Cloud computing security involves the procedures and technology that safeguard cloud computing environments, information, data, and applications. The need to process giant volumes of data has made cloud computing and security an inextricable part of contemporary business. More than 70% of businesses today operate on the cloud, at least partly. With tons of highly sensitive data already kept in the cloud, the amount of cloud-based applications tends to increase further. At the same time, the vast access to the cloud-stored information by remotely working employees extends the ‘attack surface’ of an organization and increases the opportunities for hackers. Therefore, cloud security management becomes one of the primary concerns for modern enterprises.
The Main Cloud Computing Security Issues
Although cloud computing solutions offer enhanced efficiency, they can also expose an organization’s data or applications to unauthorized use. Employees with remote access to remotely hosted data can pose external security threats. Cloud app security can be particularly compromised when services are provisioned and used without the proper IT knowledge. Therefore, trained personnel and a competent service provider are crucial.
Lesser visibility and control
When businesses migrate to a cloud-based computing model, they evoke shifts in data management responsibility. While they partly lose visibility and control, the cloud provider takes some of the responsibility for policies and infrastructure. The resulting lack of visibility and control can present serious cloud computing data security challenges. Consequential data protection risks can be mitigated by leveraging incident response plans including data analysis and identification of unusual user activities.
Unsecured APIs and interfaces
An application programming interface (API) is vital for a personalized cloud experience yet can present security threats. Besides the customization options for cloud computing solutions, APIs offer access, encryption, and data recognition. However, improperly developed interfaces can become exploitable and cause confidentiality breaches. Therefore, adequate access management is essential for activity tracking and detecting unsecured APIs and interfaces.
Cloud infrastructure networks involve complex engineering and management performed by a third party; hence the increasing system vulnerabilities. Thus, hackers can make use of exploitable bugs to violate confidential data. Consequently, a range of cloud computing data security challenges arise. They include shared resources and unsafely operating systems, which, in turn, can become gateways to malicious attacks.
Confidentiality issues threatening data security in cloud computing
One of the greatest upsides of using cloud computing solutions is the ability to share tremendous volumes of data. However, the inevitable downside, in this case, is a related threat of data loss, leakage, or breaches. There are multiple tools to attack unsecured cloud deployments. Therefore, such data is always at risk without the proper measures of cloud app security.
How to ManageCloud Computing Data Security Threats
While companies continue migrating their highly sensitive information and other assets to the cloud, the development of relevant cloud computing security tools gains traction. Among the surveyed IT and security specialists, 33% are extremely concerned about the data security in cloud computing and 40% are very concerned. Preventing data leaks and theft is vital for maintaining customer’s trust and avoiding the exorbitant cost of dealing with a data breach. The proper cloud security management intended to alleviate the risks includes the following measures.
The traditional combinations of a username and password are no longer considered a reliable barrier for unauthorized access. In this regard, multi-factor authentication can ensure that only authorized individuals can log in to your cloud applications. Relatively inexpensive, this security control is extremely efficient in preventing hackers from accessing your sensitive data.
Managing user access
Every employee does not necessarily need access to every application and every single data piece stored in the cloud. A properly developed identity and access management (IAM) plan will help you set up the proper levels of authorization and allow each employee to view and manipulate only the information necessary for their job.
To manage the user access or even completely remove the burden of IAM off your plate, you should either cooperate with a qualified IT consultant or try continual management of your cloud computing and security by a Managed Services Provider.
Monitoring of end-user activities
By performing real-time monitoring and analyzing end-user activities, you can detect any suspicious irregularities, such as logging in from an unknown IP. Such activities can indicate a breach in your system; so, the earlier you catch them, the better chances you get to remove security troubles before they lead to a disaster.
Modern computing technology offers numerous solutions for businesses that need help in this regard. Thus, SOC-as-a-Service provides multiple tools aimed to improve your security posture, from automated network monitoring to advanced security solutions, such as vulnerability scans and remediation, and intrusion detection and response.
Implementation of a comprehensive off-boarding process
This step seems obvious, yet sometimes remains overlooked. All the access rights for each leaving employee should be revoked. The respective deprovisioning process should be systemized and carefully controlled. If deprived of the opportunity to execute this process internally, you should outsource this job to professionals capable of implementing and maintaining all the required procedures on a due level.
Considering cloud-to-cloud back-up solutions
Although little, there are always chances that you lose the data stored in the cloud. Provider’s mistake or careless employee behavior – accidents do happen, and they may have drastic consequences for your business. Therefore, your enterprise cloud security may require additional defense such as cloud-to-cloud back-up solutions. Their range is vast, so, you should consult with an IT specialist to pick the optimal one.
Overall, cloud computing solutions offer remarkable benefits for business operations. However, to ensure your enterprise cloud security, you should take the proper precautions. Data security in cloud computing is a serious concern for many modern business owners and requires a wise approach.
Primarily, to make the most out of cloud computing, you should make informed decisions in choosing, installing, maintaining, and managing cloud services. Then, you should ensure a high level of your cloud computing data security. Qualified IT specialists can help you create a comprehensive strategy for your cloud computing and security and conduct on-going management to ensure your superior protection. By outsourcing the provision of your cloud computing security, you are saving significant resources, while minimizing countless data security threats.