Thinking of Moving to the Cloud? Part 2: Cloud Security
Cloud services have become the next step for those looking for a solution to support their whole infrastructures, without sacrificing speed or space. Read 5 reasons you should move to the cloud today here. The need for comprehensive security in the cloud environment is critical for those who want to ensure their infrastructure against malware and theft. But as with all growing technology, new vulnerabilities are constantly being found and exploited. As more and more businesses turn to cloud applications to support their infrastructure, keeping proactive security strategies will become more important than ever.
There are three main security issues that have been associated with Cloud Based environments: Outsourcing, Multi-tendency, and Massive Data. Outsourcing is the basis of cloud-based services. Users “outsource” data to third party cloud infrastructures to host for them. Unfortunately, data can be lost or even corrupted on the way from point A to point B. Multi-tendency lies in the shared space in cloud infrastructures by totally different users. Essentially, your data is being stored in the same theoretical safe as others who also pay for that cloud service. And depending on the party hosting your data, leaked information can occur among the users on that specific platform. Massive Data, the very fact that cloud-based infrastructures can hold much more data than on premise ones has led to us abusing how much data we store on the cloud. The more we ask of our third parties to support, the more their armor is cracked, and the more vulnerabilities become evident.
Something like 60% of data breaches are attributed to user error, not system failure. Because of this it is important to designate who can have access to what and create “need to know” policies to help eliminate the chance of a data breach, whether they are malicious or accidental in intent. Users of cloud services should allow their CSP (Cloud Solutions Provider) or MSP (Managed Services Provider) to manage they’re encryption keys and should always make sure that their data is encrypted before it is moved into the cloud environment. This will prevent unauthorized access to cloud data. Some security professionals will even recommend keeping the encryption key with a separate CSP or your Managed Services Provider than the same CSP hosting your data. That way, if the CSP holding the data has a breach, your files are still encrypted, and the malicious user will not have the key.
As Cloud Consulting Professionals we are constantly coming across new and exciting ways to use cloud applications to improve efficiency, but we know that it’s just as important to know their vulnerabilities and learn how to prevent malware and cybercriminals from infiltrating them. Cloud-based services and applications will only continue to grow. As more and more of our data move further online, it is important to learn from past incidents and become comfortable with proactive security practices and remaining mindful of the when, where, by who, and how business data is being accessed. By thinking proactively in this way, we can ensure that our cloud applications are only being used to our benefit.