For years, IT professionals and corporate executives cringed at the very mention of the cloud. The notion of cloud security was unfathomable. Companies were first moving to the cloud a few years ago. Most, however, didn’t think it was possible for data to be secure in an unknown location managed by someone else.
In 2015, things are different. The concerns over cloud security were mainly because few had control over systems for protecting data, according to Michael Fimin, CEO of Netwrix, a computing security auditing firm. The thinking was that data was more prone to hacker attacks. It was also possible that negligence could put corporate information at risk. In fact, there is now a heavy investment in security and vendors go to great lengths to utilize state-of-the-art security tools and controls.
There are several reasons why businesses shouldn’t worry about cloud computing security.
New Ways to Safeguard Data
There are some effective ways to secure data in the cloud. Whether you run a cloud implementation in-house or rely on a vendor, here are some reasons why.
Security Suites: There are complete systems to block intruders, viruses, and dangerous malware. A firewall protects the network against any threats coming from the Internet. Some are extremely effective hardware appliances designed to block the latest tactics and malware. Anti-virus and anti-spam filters are quite efficient as well for both incoming and outgoing information. A top-of-the-line content filter will prevent anyone from accessing a harmful website, keeping the network safe.
Backups/Redundancy: Automated backups can keep your data safe on a local hard drive or an off-site location. These protect data even if a physical business is totally destroyed. Everyone from freelancers to corporations to cloud service vendors depend on this strategy.
Virtualization: Virtualized servers mean multiple functions are performed on a single machine. It is more cost-efficient and has simplified disaster recovery processes for many organizations.
Choice of Vendor Matters
When choosing a vendor, look at its security posture above everything else. There are several ways to do this. Check the vendor’s reputation and reviews. The most effective way though, is to visit their site in person to have a look at what systems are in place. Here are some moves made to show that vendors are making the cloud safer.
Facilities: When you go to the vendor’s site, the first thing you’ll see is the physical elements, environmental controls, and management practices in place. Also look at whether security guards and security cameras are used. Equipment and staffing are good indicators of the service you can expect. In addition to infrastructure, of which today there are prevailing standards, you want to look at power sources and the presence of redundant power supplies. Adherence to standards such as HIPPA or PCI DSS are critical, because they govern the processes for securing the most sensitive of information – health and financial records, respectively.
Capabilities: A start-up cloud vendor may not always have the best resources. Plus, they are at risk of shutting down, which would be terrible for your business. Look at the provider’s longevity. The service offerings and level of knowledge are important, as are any remediation practices. These help you know if they can remediate issues quickly and work to prevent them from happening again.
In the world of cloud security, it’s a battle between those trying to get in and the technology in place. A physical firewall is a great tool. You also need things like advanced encryption and complex passwords, multi-factor authentication, and sophisticated identity and access management controls. Penetration testing is another bonus. It lets providers audit their networks and systems to see how secure they are and to verify compliance with industry regulations.
No security system is 100 percent foolproof. Cloud computing security is much less of a concern today because of modern, state-of-the-art tools to reinforce it. These are designed to protect business networks and financial and consumer data based on new standards, no matter where the information resides. Now companies can have confidence using cloud computing without worrying about security matters.