With businesses embracing cloud technology as a means to increase their flexibility, scalability, and agility, many wonder how secure the digital domain really is. Cloud security must be a topic of conversation as organizations transition from data storage on physical, on-site servers to data storage in the cloud. More importantly, cloud security must be front-and-center while project deployment is in the conception phase, rather than once it is completed.
If a business does not take proactive steps to limit the risk of data breaches from day one, they flirt with serious disaster. Even more, hackers will become more and more sophisticated even as microprocessor vulnerabilities continue to be revealed. This represents a veritable double-whammy in potential cybersecurity risks. Now, the question remains: What steps must organizations take to ensure they are operating with an effective cloud security strategy?
Running your business with cloud security on the mind
If there is one fact of life for businesses with any sort of digital presence it is that flawless, perfect security is nearly impossible to achieve. Still, this does not mean that your business should be locked into inaction. Whether it be through a trusted vendor partner or your in-house IT department, it is critical that you assess, document, and prepare for a potential breach, whether it ever happens or not.
There is no way to know where your vulnerabilities lie if you have not yet conducted a base-level risk assessment. From data to applications, platforms, users, and more – it is absolutely necessary to anticipate security control failures and, in the event they occur, have a plan in place to address them and prevent them from happening in the future.
Do you have the option of taking advantage of native security features offered by cloud service providers? Private cloud platforms generally allow clients to programmatically apply and implement standards and processes according to their needs. Whether it be through advanced firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data encryption, or otherwise, vendors often provide direct cloud security services to their clients.
The importance of identity management and configuration issues
If there is one Achilles heel within general operations, it is ensuring the right people have the right access to the right resources. Identity management has typically been a tough nut for cloud security specialists to crack, specifically because it is difficult to integrate and apply it everywhere it needs to be applied and in the right ways, I.E., across groups, users, and service accounts, for example.
In recent years, however, new versatile security control technologies have been developed. Solutions exist to allow users quicker access to the resources they need when they need them. Where does this inevitably lead? To big productivity gains with the bonus of enhanced security, as sensitive information is guaranteed to be only accessed by people with permission.
Finally, as enterprises migrate massive workloads into the cloud, it is critical they pay close attention to vital configuration details. While this may seem more like an infrastructure problem, not getting your cloud configuration right is also a cloud security problem. The cloud control plane must be properly built to be properly secure.
It is important that businesses instill a developer’s mentality into their IT team. Operating a cloud computing environment includes building, deploying, and managing applications quickly and seamlessly. By integrating existing workflows wherever possible, they ensure their cloud security efforts maintain pace with overall business growth and application development strategy.
We live in an increasingly digitized world. As such, whether companies take the necessary steps to protect their cloud services could make or break their business. Don’t be one of those businesses that finds out the hard way. Take preventative measures by putting cloud security at the top of your priority list.