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Cloud Computing: Online Security Implications of Holding Sensitive Data

Cloud computing

We are all keenly aware of the numerous benefits that cloud computing offers. Less capital can be spent on technological infrastructure, internal IT processes can be streamlined, decision-making flexibility can be dramatically increased and cross-departmental communications are vastly improved.

These represent only a few of the reasons why cloud software has become an integral part of existing IT platforms. However, there has been some concern regarding the security implications of storing sensitive data in the cloud.

Today we will examine how secure these platforms are and what steps businesses can implement to make certain that their data remains safe.

How Secure is Cloud Computing?

One of the major issues in attempting to determine whether the cloud storage is secure is related to the type of organisations that will use this software. For example, military systems and governmental data need much higher levels of security than a small to medium-sized marketing agency.

It is quite obvious that for the average enterprise the cloud storage can be seen as a much secure platform than standalone hardware. There is no possibility of physical theft or damage to a hard drive, only authorized users have access to the sensitive data and there are numerous encryption systems and firewalls in place to deter most attacks.

Nonetheless, no data protection system is completely invulnerable and clouds are no exception. So, a security threat often times directly correlates to how sensitive and desirable the data may be to obtain. What need to be briefly analysed further are the methods that businesses can employ to help safeguard this data.

Online security: Data Protection Measures

One of the fundamental concerns for any business is not necessarily the theft of data, but rather its loss. A business needs to make certain that their data is properly backed up across both dedicated services as well as cloud-sync services.

An example of this can be Dropbox. Secondly, data encryption keys need to be kept secure and yet available for continued access once the information is encrypted and uploaded to the cloud.

Companies should also choose software providers that notify the organisation immediately should a breach of data occur. Response times should be quick, the vendor should provide a great deal of information concerning what sector was breached and what measures they are taking to prevent a subsequent attack.

The more information is given in this report, the better idea a business will have as to their level of exposure.

Finally, companies need to utilize traditional on-site monitoring controls. As a considerable portion of data theft can occur from within an organisation, physical protocols such as video monitoring, electronic time clock details and bio-metric verification before access can greatly mitigate any internal threats posed to the cloud and any information contained within.

As could computing becomes more widespread, it is likely that additional security protocols will need to be put in place. While cloud computing networks themselves offer a robust security platform, businesses and corporations also need to remain vigilant and proactive in their internal approaches to handling any potential threats.

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Jane Sheeba
 

is an entrepreneur and online business consultant. She shares her wellness tips at Slick Wellness. If you are into starting/running an online business and want success with life and business go here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Srikanth - March 12, 2013

Hi Jane,
Cloud Computing Is very Vast to describe.This used by many Top Web sites.There is lot to know about Cloud computing.I have Listed Few Free Cloud computing Service providers On Techbappa.com as Guest Post.
Coming to this post Security For Cloud is very Important.There may be huge loss of Data and more If we don’t have security to our Cloud storages!!
~Srikanth

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Nishant Patel - March 12, 2013

I have been looking for such articles. I really found this article on Cloud Computing interesting and informative. This article is very helpful for those who don’t know the meaning of Cloud Computing.

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Olga - March 14, 2013

Hello Jane,

You are making a very good point here (as always). Cloud computing has become extremely comfortable for everyone (especially) businesses to the point that the sometimes forget there is the other side of the coin – security of sensitive data. I would be very careful with this as I think it’s easier to break into a “cloud” for a hacker than to break and steal sensitive data from the turned-off computer in the premises of our company. Thanks for bringing this subject up.

Olga

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Lei Broch - March 25, 2013

Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts on the security issues of cloud computing. You are definitely right that like any other form of technology cloud computing is not perfect. Hence, proper handling of sensitive data is indispensable to put off intruders from stealing valuable information from your company.

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