The requirement for cloud data security has become crucial with the increased adoption of cloud computing by organizations irrespective of verticals leading to the increased need for innovative and collaborative solutions. This need is also augmented due to the increased use of virtual platforms owing to the pandemic and the following change in work culture.
A recent HBR study conducted among C-level executives highlighted five main aspects of concern about shifting to cloud computing, out of which a higher threat to security ranked the top most. Hence, the need for enhanced cloud security has become a mandate in today’s business environment. So, what is cloud security? The practice of protecting the cloud computing environment against cyber security threats, both internal and external, with various procedures and technologies is called cloud security.
Why cloud data security?
The need for a secure environment by an organization, whether small or big, whatever the quantum of the utilization of the cloud had become imperative for its progress and survival.
The kind of cloud security services needed varies from one organization to another. The best way to ensure everything is protected usually begins with understanding the combination of cloud location and cloud service that the organization currently works on.
Below are a few best practices that can help you take your business to cloud 9!
- Understanding the shared responsibility model
The responsibility for maintaining compliance relevant to the stored data differs from one organization to another and is also dependent on what services are being utilized. While the ultimate authority is the organization, the cloud provider also takes some responsibility for some aspects of IT security. This is known as the “Shared Responsibility Model.”
- Partnering with reliable cloud providers
Studies suggest that 50% of all corporate data is stored on the cloud, which includes about 20% of all business-critical data. Organizations wanting to go the cloud route must do a thorough scrutiny of the track record of the cloud service provider for consistency in accountability, transparency, and meeting established regulatory standards because to err is human and 88% of the global cloud breaches are caused because of human error.
Cloud service providers give regular reports regarding security audits, results, certifications, etc. It is important to ensure that the chosen cloud service provider has audits conducted by independent bodies and based on existing regulatory standards. It’s up to you to understand based on the nature of your data, which service provider fits your needs best.
- Create and follow cloud security guidelines
Setting guidelines is the best way to ensure data security. A list of who can access which file, how are they allowed to use them, and what data type is to be stored in the cloud should be detailed and mandated to ensure that there is no threat to data security. A fully automated set up with uniform guidelines will be an ideal scenario. This can be a part of the service provided by the cloud vendor or a separate security solution adopted by the organization. Moreover, it is also important to get your staff up to speed with basic training to help spot cybersecurity threats and ways to respond to them.
- Minimizing the amount of data in the environment
It is wise to reduce the amount of data in the cloud environment to reduce the need for extensive security compliance and costs involved in maintaining the same. The more data stored by the organization, the more risks involved, and the more need for additional security, compliance requirements, violation fines, and so on.
- Encrypting data and staff training
About 48% of businesses store classified and essential data on the cloud. Encryption is a vital step of the cloud security strategy. Not only do organizations need to encrypt data in public cloud storage, it is also crucial to encrypt data during transit as it is the most vulnerable to attacks in that time.
Additionally, regular training is one of the most effective ways to prevent hackers from gaining access to your environment. The rapid pace at which technology evolves will create challenges for your employees in understanding the changing scenarios and techniques used for phishing and other predatory methods.
- Compliance requirements might differ
Compliance requirements differ for different businesses. For instance, retail, healthcare or financial services organizations collecting PII or Personally Identifiable Information have to abide by strict regulations for customer privacy and data security. You must review your compliance requirements and make sure they are fulfilled before establishing a new cloud computing service.
- Security logs
Cloud security is a concern for 3/4th of the enterprises that invest in cloud computing. However, Security logging systems can help the system administrators keep a track of the changes in the environment and the source of these changes, thereby adding a step to avoid security breach. During an attack, it becomes easier to remediate the changes as the changes will be highlighted because of security logs.
Although misconfigurations are the number one challenges of cloud security, an effective logging system can connect the dots to the changes causing a particular vulnerability to correct them and avoid them in future.
Security concerns are a part of the cloud journey and should not stop anyone from exploring or using public cloud services. Strong cloud security is dependent on having the right tools in place. Implementing appropriate security tools and with best practices enterprises can hugely reduce the risk and maximize the benefits of cloud computing.
If you are unable to decide how to put security measures in place to protect your cloud computing services, our experts can guide you on cloud computing security and cloud optimization services that are best suited for your business.
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