Take These Steps To Keep Data Safe In The Cloud
One of the biggest challenges when adopting cloud is handling security. The cloud provider takes ownership of security of the environment, but businesses are still responsible for security of their data in the cloud.
Security Risks in the Cloud
The security risks in the cloud aren’t any different than the security risks in your data center; it’s just that the connected nature of the cloud may provide additional opportunities for bad actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities. The cloud can increase this risk in several ways.
First, the cloud is accessible everywhere by design. Vulnerable interfaces are more easily accessed and exploited. It’s also easy to make an error in configuration and expose a service or database as public when it should have been private.
In addition, the public cloud by default is a shared environment. Unless you make special provisions, your virtual machine on the cloud runs on an underlying physical server that also runs virtual machines belonging to multiple other cloud users. The cloud provider’s employees have access to your devices for support and maintenance purposes.
Develop a Cloud Security Strategy
To ensure security of your data and applications in the cloud, you need to develop a strategy. This starts with knowing which applications and data you have in the cloud. The sensitivity of this data will drive many of the security decisions you need to make.
Key steps to take include:
- Managing identities. If possible, integrate your on premises security system with the cloud system so you have fewer identities to manage. Implement multifactor authentication for logins. Use role-based access controls rather than assigning privileges individually. Ensure that administrator privileges are limited to those people who really need them. Obtain access logs from your cloud provider and review them regularly.
- Protecting data. Data needs to be secure both in transit and at rest. Use encryption or tokenization to protect confidential data. Require the use of virtual private networks when accessing cloud systems. Because VMs in the cloud run on shared servers, vulnerabilities risk exposing data to other systems on the same physical machine; for the most sensitive data, consider using virtual private cloud. Understand how your cloud provider backs up your machines, who has access to that data, and when and how the backups are destroyed.
- Prevent data loss. Consider using a cloud access security broker (CASB) to limit access to your cloud data.
- Block malicious users. Don’t forget the basics. Use a cloud firewall to block potentially dangerous network traffic. Install antivirus software on your cloud servers.
With the right controls in place, data in the cloud can be as safe as data in your data center. Prescient Solutions, a Microsoft Partner, provides offers IT consulting and managed services in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Our team of certified security experts will make sure your data is safe whether in the cloud or on your premises. Contact us to learn more about cybersecurity services from Prescient Solutions.