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Cloud Security: Evaluate the cloud service provider before taking cloud leap

In Thought Leadership

The cloud revolution is upon us. More and more businesses are migrating traditional IT to cloud infrastructure to reap the cloud benefits such as managing & storing of data, business automation, CRM management and zero downtime. Given the long list of advantages, SMBs and startups are adopting cloud as it allows them to compete with bigger players in the market, but every technology has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Even though managing an enterprise's adoption of cloud appears simple on the surface, they conceal many security concerns. In the case of the cloud, the flip side lies in lack of control and ownership. Data security and privacy protection are becoming critical for the future of cloud technology. The threat landscape is posing a serious challenge for organizations embedding today’s hyper-connected and complex technologies.

With threat actors continuously evolving, the volume and complexity of cybercrime, industrial espionage, ransomware and zero-day attacks are also persistently increasing. So, optimizing cloud technology often calls for the implementation of new IT governance procedures and processes across the enterprise, data security, and access protocols. No matter what platform the company opts for between Azure or AWS or Google, they all sport various compliances to standards such as HIPAA, ISO and PCI. Most importantly, the process of implementing a cloud adoption and digital transformation strategy requires technical resources, skilled and experienced in the task, that is not always easily accessible within the enterprise.

Companies migrating to the cloud must have a clear understanding of potential cloud security risks, set realistic expectations with providers and identify and consider how to manage the risks associated with it.

The following steps will help C-suite executives to analyze information security and privacy implications of cloud security and keep moving forward with cloud initiatives.

Cloud security at storage Level
Security has a lot to do with access and data is the core of all IT security concerns for any organization. Protecting data begins with understanding what kind of sensitive data an organization has and where it is located. Insecure access points & Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), weak identity & credentials and insider threats may pose serious challenges to the system and data. Therefore a strong security strategy at the storage level that adapts to the shifting paradigms of the cloud is crucial to protect sensitive data throughout the system life cycle. 

Securing data from sophisticated networks & threat landscape

Given the unprecedented levels of data, increased cloud and growing IT assets, security threats have grown at an exponential rate in recent years. Sophisticated malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are designed to evade network defenses by targeting vulnerabilities in the computing stack and cause data breaches that can result in unauthorized information disclosure and data tampering. The wreckage of a cyber attack goes beyond the immediate capital losses and financial consequences to brand credibility, with damages persisting over several years. To keep up with these emerging threats and be positioned for success, organizations need to assess cyber risks, ensure better cyber hygiene and best cloud security practices.

Managing authorization: People, roles, and identities

Because of the large number of data sources and means to access, authorization in the cloud becomes extremely crucial. It is very critical for organizations to ensure only authorized employees can access the data they need to do their jobs whenever and wherever they want. The cloud service provider must allow the customer to assign, manage roles and issue authorization layers like two-factor authorization for each of their users.

Effective governance

The IP and assets of organizations today are mostly secured by security solutions, compliance, and privacy policies. Given its dynamic nature, the cloud requires it to be treated differently to enable maximum & effective security at scale across multiple cloud providers. Various data privacy regulations also require data localization or restrict data transfer to certain jurisdictions. Companies should have an enterprise-wide strategic approach to oversee, manage and secure vital data in a multi-cloud environment.

Cloud computing can add real value to businesses and is a significant promoter of the modern digital economy by enabling leading companies to innovate. With the help of trusted tech expertise/advisors, organizations can reduce risk, avoid data breaches, heavy fines, and take adequate organizational, legal and technical measures to secure and protect the cloud IT infrastructure.

Vikas Bhonsle - CEO

Vikas Bhonsle is CEO of Crayon India.