Discover and manage the security risks of cloud computing.
Are you prepared for potential cloud security risks?
Cloud computing holds a ton of benefits for businesses. It’s easily scalable if your business needs more storage space, can help reduce IT costs on storage and software upgrades, allows for easier collaboration between teams, and can allow for easier and more flexible access for remote employees and employees during off hours.
Cloud computing, however, does pose some security challenges and risks to consider. Here are some of the major risks associated with cloud computing and how to manage them.
Cloud Security Threats
Data Breaches and Theft: This is one of the number one risks to any organizations using cloud computing. Cloud computing offers a whole host of storage space and options and because of this, many businesses have taken to hosting their data – from company payroll records to customer information to sales data to budget information – in their cloud accounts. This gives them an agility in their data access and reporting but can also leave room for risk in terms of this data being accessed and stolen or deleted. Some companies have found that they’ve been hacked and their customer password and credit card information has been distributed.
Data Loss: Loss is different from theft because it’s essentially accidental. If there is a natural disaster that ruins a cloud server, you could effectively lose all the data hosted there. Data loss can also happen by irresponsible employees not using best practices in backup, storage, and cloud management.
Bad User Management: Many companies think that the biggest security risk to mishandled and lost data is from outside sources, but data can be just as easily mismanaged because the wrong people from inside the company have access to it. It’s important to make sure your cloud provider has various levels of access that an internal administrator can set up so that data isn’t accidentally lost, distributed, or maliciously taken.
So how do you manage these challenges and risks?
Tips for Cloud Based Risk Management
Be Proactive: Don’t expect the cloud provider to handle and manage all the risk mitigation. Good security starts with the business who owns the data. You obviously want to work with a reputable cloud service provider, but you also want to make sure that you provide training to all your employees, extending past IT. All employees need to be knowledgeable in basic data safety, including good password management and protection tips and being mindful of email phishing scams.
Be Mindful: The cloud offers so many benefits that businesses can be too quick to convert all their data to cloud only computing. It’s important to maintain good backups on local networks and have policies around managing movement of data.
Invest in Protection: There are plenty of protection sites and software that focus on cloud computing. Amazon and Google have their own security services that users of the Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform can use. Other popular cloud security security solutions include ESET, Omnishield, Cisco Cloud Services, and Cloudlock.
Has your business encountered any security challenges? How have you handled them? What do you think the most important part of a cloud security strategy is?