Cloud Computing: Online Security Implications of Holding Sensitive Data
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.