Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer, discusses how to select the right cloud service and security measures for your business.
The cloud is a network of servers that provides resources like data storage and computing power for users. It has become a main staple for businesses that aim to scale up. While the cloud offers various advantages to enterprises, some challenges make this infrastructure difficult to implement.
First, a business must choose between public and private cloud infrastructure. Not all companies can afford a customized cloud computing system, but there is no denying that the private infrastructure offers various advantages.
Security issues related to the cloud have also become a concern for enterprises. Companies may risk their hard-earned reputation if they fail to choose the right cloud hosting service or implement the best security methods.
As the name suggests, public cloud refers to the cloud infrastructure multiple entities use to keep their data. It does not mean that tenants’ data are mixed up, though. The service provider isolates each tenant’s data.
Meanwhile, the private infrastructure is designated for one tenant. Because of that, the user has the freedom to customize the infrastructure to their liking. It ensures that the solutions provided by the cloud system match what the company needs.
Having a designated cloud infrastructure also helps with scalability. Since the cloud system is only used by one company, there is no risk of capacity contention. When the company plans to scale its cloud infrastructure, it only needs to add bare metal servers and configure these new servers. Private cloud also offers enhanced safety, as companies can access their data and applications via private network links.
Although private cloud sounds like an ideal system for a company, there are situations where public cloud may be the better option. Public cloud can help companies handle less sensitive data they do not need to access frequently. The multi-tenant system also suits companies that are still growing and deal with less complex data. It is the more economical choice for companies than the private system.
Security challenges to a cloud infrastructure are continuously changing. There are increased external attacks, dynamic workloads, highly automated DevOps culture, and cloud compliance. The following are the best security practices to overcome those challenges.
Implementing a granular identity and access management (IAM) is critical in ensuring the security of a cloud system. More than that, everyone within the organization must stick to the protocol. Instead of implementing the protocol based on individuals, experts suggest basing it on groups and roles.
A cloud system should use the zero-trust approach in its IAM practice. It means the system should not automatically trust any entity within or outside the network and verify everything. Based on this approach, each role should only be given access to the resources it needs to perform its tasks.
Many organizations use the cloud to backup data from their own servers. It makes them sometimes overlook the need to back up the cloud system. Note that cloud servers are not 100 percent secure from internal and external threats.
The cloud security system must employ a safe data backup and recovery plan in emergencies. This protective measure will ensure that the organization can still run even if its key data server is down.
Monitoring the system actively is necessary to detect issues before they spread out. Ideally, the administrator employs vulnerability scanners, public threat intelligence feeds, and other anomaly detection tools to ensure the cloud system is safe.
Alerts should happen in real-time to ensure administrators can immediately fix the issue. Besides proactive monitoring, the system must have response policies for various threats so that administrators can resolve problems promptly.
Data encryption is vital for organizations that store their data in the cloud system. Encryption ensures that only authorized individuals can access the organization’s sensitive data. It transforms the data into a code that only people with authorized access can decode.
Cloud security systems also use web application firewalls to safeguard applications within the network, particularly cloud native distributed applications. This makes it easier for the system administrator to monitor traffic from and to web app servers.
Cloud is a highly intelligent system that is automatically updated to enhance security. However, this data solution is used by humans, so the system is not safe from potential errors. An interesting study by Stanford University even reveals that more than 80 percent of data breaches are caused by human error.
Companies must train their employees to recognize cybersecurity risks like phishing and malware. They must also learn how to access the company’s cloud server safely. These employees must be trained to notify the IT department immediately if they suspect foul play.
Cloud service providers have their own security measures. However, some companies may opt to work with security services like Continent 8 to further enhance their data protection.