How To Overcome Cloud Security Challenges

Recent breaches in cloud security by hackers have shown it is not bulletproof. Enterprise clouds are popular targets, and as such, it is of the utmost importance that the resources in the cloud are protected in the best possible way.

You may think that the security risks lie on the side of cloud providers that fail to create maximum security defense, but you would be wrong. By 2022, almost 95% of cloud security breaches will be the consumers’ fault.

No matter what specific infrastructure you are using, there’s a variety of steps you can take to lower security risks of the cloud and have applications and data remain protected from intruders. Having a developed security plan will help you evade security breaches and let you utilize cloud services in the best possible way.

Cloud vs. On-Premise

When people speak of cloud computing, they’re most often referring public clouds. This means that a third-party service provider makes data center computing resources available as needed. However, many enterprises want a private cloud, as it offers them more control over their data centers and increased security.

Cloud security requires different security solutions than those used for on-premises resources. For instance, some layers of infrastructure aren’t exposed to tenants by cloud providers. Simultaneously, those same cloud providers might also give out tools designed for improving the security of resources in the cloud.

Having total control over privately owned data centers might seem like a better choice when it comes to security, however, on-premise security requires a significant investment in hardware and software that not everyone can afford. That’s why pay-as-you-go public cloud platforms hold a certain advantage over private clouds.

Nowadays, most businesses are operating in a hybrid environment. Enterprise cloud built on HCI offers a more flexible solution, making it easier for businesses to build cloud computing data centers and migrate to the cloud. Constant technological advances allow businesses to achieve a maximum level of security with private cloud solutions, while not having to make a big initial investment in expensive hardware.

Proper data privacy

After deciding which infrastructure is the best fit for your business, the next thing you need to consider is data privacy.

Just 25% of consumers think that the majority of companies handle their data in a responsible way. As such, having a transparent and responsible data handling business practice is more important than ever. Do not take for granted your consumers’ data privacy.

Depending on your industry, and what state and local laws you must comply with, storage of customers’ data could be limited in a number of ways – for example, what customer data you can store and how you can store it. Or you may be mandated to encrypt backups, which then raises the question of who is responsible for this in a cloud environment.

Keep these limitations in mind while developing your security strategy. Collect only the minimum amount of required personal data. In the case of a security breach, notify promptly consumers whose data was hit in order to lower the chances of a legal fallout later.

Layered security

To keep your company’s cloud protected in the case of one or more simultaneous breaches, a layered approach is required. Use private connectivity instead of a regular internet path to a cloud vendor network. Simultaneously, secure all your mobile endpoints with anti-malware and anti-virus protection. In the end, add EMM (enterprise mobility management) to find lost or stolen mobile devices.

Encrypt all stored data so that, in the event of a breach, that data won’t be valuable to anyone else. This is because, with encryption, data remains preserved, but unreadable and meaningless to users without a proper key. This also applies to moving data that’s subject to risk from packet sniffing software or other types of interception. Data can be encrypted with different encryption techniques on various levels, such as application-level and file-level encryption.

Using message authentication codes (MACs) is the usual solution for creating message integrity and authenticity. You may imagine a MAC as a crypto-secure checksum of a message. Computing a MAC needs an authorized receiver and a sender to share a hidden key, which is a part of the input to the MAC computation.

At the infrastructure level, system activity across the environment and data activity that is visible to users needs to be monitored. Distinct components must be considered in this case, such as log data, network, etc. Add to this the monitoring of data usage by different users.

Without rigorous authentication and identification, you won’t know which users access which type of cloud data. This means that you need to use multi-factor authentication which is supported by major cloud providers. This especially applies to administrators’ access to the root account.

Cloud storage is directly accessible from the Internet, with an URL that acts as a direct point of entry. Because of this ease-of-access to cloud storage, it is important for admins to set up storage level permissions efficiently. The permissions need to be set to deny public access. If public access is required by any chance, create a separate storage bucket in that case, instead of mixing private and public data within the same storage.

The crucial aspect of great cloud security is the proper understanding of the basic parts of the security mechanisms available to you, and the right knowledge of implementing them effectively. No matter how good the provider is, certain diligence is required from your part.

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