Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Security

Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Security

Many businesses have shifted to cloud computing technology for faster processes, flexibility, scalability and enhanced business management. While cloud computing has many advantages that help support business success, it also has significant security challenges. Continue reading to learn more about cloud security and how you can take steps to protect your crucial data.

The Landscape of Cloud Computing 

Enterprises that invest in cloud computing generally do so for security and financial reasons. Maintaining physical servers and on-premise infrastructure can be expensive and pose various security risks. As a solution, cloud technology helps reduce the total cost of ownership while creating the organizational agility required to sustain growth.

The three main types of cloud service offerings businesses use include:

  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a business providing IT infrastructure such as computing, storage and network resources based on how much the user utilizes the service over the internet. Users can request and configure resources when they want to run applications and IT systems.
  • PaaS: Platform as a service (PaaS) enables users to receive a complete cloud platform they require for developing, managing and running applications.
  • SaaS: Software as a service (SaaS) is an application software the SaaS provider hosts on the cloud. The end user accesses it over an internet connection through a web browser.

Using the cloud provides various advantages to businesses that adopt it, but there are some risks to consider. Security issues are the most notable concern. Cloud access can become compromised, especially if security precautions are not up to standard. This issue may become more of a risk if a third party stores and processes your data, exposing it to people outside your organization.

Importance of Encrypting Data at Rest and in Transit

Data in transit moves from one location to another, like through a private network or the internet. In comparison, data at rest is data that does not actively move from one device to another or from network to network, such as data stored on a laptop, hard drive or flash drive. Data, whether at rest or in transit, requires protection, as it can be exposed to risks that can have disastrous consequences.

Encryption is the best strategy for avoiding common cloud data security issues. Encrypting data into ciphertext helps ensure no unauthorized person can read it, enhancing security and protecting valuable data. Different approaches will apply when encrypting data at rest and in transit.

  • Encryption best practices for data at rest: Full encryption is essential when managing data at rest in the cloud. If there is a breach of the cloud provider's systems, cybercriminals cannot decrypt the data without an encryption key. To provide even more robust data security, store encryption keys securely offline.
  • Encryption best practices for data in transit: Businesses can use transport layer security (TLS) and asymmetric encryption to secure data in transit. TLS allows privacy and data security for communication that occurs on the internet.

How to Secure Network and Cloud Data

Cloud data computing helps ensure you can store and transfer data from anywhere. However, it is vital to secure cloud data to protect it from tampering, theft and loss.

1. Work With a Reliable Cloud Service Provider

The best approach you can take is trusting your data with the right provider from the start. 

The best approach you can take is trusting your data with the right provider from the start. Conduct thorough research to help you choose a cloud service provider that meets your needs and goals. For example, look at the company's security track record and check that they comply with industry-standard protocols. Only consider options that have proper measures in place to safeguard your company data.

2. Use Complex Passwords

Good password hygiene practices are essential, especially when data is stored remotely. The more complex and longer the password is, the harder it will be for an unauthorized user to guess it. Encourage all employees to use strong, unique passwords and change them routinely.

3. Employ Strong Authentication

Even when you employ best password practices, it is common for passwords to be compromised, stolen or leaked. Therefore, your organization should use strong authentication methods to reduce the risk of cybercriminals gaining access to your valuable data. Employ two-factor authentication and similar methods to increase the layers of verification between a user and the data.

4. Enforce Access Control

Controlling who has access to sensitive cloud data can limit the chances of compromised data. Access controls enable a business to grant minimum data access to employees, keeping highly sensitive data out of reach. You can also implement role-based access control where employees have role-specific data permissions based on their job responsibilities.

5. Monitor Cloud Activity

The easiest way to detect and prevent unauthorized access to data is frequently monitoring cloud activity. Quality cloud service providers will have comprehensive systems in place to constantly keep tabs on this activity. When they notice suspicious activity, they will alert administrators of potential security threats and contact the affected client, ensuring complete transparency.

6. Implement Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems

For better protection from intrusions on an organizational level, your business can use network firewalls, as they restrain traffic and data that flows to and from your network. Hackers who try to gain access to harm your system will use hostile codes intended to flood your network with viruses, malware and spam. Firewalls help protect the network from these risks.

Mitigate Security Vulnerabilities With Help From BDO

No one can deny the advantages cloud computing provides for businesses, from reduced costs and administration tasks to enhanced centralization. Still, security risks exist, making it imperative to implement best practices on a business level and choose the right cloud services provider.

BDO Digital Offers Robust Cloud Services

Contact BDO Digital today and discover how our cloud services will help you keep your data secure in the cloud as you scale.