Cloud security is defined as the protection of data stored online via cloud computing platforms. Reviewing the benefits and risks associated with cloud security can help organizations find the right cloud security approach to match their needs.
The Benefits of Cloud Services
Many small businesses, consumer industries, and health care environments have switched to cloud technology to store their data. The Cloud offers numerous benefits over the traditional, physical on-site server. It is a great choice, especially for SMBs who don’t want to be burdened with higher in-house IT costs. Click here to learn more about Wahaya’s managed cloud services.
Reasons for switching to the cloud include:
- Anytime, anywhere access to your data: Information in the Cloud can be accessed from anywhere using an internet connection, unlike in the case of traditional servers, where a physical connection to the servers is needed.
- Significant cost savings: Reduce hardware costs, because you do not need to invest in physical hardware.
- Shared storage leads to cost savings: The Cloud lets you share space with others while maintaining a secure environment in general. It follows a ‘pay-as-you-use’ approach to data storage allowing you to enjoy cost savings based on your data storage needs. Traditional options require you to pay for and purchase a whole new server if your data storage needs exceed the existing capacity.
- SaaS compatibility and support: Since software can be hosted in the Cloud, it allows the use of Software-as-a-Service.
- Scalability: The Cloud lets you scale up and down as your business needs change.
- 24/7 monitoring, support, and greater access reliability: When your data is in the Cloud, the Cloud service provider is responsible for keeping it safe and ensuring it is securely accessible at all times. They monitor the cloud’s performance and in the event of any performance issues, they provide immediate tech support to resolve the problem.
Organizations must not only protect consumer information to satisfy customers, but many must follow regulations for storing sensitive data. Common personal data stored that is protected by regulations are credit card and healthcare information. In particular, healthcare providers must implement a cloud solution that is HIPAA compliant. Different environments will face unique privacy and security concerns.
Threats to Cloud Security
Putting your data in the Cloud is not completely risk-free. Just as storing data on physical servers has its security threats, the Cloud presents certain security concerns as well.
To protect your network, Wahaya offers managed a layered approach to security. Cloud backups, continuous employee training, filtering, and AI-based malware learning all work as different layers to our security approach. Our various levels of defense minimize the possibility of cyber threats slipping through.
Major threats to cloud security include:
- Data breach: A data breach is when your data is accessed by someone who is not authorized to do so.
- Data loss: A data loss is a situation where your data in the Cloud is destroyed due to certain circumstances such as technological failure or neglect during any stage of data processing or storage.
- Account hijacking: Like traditional servers, data in the Cloud could be stolen through account hijacking as well. In fact, Cloud account hijacking is predominantly deployed in cybercrimes that require identity thefts and wrongful impersonation
- Service traffic hijacking: In a service traffic hijacking, your attacker first gains access to your credentials, uses it to understand the online activities that happen in your domain, and then uses the information to mislead your users or domain visitors to malicious sites.
- Insecure application program interfaces (APIs): Sometimes, Cloud APIs, when opened up to third parties, can be a huge security threat. If the API keys are not properly secured, it can serve as an entry point for cybercriminals and malicious elements.
- Poor choice of Cloud storage providers: A security lapse from the Cloud storage provider’s end is a huge security concern for businesses. It is very important to choose a trusted and experienced Cloud service provider who knows what they are doing.
Cloud Security Mechanisms
As part of a layered approach to cloud security, there are several mechanisms that can be implemented to counter potential threats. These include:
- Cloud firewalls: Much like the firewalls you deploy for your local IT network, Cloud firewalls work to prevent unauthorized Cloud network access.
- Penetration testing: Penetration testing is a sort of a Cloud security check where IT experts try hacking into the Cloud network to figure out if there are any security lapses or vulnerabilities that could serve cybercriminals.
- Obfuscation: In obfuscation, the data or program code is obscured on purpose such that the system delivers unclear code to anyone other than the original programmer, thus mitigating any malicious activity.
- Tokenization: Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential information about the data without compromising its security.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN): Another, more commonly used mechanism is the VPN. VPN creates a safe passage for data over the Cloud through end-to-end encryption methodology.
Investing in a good cloud security system is a must, especially when it comes to protecting private consumer data. Complete cloud security is a blend of all these multiple digital security layers plus internal policies, best practices, and regulations related to IT security.
Ready to implement the right cloud security solution for your organization with Wahaya IT Consulting? Click here to contact us!