Head in the Clouds
Cloud technology is no longer the new kid on the block. For those who don’t know exactly what cloud tech is, here’s a brief rundown:
Cloud technology uses the internet to deliver computational technology that would usually be provided by other means. This includes storage (what cloud technology is well known for), servers, networks, analytics, intelligence, and software. Operating like this over the internet means that resources are much more flexible. Cloud services don’t have their own data centers; users rent access to whatever they need from their preferred cloud service provider. This lack of physical infrastructure makes cloud tech far more cost-effective and reportedly safer than the sort of infrastructure that we’ve been using for decades. You can organize your cloud however you like and make the technology work for you.
The question we need to answer is; is cloud technology really as safe as people think it is? Let’s dig a bit deeper and find out.
What Are The Main Security Risks?
Risks to cloud technology usually fit into these categories: either data is leaked, unauthorized access has been gained, authorized users gain access to information they shouldn’t have access to, or there is a malicious attack (such as malware) that aims to steal data or destroy the cloud infrastructure.
How is Cloud Technology Secured?
- Built-in app security. The most significant investments into the cloud computing business are made into the protection of the data that users store in their clouds. Many cloud computing services have built-in security applications, often featuring role-based authentications if the cloud is used for business purposes. If users are required to authenticate at every turn, it is much less likely that any information could be obtained for less than ethical purposes or by people not meant to have it.
- Security on many fronts. A multifaceted approach to security is the best way to take on any potential threats. Using physical and software-based authentications adds yet another layer of protection to your cloud, which further mitigates any potential risks. Bringing together policies, systems management, and encryption, cloud developers are constantly striving to improve.
- Monitoring. Cloud tech is, thankfully, very easy to monitor. A cloud service provider can drop “bulkhead doors” and shut down any aspect of the service at any time if they are concerned that a breach has occurred. Transparency is key in getting this service to work well for you.
Cloud technology is secured by:
- Encryption: data is essentially scrambled so that only parties with authorization codes etc., are able to read it properly. Even if someone were to hack into the cloud, the data they would find would be unusable. Data can be encrypted while it’s stored or while it’s in transit and should be encrypted both ways for maximum safety.
- Identity and Access Management (IAM): as we mentioned earlier, this is a “check-in” form of security that only allows those with access to restricted storage areas. This might be by authenticating identity, single sign-on, access control, or multi-factor authentication.
- This is a tried and tested way of protecting your data. A firewall blocks any potentially malicious web traffic. Unlike traditional on-site firewalls, cloud firewalls are hosted on the cloud, but they perform the same function. The firewall will keep you safe from any bot or DDoS attacks.
Other Ways to Keep Cloud Tech Safe
The individuals using any technology bear part of the responsibility for keeping it safe and operating it in a safe manner. This is done in a number of ways, namely:
- Proper configuration of settings. If a company doesn’t configure its settings correctly, it can’t expect the tech to work like it’s supposed to, and there will likely be a data breach at some point. Hire qualified professionals to assist with this where necessary.
- Security must be applied in every aspect of a company’s functions for it to work as an overall threat catcher and deterrent. Attackers will find the chink in the armor or the weak link and exploit it to get to your data, so you have to ensure that there is no weak link.
- Have a backup plan. Nothing in the entire world is foolproof: the Titanic sank, and banks are robbed every day. You have to have a backup plan for the unlikely event that your initial setup fails you. It would be best if this backup were a failover plan so that service to your clients is not interrupted.
- User education. It’s impossible to make any service work for you if you don’t understand how it works. All users and employees should be educated on the basics and why security measures are necessary.
The answer to our question is, yes, cloud technology is secure! If you follow all the protocols and take all the necessary steps, cloud technology will keep your data safe.