Many system administrators and IT professionals have cloud security concerns, but enterprises can reasonably expect equal or better security from the cloud for their storage, data and workloads than what on-premises security protocols can provide. However, statistics show that 61 percent of decision-makers in IT industries worry about sending sensitive data to third-party vendors in the cloud. Regardless of the system or security plan, you can reduce your exposure by staying security-conscious and implementing secure processes.
Security Breaches Affect All Businesses
About 90 percent of businesses face at least one data breach each year, according to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Juniper Networks. Hacking for profit and activism continues to rise, as hackers are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. Cloud providers typically identify potential threats faster than independent security systems. Breaches come from employees, off-site locations and mobile access to sensitive materials. Security staffs, in about 40 percent of system breaches, werenât able to pinpoint the source of the system incursion.
Strong Security Begins Within an Organization
Instituting system security begins internally, regardless of whether you have an enterprise security solution or use the cloud. The following seven steps help to ensure greater security when using cloud technology for public, private or hybrid purposes:
1. Use Security Protocols That Can be Employed Throughout Your Dedicated Servers
Insider theft and malicious mischief by disgruntled former employees and vendors often lie at the root of security breaches. Implementing security-conscious procedures such as changing passwords periodically, verifying purposes of data requests, limiting physical access to terminals and other initiatives are essential precautions in the digital age.
2. Configure Virtual Servers to Allocate Resources Appropriately
Failing to configure your servers appropriately can cause various applications to perform poorly regardless of security. Poorly functioning equipment can cause bottlenecks and performance issues. Working with a professional cloud provider gives administrators outside advice about how to custom-configure solutions to handle workloads while allocating enough computing power to each application.
3. Select Providers That Offer High-Visibility Management Tools
Use cloud management tools to provide high levels of visibility to authorized users. Many cloud users settle for reviewing only high-level applications and services, but you can ensure more uptime and fewer customer-service and security issues by implementing an analytics-based review of multiple processes and applications. Low-level tracking often uncovers significant issues before they evolve into larger problems.
4. Research How Vendors Handle Data and Workloads If You Decide to Terminate the Relationship
Vendor lock-in worries many IT decision-makers. If your company decides to change vendors, you could face some operational and security risks. Enterprises worry about how vendors will continue handling security after the contract is terminated. You should research how termination affects your data and processes before hiring any vendor or consigning any part of your operations to the cloud.
5. Use Encryption to Enhance Security, and Store Keys Safely
Customers, vendors and employees might have access to cloud data. Using encryption provides an extra layer of security. Consider using a provider that uses advanced encryption processes like a symmetric key algorithm. This type of encryption uses the user's password as part of the encryption key.
6. Authenticate Users by Requiring Complex Passwords With Combinations of Numbers and Letters
Four-character passwords take only seconds to break on a computer, but a long password with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols would take the same computer nearly 27,000 years to decode. Two-thirds of employees use the same passwords for every site that they visit, or use easily guessed passwords like 12345 or 98765. Require that all authorized personnel use complex passwords and authenticate their identities every time they access the cloud. Additional passwords can be required after establishing identity to activate the encryption key.
7. Manage People and Authorizations
Enterprises often assign people to different duties and never cancel authorizations after work is completed. Managing people, identities and roles proactively can prevent many kinds of system breaches from carelessness and malicious intent.
Cloud technology offers lower costs, unlimited scalability and on-demand resources that allow your business to keep pace with fast-evolving technology and increased demands for data storage. Taking practical security steps is essential regardless of whether you have an in-house system or use cloud services. You can ensure better security by devoting the same resources to cloud security that you would use for in-house security.