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How Secure Are You When It Comes to Cloud Technology?

February 14, 2022

By Dilowe Barker

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Cloud technology has grown exponentially in recent years, becoming one of the foremost powerful forces within the business world. The growing importance of cloud technology, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, has not only resulted in a rise in employees working outside of the physical office, but has also made us more technology-reliant than ever before.

Because we rely so heavily on the cloud nowadays, the question of cloud security arises. What level of security does my business data currently have, and what security policies does my organization need to protect us in the future?

To respond, data stored within the cloud is nearly always encrypted, meaning that an intruder would have to crack the code before having the ability to read it. As a result, information stored within the cloud is more likely to be secure than files, images, information, or videos that are stored on individual personal devices. Data security policies have evolved aggressively over the last few years to include a policies that restricts employee data storage to only cloud locations, i.e.: OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, etc.

Don’t fear privacy within the cloud

The cloud has demonstrated that it’s safer than on-premise data centers. A study by Gartner states that by the end of 2022, up to 60% of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud-managed service offering, which is double the number of organizations doing so in 2018.

Let’s take a look at a few of the explanations why the cloud is safer than other options.

Geo-independent with redundancy

Once you move to the cloud, your data is replicated in multiple data centers instead of being stored in a single data center. As a result, if one location goes down, your data will automatically fail over to another location.

Additionally, virtualization technology is utilized by large cloud providers to confirm availability. When servers are virtualized within the cloud, providers can quickly move them from one data center to a different one in the event of a failure. Most on-premises redundancy is built from just two physical servers that fail over to the other. If there is a fire or a significant network outage, this is not very helpful.

Simplified encryption

Companies may find it difficult to implement encryption across their entire environment, but cloud providers typically provide encryption out of the box. Big cloud providers can even utilize military-grade AES 256 encryption to help prevent data exposure – this is a level of security most businesses could never implement on their own.

Network segmentation

One of the foremost significant security advantages of the cloud over on-premises infrastructure is user workstation segmentation. Phishing and email focused threats are the most common methods for attackers to achieve network access. In the majority of cases, attacks infiltrate user workstations. They rarely acquire contact directly with the server environment itself. When you’re hosted within the cloud, all of your workstations are completely segmented adding another layer of protection for your business.

Now that we understand why the cloud is safer than other options, let’s take a look at the methods and techniques that ensure the security of data stored within the cloud.

Data encryption

Encryption techniques employ a mix of complex algorithms to safeguard data stored within the cloud. Attackers need access to an encryption key in order to open and view encrypted files. While it’s possible to look at encrypted data, decrypting it takes not only a prolonged amount of time, but also a major amount of computing power.

AI tools

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is leveraged to analyze massive amounts of network traffic and malicious activity and look for attackers’ patterns.  With that information, the AI tool can then decipher how to prevent future attacks based on those patterns. This has commonly become known as proactive threat hunting and is based on the analysis of past patterns to try and predict future threat events.

Firewalls

A cloud firewall not only prevents malicious traffic but also acts as a virtual barrier and protects cloud-based assets.

Third-party security testing

Third-party security testing allows cloud service providers to identify potential vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them.

Reliable Passwords

Defining password policies and enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) are two of the MUST HAVE’s within an organization. The development of training about password best practices paired with a two-step verification process can help to enhance the protection of the user and hence the organizations assets. As a result, redundancy has been created. If one security step fails, the information is still protected by the other.

In Conclusion

Cloud technology has advanced beyond simply keeping up with on-premise storage. In many ways, data stored at a public cloud provider is safer than data stored within your own infrastructure. The required and compliance driven physical and digital security mandated to these cloud providers ensures that an environment has been created to securely store and interact with your data without the threats associated with not maintaining the systems in your own infrastructure.

Author: Dilowe Barker

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