to transform operations in exciting ways. Secure multiparty computing, for example, allows users to analyze shared data while keeping the data itself encrypted. A group of financial institutions could pool their transaction data to detect money laundering while reducing the risk of exposing customer information. In health and life sciences, researchers can run algorithms on extremely large genomic data sets to make discoveries that lead to better treatments.

For governments at all levels, cybersecurity is a key area of concern. Federal agencies must meet a strict set of compliance standards for government cloud computing. These include the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework. Intel provides solutions that help governments or their service providers implement controls that map to cloud compliance. Intel participated in the development of the NIST framework and continues to help organizations align with its requirements.

With cloud security, it’s essential to protect the data and applications themselves, as well as the platforms and servers on which they run.

With hardware-enabled security capabilities right on the silicon, Intel provides broad availability and protection for cloud workloads.

Cloud Platform Security with Intel® Technologies

At Intel, our strategic approach to cloud infrastructure security encompasses three key goals.

  • Secure the Platform
    At any layer of the cloud stack, platforms are only as secure as the next-lowest layer. Even with the most advanced software-based security, a system is compromised if the operating system or firmware is breached. Intel® products are designed with built-in, silicon-enabled security technologies that help protect potential attack surfaces. These technologies establish a root of trust, securing the boot process and helping create a trusted foundation for computing.
  • Protect Data
    With tools for data encryption, users can help cloud data remain secure as it moves across servers, storage, and networks. Intel offers a range of runtime data encryption options to fit customer-specific needs.
  • Do It All Without Compromising Performance
    Encryption and validation can slow down compute. This simply isn’t practical for most organizations. Our technologies include crypto accelerators, extensions, and instructions that are designed to enhance security and compression performance for data in motion and at rest.

With hardware-enabled security capabilities right on the silicon, Intel provides broad availability and protection for cloud workloads across your product or service providers of choice.

Review the table below and click on the hyperlinks to learn more about Intel® technologies and software for cloud security.

Intel® Technologies and Software for Cloud Security
Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors
Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors provide hardware-enhanced features to support cloud server security. These processors serve as the foundation for flexible, scalable clouds.
Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX)
Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) on select systems helps protect application integrity and data confidentiality when data is in use, being actively processed in memory. Intel® SGX is a key technology that helps enable confidential computing for cloud and multi-party compute models, especially relevant for sensitive data workloads in regulated segments such as financial services, healthcare, and government. Learn more from the Confidential Computing Consortium, an open-source community dedicated to accelerating the adoption of confidential computing.
Intel® Security Libraries for Data Center (Intel® SecL - DC)
Intel® Security Libraries for Data Center (Intel® SecL - DC) provides building blocks for a variety of security usage models and layers that can be rooted in hardware-based capabilities.

Preparing for the Future of Cloud Security

Security threats have grown more sophisticated over the years, and they will keep evolving. As the foundation for the world’s most-trusted cloud providers, Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors let you scale workloads smoothly from enterprise to cloud with security in mind. Our innovations in hardware-based security technologies will continue to fuel agile, resilient computing for great cloud experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloud security spans a range of hardware- and software-based technologies and measures designed to protect data and applications in the cloud.

A secure cloud helps organizations protect intellectual property, maintain compliance with regulations, safeguard customer data, and ensure operational uptime.

While network security typically uses a firewall to secure the perimeter of a network, cloud security requires a strategy that secures the data and applications themselves.

More Resources on Cloud Technology

Find more information on the latest technologies for the cloud.

Cloud Computing Overview

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Cloud Deployment Models

Understand the advantages of public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud to optimize workload placement and ROI.

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Intel® Products and Technologies

See Intel® products and technologies designed to optimize cloud computing performance and resource utilization.

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Notices & Disclaimers
Intel® technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. // No product or component can be absolutely secure. // Your costs and results may vary. // Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.