Cloud Security Trends
Enterprise and the Cloud
Today’s enterprise is highly connected and alluringly fast. One likely reason is due to a massive shift from on-premises legacy systems to cloud suites and integrated hybrid systems. Yet, many remain pessimistic of cloud capabilities since usage largely involves migrating sensitive data beyond the company’s control. Many also argue cloud computing opens enterprises up to cyber cloud security threats. So how safe is your business in the cloud?
The New Normal
The adoption of cloud applications has greatly benefited the majority of those that choose to deploy it. It has also allowed enterprises to become increasingly connected with value chains, partners, and customers. Cloud technology enables volumes of sensitive data to migrate through an outstanding number of touch points in order for machines to capture and repurpose it for operational use. For businesses, modern data is revised into data subsets, or metadata, to support unique transaction capabilities – making the enterprise much faster, sophisticated, and innovative.
Since cloud computing is flexible and agile, computing and storing astounding amounts of personal and business data is a completely hands-off process. This eliminates a lot of the manual work on-premises systems employ. Plus, cloud systems are more affordable and generally easy to configure —which lure enterprises to invest in them.
Increased Cloud Security Risk
Moving sensitive information to the cloud works beyond the perimeter of control for many companies. For the majority of today’s enterprises, no hot button issue is more contested than the marriage of big data and cloud security systems. Today’s connected enterprise uses public cloud applications 4 times as much than they did 2 years ago to collaborate with external parties. Also, there is a growing number of external cloud applications used for personal use by employees that touch systems housing sensitive data; such as social media or search engines and web bots. Many of these external applications are pulling sensitive data unknowingly (and not by the users whom access them).
One place where cloud security can become a concern is the prioritization of data; specifically inside of the implementation process. In other words, carefully defining territories where data can be displayed. This involves deciding which data should or should not be retrievable based on jobs and tasks. Securing data is an important factor in the build out of an enterprise system and should be a priority communicated to those implementing your system.
Ultimately, access and availability of data will determine what and where vulnerabilities in your system will be. Understanding this information will make it easier for cloud security and penetration testing folks to expose weaknesses and gaps in the companies cloud security processes.
Solutions to Cloud Security
In a recent study, Cloud-Lock, a cloud security and compliance firm, exposed how 6 million users (both organizational and individual) contributed to security risks from the use of cloud. What many fail to realize is that data is much more secure in cloud systems than on-premises. Let me explain.
This dynamic is due to the way that breaches generally happen regardless of what type of system is deployed. Most security breaches are a result of improper user practices. When data is held on-premises — in some cases — more data can be easily exposed. Since all the data is at a central point accessible by the user, any malpractice by that user could potentially expose a wide range of data.
Cloud systems offer multiple access points for connected users where the passage of priority data in certain areas can be designed to resist entry. On-premises systems use a single-entry server to move all of the data. This can be risky as big data gets bigger and control becomes nonexistent. The cloud can also work as data warehouse. In the case of system failure, cloud suites are conveniently backed up data in real time; whereas on-premises systems are prone to deleting all data in the event of a crash.
Executives can also seek the assistance of BPM experts whom understand the ins and outs of cloud security system utilities in order to create barriers of entry to secured data. This way, third party applications are bound to specific processes and eliminate access to other areas of the system. This also lessens the complexity of IT teams whom are brought on to regulate system error; instead of working around processes to force the system to accommodate habitual user activity.
The study from the cloud security firm also exposed that 1 in 4 employees violate security policies. Mitigate this cloud security risk by drawing up documentation communicating risks associated everyday user activity. Ensure each user adheres to the policy and understand each email, message, and document they send is susceptible for view. Penetration testers are great resources for testing your proof of concept and adoption of these policies. Typically, most organizations fail their first penetration test due to improper user practices. This exposure usually creates a strong organizational awareness of risks associated with poor security practice adherence and results in improved protocol adoption.
What to expect
Whether a company deploys an on premises or cloud solution, there is no guarantee all data is secure. During the implementation of systems — and the integration of cloud applications— understand which types of data are sensitive, and where data breaches can occur. Armed with this information, firms can then define technical and functional uses of the system and have more control of the data flowing through it.
Systems are only as good as the people in front of them. What matters most is how companies modernize their system through the use of best practices to ensure data is both secure and purposeful.
Still not sure? We get these questions a lot. Send our experts a message about cloud software and they can talk you through the process. Datix has years of experience helping the mid-market with their enterprise software.