Cloud services represent a real opportunity for organizations. These technologies can offer many advantages, whether they are simpler storage solutions or more advanced services capable of offering applications and virtual environments. However, some concerns delay its adoption, especially as regards the security of data in the cloud.
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Data security in the cloud: is there a risk?
This simple question comes from consideration as true as it is obvious: data in the cloud is not managed directly by the organization that owns it and resides in infrastructures managed by third parties. Hence, they are potentially exposed to risks.
Difficult to say true or false; in fact, if it is true that data in the cloud are potentially at risk because companies manage them outside the organization, it is equally true that these companies base their business on these services and can invest resources in this area that are not always available in individual organizations. We are talking about huge economic investments to create secure and redundant network infrastructures and highly trained IT personnel specialized in this area.
The high costs of these infrastructures and everything necessary for data security in the cloud are spread over many customers who benefit from these “as a service” technologies.
Artificial intelligence at the service of data security in the cloud
Comparing an on-prem solution with one in the cloud, it is evident that the latter offers a greater surface area of exposure in the event of a cyber attack, therefore representing a disadvantage in terms of cloud data security. However, some data distributed by Microsoft impose an important consideration; in fact, the availability of a large amount of data combined with AI technologies would allow efficient identification of threats, to the benefit of data security in the cloud. Microsoft reported in February 2020 that it accelerated time to detect new threats by 50% compared to the previous year.
Data security in the cloud is shared.
However, these decidedly reassuring and positive aspects must not make us fall into the mistake of believing that the security of data in the cloud can be entirely delegated to third parties. Instead, responsibility must be shared between those who offer and manage cloud services and the organization that chooses to use these services.
Data security in the cloud: what to do
The first element to act on to preserve data security in the cloud is the single endpoint: security policies and best practices will have to guarantee that the device used to access the cloud can be considered safe. Control can be achieved through cloud security services solutions, thus offering the necessary flexibility in BYOD or hybrid scenarios.
Multi-factor and cloud authentication
Data security in the cloud also depends on who accesses this data; therefore, multi-factor authentication solutions, data encryption, and strong and secure passwords are essential elements in a similar context.
Data security in the hybrid cloud
A proper risk assessment suggests a hybrid cloud approach, where for example, less sensitive data is managed through a public cloud while more critical data is processed through a private cloud.
Cloud data security partners
This approach could also suggest the use of multiple technology partners through which to implement different cloud services; a similar solution would have the advantage of having less impact if the service offered by a single provider could run into problems. A similar choice, rewarding in terms of data security in the cloud, however, requires greater attention in the planning stage to guarantee data portability.
Data security in the cloud passes through the update.
Data security in the cloud cannot be separated from other simpler but, at the same time, fundamental elements. The distribution of updates and the code quality are of fundamental importance because any security flaws in the applications (or at the API level) could be exploited to carry out malicious actions. Infrastructure updates and monitoring actions represent strategic assets that guarantee cloud data security.
Together for data security in the cloud
All in all, the picture described suggests a favorable situation: the elements to ensure data security in the cloud are there, as well as the different options available to organizations to meet their needs strategically. However, the strong link between those offering cloud services and the IT of individual organizations emerges: in a scenario of shared responsibility, each of the two players must play their part. The choice of a technological partner must therefore be made considering not only the single cloud service offered but also the service offered in terms of monitoring and control, as well as additional resources put in place in case of problems.
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