Unravelling the 5 pillars of Cloud Security – What it Means for Your Data Storage Needs?
The cloud may have revolutionized the way businesses enhance their data-driven solutions, but it has definitely not negated the need to implement strong cybersecurity within the cloud. Believe it or not, but 86% of companies have made their way to the cloud, given the plethora of advantages it offers in terms of efficiency and flexibility.
Data forms the backbone of an organization’s structure; while some businesses prefer to manage their data in-house, many others are seeking the cloud’s help to achieve scalability and further derive benefits through a series of varied cost-saving opportunities.
As the cloud continues to evolve, it has driven the traditional data storage platforms to extinction (well, almost). Despite their relevance in the current technological scenario, many organizations are weaning away from traditional data management sources and looking towards the Cloud for their data storage needs.
However, is the cloud actually data secure?
Is there a difference between traditional security and cloud security?
Despite the usage of fancy terms, the concept of data security continues to remain the same. However, what does differ between the two concepts is the way security principles are applied while differentiating between the two platforms.
The cloud, being a relatively unknown concept, brings a lot of unknowns, which tends to instill fear in the minds of the people who are not aware of its security challenges. Some might argue about new attack-surfaces, threats, and challenges within the cloud, which make it a big concern. The recent security breaches continue to add to the levels of uncertainty, creating a sense of panic around data security within the cloud.
In an ideal situation, big organizations would never like to put all their eggs in one basket. Having said so, they would strategize a mix of traditional IT and cloud services. What’s even more ideal is that the organizational security solutions would need to be geared towards protecting both platforms. However, the difference in the security methodologies would differ for both systems.
Since we are dealing with two different data storage systems, the security protocols might not follow the “one size fits all” methodology. Additional technological advancements like Big Data, compliance requirements, and complex skill sets all add to the challenges of cloud security.
To put it simply, there are a series of cloud security solutions, which prove the need to move to the cloud, rather than work with traditional data centers.
Cloud automation vs human intervention
The cloud has ushered in a wave of automation, which has erased the ongoing dependency on IT professionals. As an organization, the biggest concern is cost-saving, which is the keynote with cloud automation.
Automated processes like email and network scanning, can be powered through Artificial Intelligence, thereby improving data security, reducing human errors, and even freeing up your cost centers from the burdens of hardware upgrades and heavy maintenance costs.
On the contrary, data breaches can never be prevented completely. Cloud-enabled security has been proven to reliably plug security gaps through automation and artificial intelligence, which even the best of human minds might not be able to achieve.
As an organization, through the use of AI-enabled security models within the cloud, there are multiple benefits in terms of the latest technology, multiple layers of data security, and a skilled service provider, who will be responsible for ensuring the different levels of data security checks to avoid breaches.
Encryption holds the key to a secure data cloud
Did you know almost 100GB of sensitive Pentagon files were exposed, since they were stored on the public cloud, without encryption?
What if the cloud offers an option to encrypt all sensitive data so that only authorized parties can unencrypt the data they need? Data can be encrypted at the source (where it is stored) or even in the transit phase (when it is being sent from the source to the destination). As an ideal practice, cloud data can and should be encrypted, which might seem like a tedious task with traditional security solutions.
The Cloud specifically offers multiple encryption solutions like VPN and SSL/TLS options, depending on the type of users and clouds.
Identity and access management (IAM)
The cloud offers a series of security options which make it a preferred choice for data storage and usage. Identity and access management (IAM) is yet another cloud security feature, which challenges hackers to put on their thinking caps, before entering into an organization’s private network.
IAM has the capability to track user ids and their access limitations, thereby allowing them to authorize or restrict accesses depending on the business needs. IAM can largely reduce threats of unauthorized users entering into data source systems, along with risks associated with account takeovers and insider attacks.
Firewalls within the cloud do exist
While traditional data centers might have security cameras and bulletproof glass as a security measure, clouds work with firewalls to safeguard user’s data. Cloud firewalls are directed at preventing and blocking cyber-attacks, which are aimed at hacking cloud assets specifically.
Through a series of smart algorithms, cloud-based firewalls are enabled to form a virtual barrier around cloud platforms, applications, and virtual infrastructure. Third-party cloud service providers provide firewalls-as-a-service (FAAS) to their customers, in order to ensure cloud security is paramount at all times.
Cloud security can be enhanced with improved visibility
On the onset of the cloud data delivery, many cloud providers specialize in providing a level of logging tools, which are aimed at tracking unauthorized access attempts and other issues. Amazon’s CloudTrail is an excellent auditing tool for AWS environments; however, organizations don’t fully utilize this feature.
Cloud Trail, as an application, can maintain a running log of AWS API calls, which includes the details of the API caller, the call time, caller’s IP address along with a few other relevant details. Such options are only available with the advent of technology; service providers like AWS are taking security measures seriously and providing the best services money can buy for data storage within the cloud.
The cloud might have been a dirty dark secret post its availability, with a lot of people logging heads on the security concerns. However, a lot has changed over the years, as organizations begin to move their data requirements to a more feasible, scalable storage system, namely the cloud. As the data security concerns begin to reduce, there is a lot of potential the cloud is currently offering to its users.