What Are the Security Implications of Cloud Computing?

More businesses than ever are migrating their IT operations to the cloud for lower costs and reduced dependence on on-premises systems and the expertise needed to maintain them.

Nonetheless, security remains one of the biggest concerns among businesses that have yet to make the move. From data breaches to vulnerable APIs and broken authentication systems, there are plenty of reasons why companies need to carefully evaluate providers based on how they respond to these major concerns.

Data Separation

Rather than being a tangible entity, the cloud simply refers to a form of distributed computing in which work is delivered over the internet, typically through the same browser you’re using to read this. As such, every cloud service shares physical computing resources belonging to the vendor.

A special type of software known as a hypervisor is used to consolidate these resources into a single virtual machine that functions in a manner similar to the computer in front of you.

Most cloud services — such as those offered by AWS, Google and Azure — are public, which means that the resources used to handle your computing workloads are also available to everyone else. Your data should still be safe from prying eyes, but a private cloud is inherently more secure and more suitable for handling potentially sensitive corporate information.

Private clouds are exclusive to the company that uses them, and may be hosted on-premises or by an off-site data center.

The shared technology that lies at the heart of the public cloud infrastructure is typically perfectly adequate for most everyday enterprise computing workloads, but it’s also important to remember that not every service is made equal. Because of this, you should always investigate the compartmentalization techniques that each vendor uses and how they keep your data separate and secure. Most importantly, you’ll want to have a clear line of sight into your data and where it’s being stored.

Software Interfaces

These days, there aren’t many computing workloads that are unsuitable for the cloud, aside from those that require a specific set of hardware resources or are particularly demanding with regards to bandwidth and latency.

To accommodate as many roles as possible, the cloud is inherently flexible and scalable, which also means providing the ability for companies to integrate their own applications to build an infrastructure that works for them.

Another major cybersecurity concern is insecure software interfaces that are riddled with vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit to gain access to your data. Software interfaces are an essential component of any cloud computing environment, since they serve to control and standardize access and enable the automation of many complex tasks.

Among the most important considerations when evaluating a vendor’s software interfaces are data encryption and transport security, authentication and development practices. That’s no easy task for IT novices, and just one more reason you should consider an IT provider like Spectrumwise.

Access Control

One of the most oft-cited advantages of migrating to the cloud is the fact that it allows your employees to access your resources from anywhere, regardless of the device they’re using.

Since everything is delivered through a web browser, your team can work at home or on the move. Better still, using systems that aren’t completely reliant on on-premises hardware allows your business to continue functioning even if your regular workplace becomes unserviceable due to a disaster.

Unfortunately, greater accessibility doesn’t just have implications for your team – it means that cybercriminals could, in theory, also have an easier time accessing confidential information. For this reason, it is essential to implement a strict multifactor authentication regime rather than rely on passwords alone.

You should also make your company’s cloud resources unavailable to those attempting to connect over an unsecured connection without going through a company VPN.

We’re not going to lie to you. Migrating to the cloud presents some challenges. At the same time, the benefits are enormous to such an extent they’ve become a crucial driver of doing business in the modern world. That’s why SpectrumWise takes the stress off your shoulders by providing the expertise and tools you need to bring your business into the new age of enterprise computing. Call us today to learn more.

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