Is the Cloud the Solution to Businesses’ Data Protection Woes?
Grounded advice: ditch physical servers and host company data in the cloud.
Given the complexity and challenge of protecting data from cyber criminals, many organizations have migrated workloads, applications, and data to the cloud. This is the right move. When it comes to data protection, storing business data exclusively on physical servers is the biggest mistake you can make.
Cloud environments are typically more secure, scalable, and affordable— especially for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). That’s because cloud service providers (CSPs) continually improve their already robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the security of customer data.
As with any technology, there are concerns about cloud security and visibility into where and how data is stored. Education and finding the right CSP can alleviate both concerns.
Moving to the cloud is a serious undertaking, but it can pay large dividends. As you determine which workloads to migrate, consider data sensitivity and criticality to business operations. Also, make sure the CSP provides adequate security controls, including policies, procedures, and protection measures in the following areas:
Ensure your CSP has strong access controls, policies, procedures, and security measures (such as encryption and authorization with logged access) to prevent data breaches.
Data transferred to and from the CSP must be secured and encrypted through cryptographic protocols, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
If compliance is a concern, request audit reports that demonstrate the CSP’s safeguards meet regulatory and industry standards for the protection of personal or sensitive data. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), for example, deal with storing, transmitting, and accessing sensitive information.
In multi-tenant environments, where a third-party vendor houses information from multiple unrelated companies, setting Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions at the bucket and object levels can prevent one client from accessing data belonging to another.
The cloud is routinely updated, patched, and tested by third parties. Cloud environments are also encrypted and have built-in firewalls and redundancy. As a result, the cloud is more resilient than on-premise infrastructure to cyber attacks like ransomware and malware.
Continuing to host data on site may seem cautious. It’s a risky miscalculation that places businesses at risk when a breach, outage, or disaster occurs.