The Cloud brings significant benefits to your IT operations. However, it also brings new security risks. While it is easy to get lost in the luster of the cloud, it is important to fully understand how to handle these newly emerging data risks. This is the only way that you can truly take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer.
There are two main factors that are driving organizations to the cloud. The first is flexibility. The cloud allows organizations to scale their data usage up or down with demand – while only paying for exact data usage. This model allows for agility within the business. The second benefit is cost-efficiency. You are able to eliminate the expenditure on servers and free resources up for revenue generating projects. And as I said earlier – you only pay for what you use, which eliminates operational waste. While you cannot forget about cloud migration and management costs, organizations are reaping the cost-effective model for organizational cost balance.
Private cloud has a reputation of being more secure. You own the infrastructure and control it behind your own firewalls and preventative care. Don’t let this convince you that this data will never get hacked though. You still must consider things like insider threats and whims of nature. Also, management of security is on your own IT department – unless you outsource to a MSP. Do you have the resources, time, and employees to manage this inside your own walls though?
On the other hand, the public cloud has many benefits as well; protection behind an enterprise-class firewall, you are not alone when defending attacks, and you are protected from sudden demand surges. But along with these benefits, there are risks. The biggest risk that organizations are worried about is accessibility to your data. Anything that is connected over the internet is susceptible to threat actors and malicious activity.
A 2016 survey from Cloud Security Alliance states that more than two-thirds of respondents think that a key obstacle to cloud migration is the inability to apply the same security policies to your data in a public cloud environment as you can in a private, on-prem cloud infrastructure.
There are ways to properly secure and mitigate cloud security risk. The first and most fundamental is thoroughly vetting your provider. Write down and ask the tough questions. A reputable cloud provider is willing to answer all questions that you have about their service. Here are a few key features to look out for:
- Compliant with government regulations – SOC, HIPPA, etc.
- How is data transferred to the cloud? Encrypted?
- What security measures does the provider have in place for themselves – Preventative, Detection, Incident Response?
- What kind of visibility do you have over the data? Health, performance, and security.
Cloud Security as a Joint Venture
The security of your cloud environment should be seen as a joint venture. The cloud provider is usually responsible for ensuring physical security of the data center – securing the network, sever hardware, and hosting. The customer is responsible for securing operating systems, applications and data running in the cloud accounts – unless other services are in place to be noted otherwise.
The managed service provider has a shared interest in your data’s security and will provide additional services to help you secure your IT environments. They will implement best security practices from limiting network exposures to full security monitoring and detection. Their teams have platforms in place that supply a level of visibility that most organizations cannot afford to implement. This includes, actions that are being taken place by end users to bad actors in your cloud environments. These security services work in conjunction with cloud management tools to correlate all events to fully understand the security posture of your organization. Many traditional tools are still effective as you expand your perimeter, but adding in extra layers into your security measures can only help you better secure and monitor your full environment.
Don’t let security concerns stop you from moving into a modern workforce with the cloud. If you are implementing adequate security procedures and talking to experienced managed services providers, you will be able to take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer. Need help with cloud computing or security services? Contact NetServe365 today for a free assessment and demo!
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