Cloud data is an essential element for both enterprises and their customers. Data that is readily available and appropriately secured, paired with meaningful analysis, fosters business innovation and enhances customer experience. As a result, companies are increasingly upgrading obsolete on-premises file storage systems with more contemporary cloud-based equivalents.
Cloud technology has accelerated IT modernization. However, conventional security mechanisms that safeguard data and applications running on on-premises systems aren’t practical for cloud data. Protecting cloud-based information is a very different story.
The emergence of cloud computing and cloud-based stockpiling has generated many possibilities for malicious hackers and other unwanted users to attempt to access and contaminate information. Therefore, many cloud service companies adhere to the "collective responsibility" philosophy, which stipulates that cybersecurity is both the vendor's and the client's obligation.
While cloud hosting will ensure the security of cloud data infrastructure, the client company must also take certain steps to ensure security on its end. Companies can do this by securing their data and login credentials against security threats and restricting access to their information.
In the subsequent sections, we will study cloud data protection, its challenges, and data protection in the cloud best practices enterprises may use to mitigate risk in a cloud environment.
What is Cloud Data Protection?
Cloud data protection is a paradigm focused on organizational data stored, processed, and managed in a cloud or hybrid environment. The model necessitates the coordination of several data policies, methods, and solutions.
Data protection is securing an organization's data from unauthorized access, theft, or loss. Data protection strategies have traditionally been used for on-premise data installations but may not work well for data stored in the cloud or hybrid settings.
For high-security standards, a cloud data protection strategy must be in place that safeguards all forms of data, including:
Data in Use:
This is the data a program or application uses with the help of user access control and authentication processes.
Data during Transit:
This is private information transmitted across a network using either encryption or other necessary protective measures.
Data at Rest:
This is crucial data currently stored on-site or in the cloud.
In general, cloud data protection and privacy safeguards consumer and company information from external and internal threats and backs up and restores processes and systems. Furthermore, it includes securing data privacy by implementing control access for specific segments, ensuring that only a few authorized personnel have access to critical and highly confidential data.
Also, Read: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud - Choose for your Enterprise
Benefits of Cloud Data Protection
Organizations are rapidly acknowledging the cost-effectiveness and convenience of operation that can be obtained by migrating technology and assets to the cloud or, at minimum, to a hybrid cloud environment. The pandemic has encouraged cloud adoption by enterprises of all sizes.
The benefits of cloud data protection are the following:
- Maintains complete insight into every customer, folder, and file activity while ensuring cloud data protection and applications across numerous environments.
- Recognizes and addresses risks like security concerns, questionable application usage, malware, and others in a constructive manner.
- Enhances security measures.
- Frames policies.
- Avoids and detects data loss.
Top 5 Cloud Data Protection Challenges
The complexity of cloud environments, increasingly stringent cloud data protection and privacy legislation, and vendor-shared responsibility models create numerous security challenges.
The following challenges may affect enterprises:
Maintaining a precise catalog of all services and data in cloud is critical for cloud data protection but may be problematic for enterprises.
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) are the most popular way to operate and integrate cloud systems. They can be used by employees and customers alike via mobile or web applications. APIs can provide various types of data, consisting of sensitive information that can be helpful to attackers. Since APIs are publicly available and their workings are well-documented, they are an easy target for attackers.
Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS attacks):
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks aim to flood a web server or other crucial system with so much traffic that it can't respond to genuine requests. Since cloud computing is based on shared distributed resources and employs various virtualization technologies, this makes DDoS more intricate and hard to identify and stop.
Cloud data protection may differ because different cloud service providers have distinct capabilities. Malicious hackers can use these vulnerabilities to create security breaches, the loss or theft of trade-sensitive information and personal or financial information, malware, or online ransom infestations.
Conformance with Laws:
Another essential component. Cloud data protection and privacy laws and regulations, for instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are expected to be adhered to by enterprises. Companies may have difficulties establishing consistent safety requirements and auditor conformance throughout cloud data environments.
Top 5 Best Practices for Cloud Data Security
Cloud computing has provided enterprises with versatile and adaptable access to data storage and processing. However, cloud data security remains a big challenge. Consequently, it is essential to establish security protocols that work for a company because cloud service providers might not be as responsible for protecting data as expected.
The following is a collection of 5 recommended practices for cloud data security that an enterprise may adopt:
Investigate the Built-in Security:
Any cloud hosting platform chosen should have trustworthy technologies for safeguarding enterprise cloud data security and robust internal controls. Watch for service contracts from vendors to verify that systems are appropriately protected. Service providers should also be transparent and honest with their clients regarding their compliance requirements. Check the policies that providers have about compliance with the laws. Cloud service providers must also be licensed to meet compliance standards and provide reliable services to an enterprise.
Keep Track of Information:
It is significantly more difficult to assess any possible threats adequately without a thorough inventory of a company's cloud resources. As a result, identifying the necessary controls needed to protect confidential cloud data may become even more complex. Therefore, before developing an ideal cloud data protection and security strategy, companies should first identify the type of confidential data that needs protection and its location. Keeping track of data can improve monitoring, decision-making, and performance optimization algorithms.
Back up Data Regularly:
At regular intervals, generate data clones to store apart from the source—data backup aids in safeguarding the enterprise from significant data losses caused by a blackout or data blowout. When cloud resources are unavailable, data copies facilitate timely offline work.
Use Security-Enhancing Software:
To fully secure cloud data, one can utilize the following third-party applications or tools:
Cloud Storage Entry Points:
These allow data transfer between local hot and cold cloud storage. A good entrance point can assist in minimizing bandwidth concerns, potential threats, and delays. It will guarantee that edge-generated information is retained, connectivity across data tiers is authorized, and security is maintained.
Cloud Security Posture Management is a suite of security solutions that assists in identifying and correcting potential security issues, consequently lowering attack possibilities. The algorithms are automated and constantly scan cloud systems for vulnerabilities to inform users if any security issues are identified.
The Security Incident Event Management technology employs analytics and machine intelligence to detect internal and external behaviors that may lead to potential risks. SIEM is continuously upgrading its threat awareness metrics and can efficiently react to security breaches as they occur.
Unadulterated data is the most valuable asset for every enterprise. The more data a company has, the more it can improve its product, marketing, business, etc. Cloud has allowed us the opportunity to have access to the technologies and data we need when we need and wherever needed. That being said, there is a lot of sensitive data in the cloud, which must be protected. The good news is that we can implement many cloud security measures to ensure that sensitive data is never compromised.
As more organizations migrate their data to the cloud, we must prioritize cloud data protection and security. Understand that any successful cloud data protection and security plan must be customized for one’s firm while also considering scalability. The merits of such a methodology simply cannot be underestimated. Consequently, having a trusted business partner well-versed in confidentiality, protection, and cloud deployments is crucial.
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