Intuitively, it is hard to feel that your data is safe in the cloud when you or any of your staff are unaware of the exact location and condition of your data. How secure is the cloud? The simple answer is that it is most likely safer than in any other place. However, nothing is infallible for a variety of reasons. With careful management and expert advice, it is possible to work with the cloud service provider to increase the security of your data.
With that explosion of cloud usage, about 83% of all enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud by 2020, according to a Logic Monitor survey as reported in Forbes. This puts cloud security as a likely overwhelming concern, if it isn’t already. However, be assured that cloud service providers are continuously honing their expertise to keep your data safe. Data stored in the cloud is “probably more secure than conventionally stored data,” according to , former Deputy Technology Editor of the New York Times.
Pathways to a Secure Cloud
There are several aspects to be considered to keep data safe and private in the cloud. These include the following:
- Cloud Data Encryption
Before information is stored in the cloud, cloud service providers first encrypt the data. Complex algorithms make the data appear to be scrambled, but when used with a key, the information reverts to its original, recognizable form. Since decryption without the key would take an enormous amount of computing resources, no hacker would spend time, effort, and other resources to decode it, ensuring that the data is quite safe.
Keeping the encryption key safe from hackers or insiders who wish to discredit a company can be placed in the hands of the service provider or the user. With authenticated encryption, the additional metadata alerts the user when there is an attempt to access or tamper with files.
Some service providers will store the encrypted files on the company’s local drive as well as in the cloud.
- Tools for Security
Firewalls defend your local and wired networks. In a similar manner, software and hardware solutions are used in the cloud to inspect all traffic that passes in or out of its system. The latest techniques keep sensitive data inside and suspicious traffic out. The rules governing the firewall must be carefully assessed to respond to likely threats.
Other tools such as anti-malware protection, intrusion prevention, integrity monitoring, and logging are also in play and set up to report and to counter suspicious activity.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) happens when someone overloads a system with traffic to incapacitate it. The best defense is a robust and redundant infrastructure. Having several data centers provides the capability to manipulate the malicious traffic and avoid bottlenecks. Redundant data centers allow your business to continue. If one data center is attacked, then your traffic can be redirected to a functioning location.
Edge protection functions through redundancy as well. Many cloud service provider networks operate through other providers so that traffic can be redirected.
- Security Policies
Human frailties or malicious behavior require that strict password protocols be followed. Even though your data is well protected in the cloud and is managed by security experts, many intrusions begin with hackers guessing or breaking passwords. Educating staff about appropriate password creation and safeguarding is critical to the security of your business.
- Back Up Critical Business Files
While redundancy in the cloud provides many layers of security against cyberattacks and natural disasters, it is still prudent to house critical information on in-house servers.
- Verify the Effectiveness of Your Cloud Provider
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has designed standards for cloud service providers. Providers that have been audited and certified based on these standards have demonstrated their capability to handle sensitive information whether the data be health, financial or business-related.
- A Developing Technology
“How secure is cloud?” is on many people’s minds. “A recent poll stated that 86% of companies across 80 countries not only use extensive cloud storage systems, but also multiple cloud storage systems,” according to cloud HQ. With growing confidence in cloud services, companies are embracing this new way of assuring their security. We can expect that even more innovative secure protocols will be developed to meet the high demand for the service.
Finding Your Cloud Experts
As a small or medium-sized business, it is critical that you partner with a service provider that can meet your needs using the most updated and secure cloud technologies. Some essentials for evaluating the viability of cloud-based services include these measures:
- Document their Expertise
On the service provider’s website you should be able to view training certifications and experience in cloud service management.
- Reveal their Technical Approaches
On their website or during discussions, the company explains the approach it takes to secure your data in language that is easily understood. The provider should also be able to supply a detailed outline for your IT department.
- Provide Testimonials
A recommendation from a well-known business that is close to your size will give you information about their willingness to meet your needs in a timely fashion, how the staff solved issues and the peace of mind that is achieved by relying on a professional approach.
If you are looking for a reliable and experienced company that can provide top-rate and secure cloud services, contact us and discover how we can help you.