Cloud computing is one of the most impressive tech advancements we’ve witnessed in the last decade. Through cloud computing, enterprises and private individuals could store their documents online and get access to them whenever and wherever they want. Additionally, advances such as Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure have made it possible to leverage the processing power of the cloud to run applications. Cloud computing uses decentralized servers to provide processing power to applications written entirely within the cloud. While the cloud has given us some helpful portability with storage and processing, the question that lingers is: just exactly how secure is cloud computing?
Securing The Cloud
StorageCraft mentions several major breaches to cloud security that have happened over the last decade. In many of these cases, data was released to the general public without the knowledge and consent of the owners of the data. Over the years, cloud security has increased significantly, with the newest iterations being complicated to break into or extract information from. Even so, there have been recent breaches in cloud security that have led to massive amounts of data leaking into the public domain. Much of these issues stem from the cloud service user and not the provider on closer investigation. Configuration issues typically cause these sorts of problems to propagate. When a company doesn’t have a qualified professional doing their cloud setup, these mistakes can lead to loss of trust and may even end in lawsuits from affected parties.
Public Cloud and Potential Vulnerabilities
While there are well-established rules for public cloud infrastructure, it is essential to realize that the business cannot control what happens on a public cloud. The obvious solution here would be to invest in a private cloud. However, even here, there are issues, such as configuration and trust in the service provider. Using a public cloud extends the responsibility for user data outside the organization’s sphere of influence. Private clouds may be a better option for organizations that want to have more close control of their data.
How To Secure Cloud Data
While it is possible to learn how to secure a cloud server to make it impenetrable, it’s much better to have a data management ruleset that ensures the business’s data remains secure, even if the cloud may not be. Cloud services typically rely on third-party providers to give details on setting up and managing the server. Sometimes this information is opaque and doesn’t clearly explain what a user should do. For a business to ensure their data remains secure, they should look at a few crucial data management tactics, including:
1. Encrypt All Cloud Data
Encryption is a method of securing information that uses keys to change a sent message. It’s been used since ancient times to ensure vital military messages would be unable to be read by the enemy. Today, encryption is one of the most basic functions of cybersecurity. By encrypting data and keeping the key safe, a business can ensure that its data can’t be intercepted and read by malicious parties.
2. Choose a Cloud Service that Encrypts Data
Aside from doing the data encryption yourself, you can choose a cloud server that does encryption for you. Local encryption on a cloud server can work in tandem with your own business’s encryption adding an extra layer of security in case the server was to be breached and files removed. The encryption would secure those files against malicious users while granting the business full access to their information.
3. Perform Regular Security Audits
Businesses would do well to regularly audit their data storage and access standards. Getting certified ethical hackers to do penetration testing on the cloud system ensures that the company can anticipate any measures that might be used to gain access to their cloud data. These audits need to be done regularly to ensure that the company follows best-practice regarding its security setup.
4. Avoid Storing Sensitive Information
Even though cloud security is tough to break into, best practice would suggest that businesses not store sensitive information on their cloud servers. Sensitive information such as credit card details and username-password combinations should not be stored on any database that’s accessible to the public without some level of encryption. Cloud data is no exception to this rule of thumb.
Cloud Security Is An Enterprise’s Main Concern
The long and short of cloud security is that it should be an enterprise’s number one concern. The data a business has stored on its cloud servers is vital to its continued functioning. As a result, it should not be neglected. Regular penetration testing can help a business spot inefficiencies in its security protocols and work towards resolving them. Security is a constant arms race where the enterprise tries to stay ahead of malicious users and their tools. Being on the cutting edge of what’s happening in cloud computing will help an enterprise be prepared to deal with threats as they arise. Cloud security continued education & training will ensure security professionals remain on the cutting edge.