Cloud computing significantly reduces data center, maintenance, and personnel costs while delivering products faster to users. But like any technology, it raises new security issues that these companies may not know. Do you have the cloud computing security you need to make this technology valuable?
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing uses online, on-demand IT resources. Businesses using cloud computing don't need to buy and maintain their own servers or data centers - they (or their users) have online access to everything they need.
How do enterprises use cloud computing technology?
- Customer oriented services, such as Netflix streaming video content stored in the cloud to users on the platform. Netflix doesn't have its own servers and databases - they use the cloud computing technology provided by Amazon's Web services.
- Some companies use cloud computing to develop and test software. These processes require a lot of computing power, which a company may not have, and the cost of acquiring and maintaining these capabilities is high. As a result, they are turning to cloud computing on a pay as you go basis, which enables companies to improve and reduce their computing power as needed.
- Cloud computing is used to back up data and processes. If something goes wrong in the main data center, companies can use cloud computing to keep services running.
- Cloud computing is also very useful when dealing with big data. If you want to get valuable information and data-based insight from massive data, you need a lot of computing power to deal with it.
Security risks in cloud computing
When you run your entire operation from the cloud, an error hurts everything - not just the different parts of it. Data leakage is the most terrible nightmare for these enterprises. They store the most sensitive data in the cloud: intellectual property, personal identity information of users and employees, financial data, etc.
Default will directly lead to huge potential economic losses. These can be legal fees or loss of loyalty and potential customers. People stay away from businesses they can't trust, and may not be able to recover from them, depending on the situation and the way they deal with them.
When operating in the cloud, network attack is another problem that must be considered. For example, encryption hijacking is hard to find and can slow down operations significantly. You may even think that you need more computing power to handle the load, without considering the possibility that someone is secretly using your resources for cryptocurrency mining.
On the other hand, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are obvious. If your system, which runs only from the cloud, is overwhelmed by a lot of requests and crashes, it can lead to serious downtime - from minutes to even hours. Again, it means a big blow to your income and reputation.
Cloud computing security measures to look for
When looking for cloud computing service providers, please check whether they have appropriate security measures:
- Firewall. Cloud computing requires cloud firewalls. On the surface, they are much like traditional firewalls that protect the company's internal network. They are also hosted in the cloud and the entire infrastructure and processes that they should protect. The cloud firewall forms a virtual barrier to filter out malicious connections.
- Encryption. Data stored in the cloud and in transit must be encrypted. Your cloud computing provider should support both. Equally important, your users (if you use cloud computing to run user-oriented applications) can safely use your services. Therefore, make sure that SSL / TLS encryption is in place and that your client and its data are secure.
- Identity and access management (IAM). This is an important part of any cloud computing security plan. Iam is a way to manage all users, their identities, and the level of access that administrators grant them. It also tells system users who they are and what privileges they have.
- Regular safety audits. Vulnerability management is critical. Everyone makes mistakes, often in systems that have worked well for many years. If your provider scans its system for vulnerabilities on a regular basis, they will be able to release patches before they become public. This will prevent cybercriminals from using them and keep your data and applications safe.
- Backup. Attackers can go beyond firewalls and exploit vulnerabilities that have never been heard of before (these vulnerabilities are called zero day vulnerabilities). However, when Amazon Web Services collapsed in 2017, Netflix continued to work because they were able to move their applications to unaffected areas of the network. Downtime means a significant loss of revenue and consumer trust, so if anything happens, the vendor must have a backup plan in place.
The most important thing is to find a provider you can trust. Because you're going to use shadow it (that is, most of your processes will be managed outside of your premises, which your IT department doesn't know), trust is key. You have to know that they can protect your data, operations, and users.
Cloud security is also your business
Although cloud computing providers do most of their work in security, clients can also play an important role:
- Strict access control. You don't want all your employees to have full authority. A compromised account or malicious employee may mean a breach of customer data, a breakdown of services, and theft of intellectual property. Instead, plan carefully which employees need access to different parts of the system. In addition, make sure everyone is aware of phishing, middlemen, session hijacking and other types of social engineering attacks.
- Use strong password. Encourage employees to use long and complex passwords that are hard to crack and almost impossible to remember. Use password manager to securely store and share passwords. This way, your employees won't compromise the company's security through plain text or insecure Wi Fi shared passwords.
- Protect data in the cloud. If you also use the cloud for storage, be sure to protect your data in it. Encrypting files with nordlocker is a good way to start. You can learn more about cloud storage security here.
- Protect the data in transmission. Get a VPN and encourage employees to use it every time they connect to the cloud service. It will encrypt all traffic between their devices and the cloud and allow them to log in from anywhere in the world. With more and more people working remotely or on the move, it is difficult to establish a secure connection. Try the TikVPN team to solve this problem. It will help the whitelist because you will be able to control which IP addresses are allowed to access specific resources.
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