Cloud security basics you need to know

Cloud security basics you need to know

Cloud technology is rapidly transforming the way companies do business. According to Right Scale’s 2019 State of the Cloud Report, 91% of businesses are using the public cloud for their processes, with 72% using private cloud and 69% using the hybrid model.

Based on recent studies, cost reduction is the top reason for cloud migration. A survey of 166 IT leaders by Datometry found that for 61% of organizations, the cloud is primarily a cost-cutting initiative, with 57% adopting the technology for its innovative features.

But if there is any reason businesses may hesitate, it’s the fear of data compromise. In a data-driven economy, security is a top concern as attacks on digital assets such as websites and customer data happen with alarming frequency.

If you want to successfully leverage the cloud, you must make cloud security a priority.

What is cloud security?

A cloud security strategy involves the use of a sophisticated array of tools to defend against all known threats to your IT systems. The cloud strategy you will deploy will largely depend on whether you choose a private, public, or hybrid cloud model.

  • A private cloud is a cloud environment/infrastructure dedicated to a single organization that manages and maintains its configurations, data, and security.

  • A public cloud is owned by a third party like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, which makes cloud resources available as services to multiple clients. Only the security of the cloud’s underlying structure is managed and secured by the vendor, but both vendor and client are responsible for data security.

  • A hybrid cloud is a combination of a private and a public cloud model. This combination offers the customizability and flexibility of the former and the convenience of the latter, making it a popular choice among many businesses. However, it also combines two security approaches — sole responsibility for securing the on-premises data center and partial responsibility for securing the public cloud, one that’s shared with the cloud vendor.

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How do I secure my data in the cloud?

It goes without saying that implementing proper cloud security measures is imperative. Here are a few best practices in securing your cloud environment.

  • Principle of least privilege
    This means that access to specific areas of the cloud system should be given only to users that need it.

  • Endpoint security
    Endpoint security, as compared to network security, is security covering devices connected to a network. Cloud-based systems, primarily on-premises ones, need proper endpoint protection, as endpoints connected to the cloud are where many attacks originate. These endpoints can include your employees’ laptops and smartphones. Look for comprehensive solutions that protect vulnerabilities in web browsers and offer application whitelisting.

  • Critical infrastructure isolation
    This entails isolating the portions of the cloud that store critical data to as few users as possible. This means that authorized users have to be carefully chosen and restricted to a limited number.

  • Encryption
    Encrypting data in transit and at rest is another crucial way to isolate critical portions of the cloud’s infrastructure. Encryption ensures that only authorized users who have a decryption key can access data. So in the event that encrypted data is stolen, cybercriminals won't be able to make sense of it.

  • Data backup and disaster recovery
    Data backup is already a must-have feature of business databases. Many of them use the cloud for this purpose. However, data in the cloud itself also needs a backup system in case data loss becomes a threat and a quick disaster recovery strategy in case that threat becomes a reality.

    There are many options to consider. One option is not based online and uses external storage devices as an added backup layer for your cloud-based data. Another option worth considering is the use of virtualization to create virtual machines or copies of your data that can quickly be recovered.

  • Multilayered security strategy
    Choosing the right security solution for your cloud environment should also be based on what offers the most protection. Ideally, it should be one that addresses several threats, risks, and vulnerabilities.

    A comprehensive solution would be a multilayered security strategy that encompasses data security policies, server security, advanced network protection, enhanced risk management, access control measures, encryption, automated backup, and regular risk assessment. It’s where multiple measures work together as several layers of defense.

Don’t tackle cloud security on your own. SpectrumWise has cloud specialists that will determine your organization’s needs, endorse the most suitable cloud model for you, and ensure security for your chosen cloud model. Collaborate with our experts now.

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