Considerations For Secure Cloud Usage

Cloud computing exposes businesses and organisations to substantial security risks, which often means taking a new approach to security. Even if you use a public cloud service for data storage, it is your data and ultimately your responsibility for security, protection, and regulatory compliance. 

Given the challenges and risks that cloud computing poses, it’s no surprise that security and data protection remain the primary concerns for security professionals when it comes to moving to the cloud. A recent study found that their top concerns are: protection against data loss (57%), threats to data privacy (49%), and breaches of confidentiality (47%). 

There are many ways to mitigate these risks and reduce these concerns. Most public cloud providers have obvious and explicit shared responsibility models. Make sure that you understand those models and where your responsibility begins and ends with you.  

Also, it is essential to work with a provider focused on security who will take extra steps to strengthen protections against data loss, threats to data privacy, and breaches of confidentiality.  

Here are six top considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a cloud storage platform for secure data management. 

  1. Geo-resiliency: When you think of the cloud, it’s easy to forget that you are talking about physical data centres and not some fluffy objects in the sky! When considering cloud providers, make sure to ask what kinds of protection and resiliency features will be provided against physical threats. Also, it is worth asking about the capabilities and locations of their physical data centres and how they assure security protections and disaster recovery. 
  1. Advanced networking options: One of the significant security risks with some public cloud services is that data can be exposed to the public internet. That doesn’t always have to be the case. With the right solution, such as Azure from Microsoft, you can leverage a carrier-grade network that allows for high data throughout with optional dedicated circuits, including a Virtual Private Network. 
  1. Data isolation with an offline gold copy: Ransomware is a rapidly growing security threat. Even if your data is in the cloud, there is still the risk of infection. The safest preparation against ransomware is to have your data isolated offline, typically in a tape vault. Does your cloud provider offer an offline data copy as part of its overall data management services? With most providers, you will have to set up a separate operation and infrastructure to achieve that.  
  1. Data encrypted in transit and at rest: When you move data to the cloud or between clouds, it is particularly vulnerable to loss or attack because you can lose visibility, so you may not be aware of problems until they are too late! By encrypting data both at rest and in transit, your provider can offer an extra layer of protection that can significantly reduce the risk of data loss or exposure of confidential records. 
  1. Role-based access controls: Consistent enforcement of policies and governance is a critical aspect of cybersecurity. In managing your data in the cloud, you should leverage services that support role-based protections such as role assignment, role authorisation and transaction authorisation. 
  1. Flexibility in deployment models: Many of the leading public cloud services offer limited deployment options that are not explicitly focused on the security challenges of data management. They are typically designed for volume rather than security. In evaluating suppliers for data management, look for these critical capabilities to ensure you have the flexibility to address today’s most pressing security and compliance concerns: 
  • Multiple deployment models, including private, public and hybrid cloud. 
  • Comprehensive managed services, including data migration and data restoration services. 
  • Enterprise-class customer support. 

Cloud services are becoming an integral part of IT and data environments. According to a recent study, cloud spending is growing by 20% year over year. Additionally, more than three-quarters of firms are piloting, implementing, or already operating in the cloud. As companies continue to transform their businesses with technology, the cloud has become a vital platform for data management. 

In leveraging the cloud as a data management platform, you should use providers focused on security. Your data is too necessary to risk, and the impact of a breach or compliance event can have a devastating impact on your business.  

If this is something you feel can benefit your business, why not talk to us today? At Internetwork Media, we have had plenty of experience working with Secure Cloud usage! Contact us here and let us guide you through the perfect solution for you.