Everything is rapidly moving to the cloud, in business as well as personal life. The cloud lets you access your data from anywhere in the world, and at any time. While this is amazing for convenience, it also means that you are leaving your personal data open to attack from hackers.
Cloud storage security is becoming a hot topic, and more often than not quite a challenging one. The larger the organization, the more risk there is of data being compromised or vulnerable. It is important to note that a company can be at risk even if its cloud is not breached, as attackers can break into individual accounts like Dropbox, Google Drive etc. There are some basic precautions you can take to protect the data in your cloud.
Understand the Basics
To protect yourself, you must first understand the fundamentals of cloud storage. In a nutshell, every cloud is powered by multiple logical pools that store data on several servers. These complex systems are run by service providers off premises, and the whole environment is interconnected using a control node. It is thanks to this control that anyone with an internet connection, and the right credentials, can access files at any time.
Cloud solutions usually have their own inbuilt security systems. They usually consist of strong encryption, both at rest and in motion. Apart from encryption, backup and recovery options are also a key element of cloud security. These cloud-based disaster recovery features help organizations weather outages but also deal with security risks like ransomware and malicious data attacks.
While physical data can be protected just by having a backup, securing your cloud archive is a more complicated process. Just because you have synced your files does not guarantee protection, as key files may not be backed up. In addition, big service providers manage and store files in a variety of different ways. Revision histories might be nonexistent, or previous versions might only be stored for a brief time.
IT is almost impossible to develop and implement a data protection plan without knowing how data providers protect data or where data is kept. All too frequently, the business end up unnecessarily storing valuable data on the cloud. This is a catastrophic situation if a breach occurs, as critical files can end up being compromised.
A recent study found that more than half of all PHP apps had at least one database vulnerability. These SQL weak points are an invitation for malware, brute force, and DOS attacks, as well as malicious external reconnaissance.
Is the Cloud Safe?
No system is 100% impenetrable, but most agree that the big cloud providers are more secure than on-premises systems. The cloud provides a higher degree of the end to end visibility and offers a centralized system for encryption key management. Another advantage is that providers are, for the most part, extremely quick to react to emerging threats.
Unfortunately, all this complexity brings with it a lot of risks. If an enterprise wants to stay safe in the cloud, they need to have a long hard think about their cloud security standards and procedures. In the long run, they will result in more robust protection and lower overall costs.
The first step is to assess your cloud framework by identifying every single app and device that is connected to your cloud, as well as who uses them when they use them and how. Using this information, you need to map data flow across clouds, systems, APIs and devices. The next step is to dive into a tour provider’s terms of service and to determine how they deal with security and privacy. Stay on top of any changes, as vendors frequently make changes to ToC as well as user agreements.
The next step is to classify your data, as not all data is equal. You must estimate the value of different data, and the most valuable data should be kept off the cloud. Once this is done, it is time to focus on multi-factor authentication of all systems and devices. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access to systems and data and protects your business from malicious attacks.
To sum up, vigilance and constant learning are key to implementing and maintaining cloud security. Close cooperation with service providers and vendors not only ensures your data security methods and practices meet their requirements, but also prevent any potential damage when terms and conditions change. Security is only as strong as the weakest link, so you should be adamant that all employees are educated about your security best practices and that they stick to them at all times.